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One Tin Soldier Runaway
by Dan Greene
The editors are covering music this week, and we all get to pick whatever the hell we want to pick. This is pretty cool, being able to do whatever the hell I want to do. I’ve got two picks for this. The first one is a band that I never hear people talk about anymore, and I wish they did. The second one is a band that people continue to talk about, and I wish they wouldn’t.
Anybody remember Killdozer? Man, what a great band. I loved that band. I grew up in a small town and it was hard to get their albums, but I managed to get my hands on a couple. I don’t have either of them now, both are long lost to parties or theft. I managed to download their first album a while ago….. most of their work is out of print, and some of their original albums go for hundreds of dollars on ebay and shit. I’m not into that at all. I’ll wait for them to be re-released at a decent price and I’ll keep trolling for them online in the meantime.
Really crunchy, crunchy music. They did some original work and some covers. Yeah, a lot of covers. A lot of covers that you wouldn’t expect; everything from Madonna to Conway Twitty to Joan Baez and beyond. I really liked their version of One Tin Soldier by Joan Baez. Like everything else they did, loud and distorted and crunchy as fuck. The singer kind of yell-growled his way through every song. Really quite a talent, don’t you know.
They also covered Don McLean’s American Pie. Now, I fucking hate that song, that’s up there with Piano Man and Paradise By The Dashboard Lights. It’s been overdone and it’s been killed by drunks at parties way too many times for me to ever get any kind of enjoyment at all out of it. Unless they’re covering it. Then I love it and I sing along like a drunk at a frat party. They massacre that song, they kill it, and they do it in perfect time.
Holy shit I hated those parties in high school where the only music anybody played was shit like that… Shitty classic rock of the shittiest variety. Fuckin air guitar experts everywhere. Jesus. Anyway.
You know who I fucking hate? You know who I really hate? They suck, they suck, they are Bon Jovi and they suck. Yeah, I know, easy target. Right? Well somebody fucking likes them. Now, I would never pick on anyone for liking any kind of music. I feel it’s purely subjective and that whole “your favourite band sucks” mentality only makes people miss out on good music. But, although I believe your simply visiting this site indicates a level of intelligence beyond that of the most advanced Bon Jovi fan, maybe one of you here today is a fan and maybe I can help you. Because I am not picking on you. You just need to understand how shitty a band Bon Jovi is.
I am not picking on you. I am not looking down on you.
You like them as a guilty pleasure, you say? Well that’s fine, but you need to be sure that you are being honest with yourself about it.
I almost feel silly, taking up this time and space to blather about it. It’s too easy to talk about how you hate a band, and it’s too cool, and Bon Jovi – again – is too easy a target. I mean holy fuck, those lyrics. Moon and June, rain and pain type lyrics. I want to be just as close as the holy ghost is. We're living on love they call it living in sin, oh whoa. Bon Jovi is the musical equivalent of a semi attractive blonde girl in her early twenties, fresh out of school and into her entry level office job, driving a brand new shitty Cavalier convertible that's painted bright yellow, and she thinks she's the shit because she's a grown up and driving a sporty new car that she's paying for herself. And people keep falling for this girl called Bon Jovi. But you have to understand how far back this goes for me.
I remember being a kid, about, oh, eleven or twelve years old. It was late on a Friday or Saturday night and I was watching videos. It was a lot better back in the 80’s; the videos had more imagination to them and there was a better mix of music styles in the average video show. MTV was still a baby, I think it was around by then, and a lot of television stations had programs that only played videos because the demand was so high. Public television had this show called The Beat. It was out of Detroit and they played a lot of metal, and a little bit of punk – and any punk back then was a lot. I loved that show. I came on at about 12:30 and went for two hours. It was the shit. Of course, they played their share of crap too.
So anyway, this one night I’m watching The Beat, eating a bowl of popcorn and probably thinking about Lita Ford’s tits or something, and this video comes on. This band I never heard of, but the guy introducing them says they’re a great hard rockin’ band, so I pay attention. It’s this band called Bon Jovi, and the song is called Runaway. And the boys all have perms and are mugging for the camera and wearing silky scarves and shit. And the music sucks the dirtiest ass in town, man, it’s a rotten song. I was repulsed by it. I mean shit, they had just played the video for Freewheel Burning, and they’re playing this now. The fuck?
And I remember, distinctly, like it was yesterday….. I remember saying to myself, “Thank God these guys suck and I’ll never have to listen to them again. Nobody’s going to like this.”
And I’ve been eating those bitter fucking words for over twenty years now. The classic rock station in my town, which used to actually be a good classic rock station (if you heard Hendrix it wasn’t necessarily Purple Haze, if you heard Zep it wasn’t necessarily Stairway, etc), now plays Bon Jovi. Because it’s classic rock now. So yeah, I’m a little spiteful.
It can't be that I don't understand how good they actually are. That's got to be wrong. Right?
Fuck me. I wish I had spent more time talking about Killdozer.