Friday, May 11, 2007

The Greatest Moments in Rock and Roll

I know what the greatest live moment in the history of Rock and Roll is: it was the time my friend Eric and I were watching our friend LP someplace in New York and somehow, in the middle of a song of hers we weren't particularly familar with, she slid--and I mean slid--into about 16 bars of "Whole Lotta Love." Then she just slid back out.

Man, that was something. We looked at eachother in astonishment.

Second on the list was standing ten feet away from Bruce Springsteen when he came out near the end of Patti Scialfa's concert at the Bowery Ballroom, stood next to his buddy Miami Steve Van Zandt, and played rhythm guitar. He was, the record should note, playing a 12 string Telecaster.

As far as recorded music goes, well I was sitting down a little while ago, waiting for the paint on Bobby Lee to dry, watching the tivo'd season finale of "My Name is Earl"--a show that I don't normally watch but which received a rave review in the WaPo--and one of the songs that pops up at a particularly appropriate moment was "House of the Rising Sun." And, I must tell you, even after all these years, when that organ kicks in towards the end, manomanoman it gives me goosebumps. So that could be it, but I'm probably more comfortable listing it as a close second.

No, gentle reader, the greatest moment in the history of recorded Rock and Roll is when Charlie Watts, right at the end of "You can't always get what you want" slides--and I mean slides--into a slightly syncopated inversion of the beat he's already laying down, and the London Philharmonic Chorus swells in the background, and manomanoman, that is really something. If you are having trouble envisioning it, so to speak, imagine sitting next to somebody on the F train who's listening to headphones. All you can hear is the clicking sound of the snare drum. If it changes, kind of right at the end, from "chick-chick-chicka-chicka" to "bang-BANG-chicka-chicka-bang-BANG-chicka-chicka... (you know these noises are approximate, right?)"--well, you're experiencing the greatest moment in recorded Rock and Roll history.

Makes you miss New York, doesn't it?


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