A Blog Mainly About Food

If by "mainly" you mean "sometimes"

Thursday, December 02, 2004

You can Take Your Things, They've Come to Take Me Home

Am I the only person out there who thinks Peter Gabriel is a fantastic songwriter? Carl, if you read this (though I don't think you do) you're the one to blame for my embarassing Peter Gabriel fandom. Embarrassing I say because my mom likes Peter Gabriel. Yeah, she's cool and all, but how embarassing is that? When did I start liking my parent's music?

I grew up in a mostly non-musical household. It was an immigrant thing--the folks only had a few of the standard musical offerings on vinyl (Best of Elton John, Beatles "blue" collection, Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack, some other stuff) but they really just listened to whatever was on the radio. I have very vivid memories of getting in a car accident with my mom when I was seven, with Lionel Richie on the radio at the time. So my parent's music was basically soft rock radio tripe. Now I find myself listening to some of the artists who wrote that tripe and figuring out "Hey, these guys are actually kind of cool." Weird. Okay, so I don't listen to some of the real crap that was on the radio at the time, but my love of Peter Gabriel is unexpected.

I think the lack of popular music when I was growing up has made me the heterodox lover of music that I am today. My first experience with actually liking a pop song was Thriller in '83(?), followed by Billie Jean. The folks were so ambivalent about music that I pretty much absorbed everything I heard. I got into MC Hammer and, later, Pearl Jam. Not knowing any better I bought the latest "big new release" every few month (that caused a few bad purchases, like Depeche Mode's Songs of Faith and Devotion and Aerosmith's Get a Grip, which literally stunk. There was something in the liner notes that made my copy of Get a Grip smell like stale feet) Now what do I have to show for it? A pretty schizo collection. The big boss has come by my desk on occasion and asked how I can stack the Marshall Mathers LP next to the best of the Psychedelic Furs, or ask what I'm listening to and just act straight up confused.

But this Best of Peter Gabriel is the most confusing one of all--never thought I'd like this as much as I do. Yes, I've had the album for a while, but every time I listen to it I like it more. To think I bought it back in 2002 along with Diamond Dogs just because I felt some Carl nostalgia.

P.S. I sold the Aerosmith CD in 1996 and got 3 dollars despite the smell. My parents still have my original vinyl Thriller, wherein Michael has a baby tiger crawling on him and, in the liner notes, he and Paul McCartney play tug of war with some girl that probably isn't Linda.