So driving home tonight was channel-surfing looking for some inspiration to write about this evening, and Sirius/XM didn’t fail me; John Lennon’s “Working Class Hero” took me right back to 9th grade English class with Mr. Mead, in 1971. The assignment being to do an analysis of a poem, me the rebel even then at 14, picked Lennon’s WCH. Hearing it now, and it still moves one’s soul. But looking back at it, how unbelievably revolutionary it must have been to the masses. After all this was John, a Beatle, not Bob Dylan (who clearly influences here) singing a song of protest, not what the Beatles were known for at all. This was 1971 and the past year had been one of great political enlightment for not only myself and most people my ages, but also for many in America, it had been 1 year since the massacre at Kent State, still the most important event in my life in shaping everything I believe in 41 years later. Protests were a regular event now in the country, something I partook in as often as I could. And here was John singing a song that reached into the soul of those who saw the system for what is was, and sadly still is. Check out these lyrics:
“When they’ve tortured and scared you for twenty odd years,
Then they expect you to pick a career,
When you can’t really function you’re so full of fear”
High School was only a few months away and man did this make one think about the rode they were about to really travel, as we were moving from adolescence to young adulthood.
I really can’t recall what I wrote in that analysis, I’m sure being 14 it was rather trite, but thank you David Mead for enabling one to do so, and thank you John for writing a poem and putting it to music.
Ok, some really Random Music Notes from tonight’s channel surf on the drive home.
Cheap Trick’s: ” I Want You to Want Me” is still a fun and great son.
Pearl Jam does a pretty damn cover of The Who’s The Kids Are Alright. I love covers, I think every band/artist should be required to do no less than 3 covers in every live show. They kill and are guaranteed to send an audience into a frenzy.
Airborne Toxic Event: I like them, every time I hear something by them on the radio, I think it is solid. Of course they are playing live here in LA next week, when I am in NY, bummer.
Final note, as I pulled up to the house tonight, Neil Young’s “Southern Man”, from the After the Gold Rush album. This just might have been the first real album I ever owned. My brother bought it for me for my 14th birthday, so it holds a special place in the heart, but Southern Man never ceases to get me playing air guitar, Neil just destroys this one, always has to be played at a decibel level that will cause ones ears to bleed, which is what is was at while sitting in front of my house listening to this epic…which was also a great protest song in its own right. Which brings me to: Neil Young live at Avery Fisher Hall next Sunday night, acoustic. Can’t wait, definitely a RMN coming late on the 24th.
Let it rock.