Thursday, April 21, 2005

Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right... I am, stuck in the middle with you.

Stealers Wheel kicked ass, albeit briefly. I loved "Stuck in the Middle with You" before it became fodder for a Quentin Tarantino film. Gerry Rafferty was the lead vocalist and guitarist for Stealers Wheel before going solo. I am a Gerry Rafferty fan - I fell in love with his first major solo effort "City to City" when I heard it on one of those late Sunday night "we play a whole lp for ya" radio shows back in 1978. (Damn, that was seventh grade - yikes!) Surely you remember Gerry "Baker Street" Rafferty? "City to City" is a great album. Yes, I said ALBUM. I still own it on vinyl. I know every song on that lp sooo well.

Some of my musical tastes, I have come to realize, match those of a Midwestern man pushing 50. Alan Parsons Project, Gerry Rafferty, all those 70's greatest hits cds I secretly own and cherish... It's all good. You know, I just realized that I discovered Alan Parsons Project in 1980 through that same "we play a whole lp for ya" radio show. It was "The Turn of Friendly Card" which is one of those great 'n' goofy progressive rock concept albums. Sooo late 70's.

I went to see the Alan Parsons Project with the Sasquatch a couple of years ago in an odd suburban club outside of Baltimore. As we stood in line outside the club, we realized we were younger than most of the folks there by about a decade. Several people wore homemade Alan Parsons Project fan t-shirts. Genuine eyesores, but clearly from the heart. We overhead snippets of conversation from the Uber-fans about their undying love for All Things APP. When we finally got inside the club, the Sasquatch and I grabbed two of the only seats available in the whole space, and we spent the evening hugging a wall near the bar.

A small table stretched out nearby, covered in a big, smelly Maryland crab feast. 8 or 9 people were chowing down on crabs and drinking beer. Don't know if you've ever eaten crabs, particularly Maryland-style covered in Old Bay seasoning, but take it from me - it's messy and smelly. One of the seafood chowhounds was a bearded, portly man in a polo shirt, shorts, and old boat shoes. "Dude," I said to the Sasquatch, "that's Alan Parsons." The Sasquatch did not believe me. The Uber-fans had passed the feasting group without a second glance. Again I asserted that the crabman was, indeed, Alan Parsons. For a brief moment, I thought that I maybe was totally wrong, but then the guy got up, wiped his hands on his shorts, strolled to the stage and started playing the synthesizer. Oh yeah, it was Alan Parsons. Crusty Old Bay fingers crankin' out some first-class synth rock opera "I've got a lot of Tolkien on my shelves" kick ass tuneage.

It was great. I thought the Uber-fans were going to crap themselves that they'd been milling around Parsons before the show and yet had no idea what the man looked like, apparently. D'oh!

Oh wait - I forgot the whole reason I started this post (ramble, ramble.) I just heard an abominable rip-off of "Stuck in the Middle with You" used to advertise "Malcolm in the Middle" in syndication. It was so painful, I had to bitch about it. Plus, when you have a perfectly good theme song by They Might Be Giants, why do you need to torture an old classic?!?!

Okay, gotta get some sleep. It's still hot in here, but thank god, it's cooling down tomorrow. Yee-haw!

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