A few months ago Bums Logic’s own Todd Levinson Frank converted ownership of a wide collection of albums from various recording artists to me. My first confession: despite the fact that TLF had passed the music onto me months ago, it was only recently that I loaded the music on my iPod. While most people are quick to add new music to their libraries, for some reason it took me a few months to get around to it. On a side note, this is something that TLF knows about me all too well, as he once suggested a list of people to follow on twitter that I still have yet to ‘follow’ but I digress.
The list of artists in the collection that Todd provided is rather expansive and that stands as one of the reasons that I delayed the full addition to my music library. My point: if I were to add all of them at once, it is unlikely that any of the artists would be given the undivided attention that they deserve. Bands pour so much time and effort into their recordings and giving their work only a simple cursory listen is nearly equal to a slap in the face. Think about it. Suppose you spent time on a project of any particular discipline wouldn’t you be a bit put off if everyone simply provided it a perfunctory amount of their attention? I know I would.
I can imagine that many of you are thinking, ‘Wow, that is some confession. I hope you feel better after alleviating such a huge burden.’ Well as I stated earlier, that was my first confession. You see there is more.
Again, the list of artists that Todd gave to me was rather extensive. Speaking honestly, I don’t even know how many there are, only that there are many. In going down the list, there were a couple of albums from artists that already hold a place in my collection so there was no need to add them to my beloved iPod. As I looked at the list of bands there was one that intrigued me very much. Now this one band in particular is an old band that has been around for decades. They have been around for so long that their current lead singer is also their original front man, who, for a period was replaced by not just one but two other singers before his eventual return in support of both their latest recording sessions and recent touring efforts. Does that little tidbit give you an idea as to what band I am referring?
Yes, I am referring to none other than the legendary RnR band, Van Halen.
Now for my second and bigger confession. In all of my years as someone that enjoys listening to a wide array of musical styles and bands, I have never, not once, owned one single Van Halen record until now. There I said it. To add, I would never consider myself a Van Halen fan. Sure, I understand the impact they had at that point in the evolution of music, but I am not a fan.
How could this be? Van Halen is quite possibly the greatest mainstream rock-n-roll band of all time with over 75 million albums sold worldwide.
Please allow myself to explain myself… You see where I grew up, everyone listened to Van Halen and I mean pretty much everyone. I guess in some ways I just wanted to be a little different and I chose to listen to music by other artists. It wasn’t as though as I was trying to rebel against the rebellion that rock-n-roll supposedly represents, it’s just that I have always considered myself a little less likely to follow every trend of the herd. When people my age were listening to their older siblings Van Halen records, I was listening to my sister’s Beatles albums. I really went against the grain there and then, didn’t I?
So anyway, I loaded up the Van Halen albums on my iPod and started listening to where it all began with their self titled debut album, Van Halen. Right off the bat is the first track, “Runnin’ with the Devil,” you know the one. The next track is the the timeless rock explosion “Eruption” (timeless rock explosion, did you see what I did there?), again you know that one right? Next up is a cover of the great Kinks tune, “You Really Got Me,” you’ve heard that one right? What’s next? You are probably saying “Aint Talkin’ Bout Love,” and you are correct. Down the line for the entire album I bet a number of you can list all of the tracks for not just their debut but for also a majority of other albums as well.
As I listened to more and more of the Van Halen collection I realized that I too, know all of their songs. What the hell? Like I said, I have never owned a VH record until TLF gave them to me. How do I know so many VH songs? Let me refresh you, “where I grew up everyone listened to Van Halen and I mean pretty much everyone.” All of those years ago I listened to those albums over and over at parties, on the radio, and just about every corner of our town where young folks could meet and drink shitty beer en mass out of sight of both our parents and the local authorities. I heard their music so much that it wove its way into my subconscious.
So I guess I am a Van Halen fan, at least retrospectively. Or is it retroactively? I get those confused.
Another confession, I have to ask, what the hell is a Bon Iver?