I’m not about class

I’m partial to brightly patterned shirts.

Not obvious things like tie-dye or stereotypical tiki/Hawaiian/lounge kinds of things, because I hate things that are kitschy for the sake of being kitschy. (In fact, the only shirt I own that could probably be called Hawaiian is cool because its only colors are blue, white and black . . . yet the pattern is definitely tropical, giving it a weird mix of Nordic and Jungle imagery).

It’s easy to go spend a lot of money on a shirt with a stock loud pattern . . . but it’s much more fun to look for the ones that are just this side of being flat out wrong, ideally at a second hand store, or on deep discount. Last weekend, I went to the Salvation Army and got five new shirts for $18 (including the one in the current photo on this blog), and have happily worn each of them to work already, probably making some sort of statement to someone, although I’m not really sure what that statement is.

Last night, I was folding laundry with my wife, Marcia, and the following exchange ensued:

Me: Wow! What a great pile of shirts!

She: Yes, very classy (insert friendly sarcasm here).

Me: Well, y’know . . . I’m not about class.

And that’s as good a credo as any to live life by, isn’t it?

Me . . . I’m not about class. I can put class on when I need to (yes, I can be dressed up and taken out), and I know class when I see it, and I’m capable of running a classy organization that puts on classy events, but classiness sure isn’t a motivating factor in the ongoing daily execution of my life.

Or life style.

And I’ve got the shirts to prove it.

Unrelated book reference:

Reading a very interesting book (well, interesting if you’re a music geek, I guess) called Seventies Rock: The Decade of Creative Chaos by Frank Moriarity. It’s interesting because unlike most musos, Moriarity just literally writes about what he says he’s writing about: a year-by-year accounting of the state of popular (and not so popular) music from 1970 to 1979.

Why is this odd? Because most critics come up with artificial constructs for dealing with the ’70s that aren’t actually tied to the calendar, operating on the notion that the ’70s actually began with (pick your moment) Woodstock, or Altamont, or some other late ’60s construct, and that the ’70s ended with the punk explosion in 1977. None of that for Moriarity: the ’70s were 1970-1979, just the way real people experienced them.

Moriarity also doesn’t chop music into genres or categories while writing about: there’s not a disco chapter, and a metal chapter, and a punk chapter, and a garage chapter, and a New Wave chapter. Nope, things didn’t happen that way in real time, so he doesn’t cover them that way.

So . . . in the 1972 chapter that I just read, the book covers: Frank Zappa, Deep Purple, Captain Beyond, Cactus, Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter, ZZ Top, West Bruce and Laing, Ginger Baker, Fela Ransome Kuti, Good God, Yes, Genesis, Procol Harum, Electric Light Orchestra, Jethro Tull, Captain Beefheart, Roy Buchanan, Santana, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix (posthumous releases), Free, Curtis Mayfield, Neil Young, Joe Walsh, The Band, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Tony Viconti, T. Rex, David Bowie, Mott the Hoople, Slade, the New York Dolls and the Rolling Stones.

And it does so in a very informative, readable, non-forced way in which you get interesting information about all those performers, presented in well-linked ways that don’t make it feel like just a jumble of name drops.

Impressive, so far. And recommended.

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