Thursday, April 12, 2007

"Old Jersey"

I wrote the music to this song late one night after a gig in New Jersey. I was pretty disheartened by the whole experience. Having lived my first 18 years in the garden state, I had always felt that New Jersey was my home, that those were my people out there. But the night was strange. As we were setting up, an old man walked up to me and asked me what kind of music we played. (If I had a dime for every time somebody has asked me that question, I'd be lounging on my own island smoking opium and eating cheesecake with a harem of supermodels right now.)

"Rock," I told him.

Apparently, this was an unsatisfactory answer. He rolled his eyes.

"You might want to think about taking a class in public relations," he advised, and walked off.

Old coots. What the hell do they know?

So we took the stage and though I felt we kicked a wee bit of ass, we might as well have been knitting Christmas sweaters up there. Audience disinterest is nothing new to me, certainly, but there was something else to it. Something slightly sinister and frightening. Afterwards, people were looking at us like we had testicles growing out of our foreheads, and as I watched the mtv-fashion-punk kids come up front and stare blankly at the "we-sound-like-whatever-type-of-music-is-popular-right-now" band that followed us, my brain started spinning like a cauldron of soup being stirred by a fat mustachioed man with a large wooden spoon. Thoughts about American culture, the loss of individuality, identity, and my feelings towards New Jersey. I felt like an outcast in my own home state. But does anyone have a home anymore? Every town has the same stores, the same restaurants, the same bars, the same shitty bands, and the same kids standing there staring at the same shitty bands.

I realize that many others have whined about this already.
I also realize that I have no answers to these problems, and that since I occasionally treat myself to a mocha frappuccino, I'm part of the problem.

The point there a point?

Ah yes.

The point is, for many years I have defended New Jersey from slander (as well as mutant tigers and nuclear attacks, but let's not get into that). I have tried to explain to the naysayers that New Jersey is a wonderful, special place with some beautifully scenic locations and people of real character. I guess in some ways, that's still true.

But mostly, it's just like anywhere else.

1 comment:

Lord Calvert said...

Hahaha...I remember that old bastard. I thought we did a particularly fine job that night...and at least we got some free chicken fingers out of it.