Titular (SGnB) Essay 23 September 2019
I wrote this basic song in my dorm room in Cumberland Hall at the University Of Maryland College Park in 1987 or 88. People tell me I have an unnatural gift for remembering songs. I suppose that's true. I honestly don't know. I know this, though. By the time I bring a song to a bunch of players I've played it at least 500 times. That's why I get mad when people ask to change something. It's like asking someone to change the function of their cardiovascular system. Sure it's possible. It's supremely unnecessary. That doesn't mean I'm not open to suggestion especially in a project as expansive as THE NEVER ENDING OPERA.
I understand the problem. The way that popular music has evolved since the proliferation of electricity has served as a limit to people's imaginations. The concept of the album is arbitrary. I owe it absolutely no allegiance and neither should you. Why should the limits of what can be pressed onto a slab of vinyl in the 1950s be the template for whatever the fuck I'm goddamn writing? Please tell me I want to know.
The problem is mine and mine alone. Of course one can parse the blame around but, being as complaining and whining are now the bedrock of the United States Of America to such an extent that this nation has elected the king of whining and complaining and blaming as the motherfucking president (just right quick before I move on - Imagine General Lee blaming his troops for his loss at Gettysburg - It's unfathomable - But in the words of Bob Haney "I digress" ) the problem is mine. Here's the reason. I'm the only person I've ever met who has a problem with the album system. I've been attempting to change the way that people think of popular music. I haven't succeeded in the slightest. I haven't even convinced the members of the SFP collective.
That's fine. I don't want to put too much on their plates. It's MORE than enough that they're willing to help AT ALL! I can't express the deepness of my love for these people. If any word sums up my attitude to those I share creativity with it's gratitude. Also this, yo. We're all middle aged punkass motherfuckers bitten by the need to rock (silly but true) when we were fucking children. I believe it's in all of our DNA. I merely want to establish a completely new template upon which to display out creativity.
I can hear you getting pissed. "Stop being so vague, Dave!" your shouting at your blue tooth device on your way to work. "I'm already pissed I got to go to fucking work and now you're berating my because YOU haven't explained to me what I don't understand." Well, commuter, today's your lucky day.
I write a lot. When I was a kid pouring through rock bios of the Beatles and the Who what struck me was the business like approach to songwriting that Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Townshend employed. Later on I discovered the Velvet Underground and how Andy Warhol nudged Lou Reed in the same direction at "The Factory." Write like it's your job. Also, in my formative years, I stumbled across the saying that all young writers stumble across: A writer writes. So that's what I did.
As a fan of music, and by music I mean certain combinations of notes, beats, and language, I became curiously amused at how Broadway was taking pop artists and constructing musicals around them, jigsaw puzzling "plots" from hits by the likes of Abba and Frankie Valley. It made more sense to me to produce the Who's Tommy because it was written as a narrative. Aye, there's the rub! It was written as a narrative because Pete said it was. I went about constructing operas out of my songs. My thinking has always been that there's never a good reason to NOT try something artistically. If you fall into that trap you're not an artist. Obviously that's totally cool. Trying to force people into being something they ain't is for the fucking birds.
I'd been writing narratives with songs since I was literally a child.
Dammit. I just realized I spent a bunch of words explaining something and the answer is not anywhere more near than it was at the beginning of this sesh. For fuck's sake. Really, I've spent a lot of time making sure that shit lines up. I just wish we didn't need to be hassled with subsistence so that we could release the NEVERENDING OPERA on a schedule that only paused for holidays.
Goddammit. Still. Why should you believe me? Ain't it too much to ask that someone attempts to understand an artistic POV with no beginning and no end? I say it isn't asking too much. That's what the originators of civilization asked of their workers eons ago. They came up with religions and gods and retributions and salvations and blabbity blues. All I ask is that you enjoy these songs.