True confessions time again, gang. I’ll bet you guys didn’t know that
before yours truly became the hottest thing on the Web, that I had a
former existence as a rock and roll musician.
Yep, it’s true. During that disgusting period of history referred to
as “The ’70s,” I abided in the dank and dreary world of bars and
nightclubs playing guitar for a bunch of guys with bad toupees who
fronted bands with names like Lucky Smart and The Smart Set. I even had
a taste of so called (ha!) rock stardom when I toured the country with
the likes of Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton and several other large
breasted women whose names I no longer recall.
Given all that, it may seem strange when I tell you that my position
today is that I refuse to have anything to do with music. That’s
right, I don’t listen to music. And you know what — the longer I don’t
listen to it, the better I feel.
I know, I know. It sounds weird, but just check this out. My theory,
plain and simple, is that music is simply another drug … another way
of deadening your brain another way of escaping reality. But it’s not
just “another.” Music, unlike cocaine or even booze, is regarded as
harmless. Sorry, Jack. Ain’t so.
OK, OK, before you start trying to argue the point, just go with me
for another couple of seconds. If you adopt that attitude — that music
is a drug — you can well imagine that I am less than enamored with the
current rock scene. To put it bluntly, my opinion is that all rock music
There’s really no point in discussing the difference between Alanis
Morissette (I think she’s one of the current crop of “thoughtful
artists”) and an idiot band like Green Day. See, when it comes right
down to it, Alanis Morissette (fill in your own name) and Green Day are
exactly the same in that they serve the same purpose.
And what is that purpose, you ask?
Good Lord, people — wake the hell up? The purpose is — to keep you
numb! To keep you from seeing (notice I didn’t say “thinking,”
because thinking is just another escape).
Let me be clear. I might like to sit down and listen to say, a side
of “Sketches From Spain,” or maybe some Buddy Holly. (And on occasion I
do.) But I limit my doses of the drug to (maximum) 20 minutes — and
when I’m done, I take a “non-music” bath (more on that later).
Now here is where the conversation usually gets sidetracked to the
value of today’s current crop of pop stars versus, say, those in the
’60s and/or ’70s. Sorry, I’m not gonna fall for it. They ALL suck!
I was a huge Bob Dylan fanatic in the ’60s (yep, my brain was rotted
too — just like yours!). Today, not only would I not go around that
corner to hear four bars by that fat little egomaniac, but when I listen
to the stuff I once thought was great, I’m actually embarrassed! (Not
for him … for ME!). OK, OK, tell me about the musicality of James
Taylor (and he IS musical, I admit it) … that’s not the point. The
point is that the function of music itself (I’ll repeat it again) is to
keep you brain dead.
If you don’t believe me, just take a look at the faces of the people
in the audience as the camera pans over them at any so-called rock
concert. What do you see? Come on — admit it! You see abject stupidity,
folks! You see brain dead individuals. You see blitzed-out, hypnotized
morons! Yep … that’s you baby (and me too). We’ve all been in that
“I just can’t live without my music.” I don’t know how many times
I’ve heard someone say that. How bout you? Have you said it? Sure you
have. Well, guess what. Not only can you live without music,
you’d better damn-well kick that Jones, because music is eroding your
brain cells. (Yes, there are studies to show this but I’m not gonna
quote them because I don’t want this thing to degenerate into a battle
of the “experts.” You can either choose to look at it — explore it for
yourself, or not. Frankly (thank you, Rhett), I don’t give a damn.
What people are really saying when they utter this bilious phrase is,
“I can’t live without my drug.”
Think about it. What does music do? It puts you into an alternate
state of consciousness. It either relaxes you (like a drug); it makes
you feel hyper (like a drug). It makes you stupid (like a drug). Shall I
go on? Yes, I think I shall. …
Music is essentially a way of hypnotizing people. Why do you think
they play music in grocery stores, shopping malls, in doctors offices?
To put you into a hypnotic state so that you’ll blindly purchase the
product (whatever that may be).
This bears repeating people: Music really has only one purpose, and
that’s to destroy your sense of awareness. And I say that awareness is
the one commodity that we must salvage at all costs!
Without a doubt, some of the most insidious music today is the junk
that’s being now being referred to as New Age Music. New Age music does
the opposite of what rock does — which is to hype you up. New Age music
makes you numb. It is a most potent tranquilizer. Moreover, it is, in
its own way, even deadlier than rock or rap.
This is the stuff that used to be called background music — only now
people are actually listening to it! Have you ever seen those glassy
eyed fools walking around … there are millions of them, all victims of
some kind of brainwashing.
I say there is only one thing to do. Turn it off! All of it!
When you’re in your car, don’t put the radio on. Yeah, it’s hard. You’re
addicted, man. But after awhile with no music in the background (or
foreground) check out how different the world looks. You’ll suddenly
become aware of strange sights and sounds. You’ll also become aware of
how oddly quiet the world is and how, no matter where you go, somewhere
in the background someone’s trying to fill the void with music. You
literally can’t escape it!
A good thing to have if you’re going to experiment is a pair of
earplugs. Use them liberally. You’ll find that by silencing the world at
large you’ll begin to see things with new eyes. Try turning off the
sound when you’re watching TV. Turn on Leno or Conan. Instead of being
charmed by whatever show business egomaniac is in the guest seat, you’ll
suddenly see the guy for what a self-centered, cloying pig he is.
Only perform this experiment in very small doses at first. Why?
Well, try it and you’ll see. It’s hard! It’s hard because you’re
addicted — that’s not just some terminology I’m flinging about.
After you’ve done this for a month or more, it’s time to up the ante.
If you have a favorite piece of music — be it Beethoven’s Fifth or that
old Dylan LP — sit down, stop everything you’re doing, close your eyes
and just listen to it. Watch your reactions. Watch your brain as it
grows numb. You’ll literally see the process of hypnosis at work!
I guarantee if you try this experiment you’ll come to the same
conclusion I do … that music is a drug, and a very powerful one too.
Once you’re free of the addiction, then you can go back and use it —
like taking a martini once in a while. But until you’re ready, it’s time
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I can already see the letters from the countless
jerks who are going to write this off as … well, as something. I
guarantee you, those letter writers will inevitably be the addicts. And
you know what they say about being an addict. Once addicted, always
Will your life be empty without music? Hell, don’t ask me. For the
record, mine is just fine — but the only real way to find out is not to
bicker, or argue. Just try it.
It’s your brain, folks.
Give it a breather.
A long one. …
GOLDMAN HOOH HAH: I’ll just say one thing gang (and if you’ve been
reading this column for more than one week, you already know what it is:
Super Snoopers, Super Snoopers, Super Snoopers, Super
Snoopers. Get it. Get it. Get it. Get it. Brainwashing? You bet.
(Hey, when it comes time to butterin’ my bread, I don’t throw the baby
out with the bathwater.)