"Crap! I wish I hadn't seen Ricky on the sidewalk."

"You will be fine for 31 minutes. You will be dead in 32 minutes."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


The other day, while browsing through the dollar bins, I saw a kid hold up a Velvet Underground record to his friend, and the friend said, "I've always been a little skeptical of The Velvet Underground." 

The other kid nodded, and stuck the record back where he found it.

Look, I'm as brash and opinionated as any asshole flipping through the dollar bins, but is it my responsibility to stick my nose in somebody else's musical education?  


I myself have a long and shameful history of completely dismissing things out of hand. I don't like camping, I'm wary of vegans, and someday I will get around to watching every episode of Deadwood. 

The only responsibility I have in a record store is to volunteer correct information if, and only if, the customer stumps the employee with a question. The same is true in bookstores. 

On matters of taste, I'm as neutral as Switzerland. 

If Sara or Sam asked me about Lou Reed or The Velvet Underground, I'd make an effort. I'd pull out the vinyl, make some suggestions, burn a cd of essential tracks. I wouldn't start with a 40-minute version of "Sister Ray" either. I'd begin with my personal favorites, acknowledge the band's place in music history, and leave the rest to them.

Like it, don't like it, I don't care. Confirm or deny that electricity comes from other planets. But c'mon, it's the 21st century. Almost everything is readily available and begging to be assessed. Like this, follow that.

There's no reason to be skeptical or ignorant of anything.

The Velvet Underground (Macfadden Books, 1963) and The Velvet Underground Revisited (Macfadden, 1968)

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