Tuesday, September 17, 2013

God of Thunder Thighs



“Even the best chicks can only last a couple of hours.”



I was years away from my first sexual experience when I first read that quote from David Lee Roth.  Yet despite my inability to truly comprehend what he was saying, something about that comment resonated with me.  That comment and the ability to come up with it seemed to embody everything I wanted to be.  In my pre-pubescent brain, it was quite possibly the coolest thing to say.  It oozed with confidence and dripped a sexual overtone that came with being a rock God.  That was before he became a caricature or a punch line to some lame 80’s rock joke.  No sir.  This was Diamond Dave in all his high kicking, spandex sporting Rock God glory.  And everything I wanted to be. 



As much as I found myself in awe of the bands I saw in Hit Parader and MTV, I was never star struck.  What I felt was more like desperate separation.  Like “If these guys only knew me, we’d be best friends.  I’d be the one dorky teenager they’d want to hang out with.”  I longed to be part of something out of my reach and I was frustrated.  I saw my surroundings as something I couldn’t put behind me quick enough.  I was a boy out of place.  An rock n roll astronaut stuck on earth.  A devil in the church.  I looked at rocker’s like Diamond Dave and dreamed of what it would be like to be them.      



But that’s just it isn’t it?  When you’re 15, rock stars seem ageless.  Old enough to do all the cool shit but not old like your stupid parents.  Parents are lame.  They eat three meals a day and go to church every Sunday.  Fuck that.  Do you think David Lee Roth is worried about the 4 food groups?  There’s no way Gene Simmons has ever gone to church.  He was born evil.  Right?  Or so I thought anyway.



I'll clean your chimney after this song
Ah but 25 years later things have changed.  Gene Simmons is just an old Jewish man who’s gotten a bit fat. And Diamond Dave?  More like Dingbat Dave.  He’s just an old man.  He isn’t even kind of cool.  He’s a hokey vaudevillian type.  A Vegas act and a cheap one.  In fact both Gene and Dave have taken their talents to Vegas.  Turns out, they were never as cool as I once thought they were.  In reality nobody is.  Cool is fa├žade.  Cool is an illusion.  An outfit.  Shoes and makeup.  Lighting and cheap fabric.  Behind those serious faces of musicians who glamorized binge drinking and groupie sex were guys running on treadmills and avoiding alcohol to preserve their voices while making sure their tour riders included plenty of fresh fruit.  Lyrical reference’s to drugs and neck tattoo’s portray an image that often masks reality.  (Insert Buckcherry reference here) 



Ok so not all of them were healthy eating monogamous phonies but plenty of them are.  And I find it interesting the way our rockers age.   You can tell how successful a musician was and how relevant they still are by the way they look.  If you ran into Chuck Billy and James Hetfield at a San Francisco bar in 1988, you wouldn’t see the stark difference in appearance you do now.  Chuck Billy looks like he ate himself while Mr. Hetfield has on a pair of jeans and a t shirt that combined probably cost more than Chuck’s monthly rent on his apartment. 



Chuck Billy. Living the Dream
By 1992 Metallica were beginning their run as the biggest rock band on the planet while Testament was already into the downside of their career cycle.  20 years later they are both still going.  Only one of them strong.  When Metallica fly’s their private plane to their next show, I don’t think the in flight meal is Big Mac’s and Dilly bars.  And when Testament is playing some 400 seat club in New Mexico, I doubt their rider has top end, low fat catering.  More like 6 tombstones and a case of diet coke.  Look at current pictures of U2, Metallica, and and compare them to current pictures of bands like Testament and Exodus.  You can tell who’s staying in the better hotel’s. 



Alas we all age.  Some better than others.  But Rock Gods are supposed to stay golden.  Finding out they don’t is like discovering the whole Santa Claus cover up.      

God Of Thunder Thighs
The silver lining of course is that when it mattered to me, the illusion worked.  When I was popping pimples and jerking off 7 times a day, it all seemed so real.  So awesome.  So cool.  Right around the time I realized most of the musicians I inspired to be were either horribly boring or just horrible people, I no longer cared.  And for some reason, I didn’t feel betrayed.  I look back with fondness at the way dreaming of Rock Stardom made me feel.  And while it can never be the same I miss it.  There is a small window of time where horror movies are something you can watch and find scary.  And if you never watch horror movies during that time you will never know that feeling.  That same sentiment is why I don’t feel like I was lied to.  The feeling I had was real.  And that is what really matters.

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