I was going to write yet another thing about Halloween and then offer up a download of the song Halloween by the Misfits, but they are just one of those bands that I never bothered ripping the discs of when I got the new hard drive. I don’t know what happened. I used to love them, then one day I put on Walk Among Us and realized that two minute, four-chord retelling of B-grade horror movies just didn’t do it for me anymore.
This got me to thinking about bands I loved that just faded from my playlist for one reason or another. Sometimes you just grow tired of certain music. Sometimes you outgrow it. And sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that make you delete every folder containing a certain band from your hard drive. Which is a shame. As much as I used to love Faith No More – I was obsessed with them for years – I have such a hard time listening to them now because they remind me of things I don’t want to be reminded of. Where their entire catalog used to be a source of musical pleasure for me, they now remind me of lies and anger and empty promises and every time I try to enjoy Angel Dust again, I’m left with a taste of bitterness that hangs on the entire day.
Yet there are bands I loved that went through tough times with me that I stuck with. Maybe the years have taken the edge off the memories. I can bring out the entire Husker Du catalog without thinking about that messy breakup. I can listen to Black Flag’s Damaged without experiencing the ensuing black hole of depression that used to follow it. I didn’t lose all my good music just because I associate bands and songs with emotions. Maybe I shove them on the back burner for a while, but they come back.
Then there are those bands you just had enough of. I went through my regressive emo stage and I can really live without Taking Back Sunday now. And then there are the bands you once adored and you try to listen to their music now and your reaction is “what the hell was I thinking?” Did I once really think The Doors were anything more than dime store poetry sung by a man with a grand self-perception rivaled only by Jesus? Did I really have the cover to Yes’s Fragile painted on the back of my Levi jacket?
Another band that falls into that category, like the Misfits, is the Ramones.
Yes, I said it. The Ramones. It feels almost blasphemous to write that. A New Yorker who grew up in the 70′s and was around for beginning of that band’s rise to fame is done with them? I hear a collective gasp from the die hard Ramones fans I know. I know the way they think. They’ll hear me say something like this and come after me with pitchforks and torches, crying about my lost punk roots and how my cred is completely shot. So be it. I really don’t like you “punk lived and died in the 70′s” people, anyhow. Just for good measure, I’m going to tell you that I no longer listen to the Clash, either. It’s not that I threw alway all my punk records and gave up on the genre. I just stuck with the ones that stood my test of time. I’d rather listen to the Circle Jerks or 7 Seconds or Minor Threat all day than listen to the same song, different words from the Ramones.
There are tons of bands and whole genres that came and went in my life. Lots of bands that don’t matter, bands I forgot about, albums I wish I never spent money on. Your life changes, you grow up, move on, your tastes change. I still listen to a hell of a lot of the music I loved in my misspent youth. I love me some good, old fashioned metal and I’ll never tire of Pink Floyd.
It doesn’t bother me so much that my Misfits and Ramones CDs are going to collect dust now. What bothers me is when my music is taken from me through circumstances. Sure, they are self-made circumstances. There’s a reason I won’t listen to Stabbing Westward’s Darkest Days anymore and it has nothing to do with anything but me and my tendency to be overwrought in my wallowing. I’m not going to blame anyone but myself that I can’t listen to Faith No More or Nick Cave with the enjoyment I used to. Hopefully, like with Husker Du, I’ll get that musical pleasure back some day. As for the Doors and most of the Led Zeppelin catalog and Lynyrd Skynyrd, those phases are long gone and I don’t want them back.
I was supposed to be writing a Halloween thing here. Just another example of how my mind works at 5am. I’ll do the Halloween thing later.