Sunday, July 31, 2005

for those about to shop

“Back to school” commercials still have the same ability to slowly gnaw a hole in my stomach as they did when I was a student or a teacher. Back then it was easy to diagnose, as the barrage clearly meant the end of summer and freedom. That was simple enough. Now it is a bit more complicated and may have more to do with marking the distance from childhood. Then again, maybe it is just a well-engrained Pavlovian reaction that can never be shaken.

At any rate, the onslaught is in full effect and even prompted me to get out and do a bit of shopping this weekend. One must be prepared for the likelihood of job interviews or court appearances.

After a day of shopping I am left with one tormenting question: When the hell did AC/DC become a clichéd clothing logo?

It seems like everywhere I went they were selling AC/DC memorabilia, and I found it hard to believe that they were referring to the very same AC/DC of my youth. I know that kids aren’t listening to my AC/DC these days, because I have been around them and I know full well that they are listening to Green Day, Blink 182, and other assorted crap. Were these teenagers of today not so full of PCP and likely to be packing heat, I would randomly kick their asses.

Back in my day we actually listened to bands and then bought their T-shirts. We listened to bands like AC/DC and Sabbath because they brought the rock and because we were pretty sure that they were into some evil shit. It was like eating from the forbidden tree. Our parents might hear from other parents that these bands worshipped Satan and bring it up in an unconvincingly casual manner on the way to school. We would laugh it off, even though we were pretty sure that it was true. That was part of the alure. Zeppelin, like Robert Johnson before them, had “sold their souls to the devil”. AC/DC stood for “antichrist devil child”, or something to that effect. Neil Diamond ate babies.
The music scared us all a bit, and then it motivated us to purchase the secondary merchandise. That is the natural order of things.

Now there are AC/DC t-shirts, hats, flip-flops, and other assorted whatnot for a generation of kids who may very well have never heard them. Bon Scott choked to death on his own vomit in the back seat of a car, and now some little cheerleader is wearing his band’s t-shirt while listening to Blink 182 on her iPod.

Is nothing sacred? Is nothing free from commercialization? Is there any way to erase the image of the “for those about to FA/RT, we salute you” shirt they were selling along side it?

Sweet coasting Jesus on a Segway, people.

Look, if I wear a Zeppelin shirt it is because they kick much ass, and I would like to offer my services as a billboard. If I wear an AC/DC t-shirt it is because they still make me feel like I could put my head through a brick wall. If I wear an Al Green shirt it is because I get the chills every time I hear Al Green.
And if I wear my Grateful Dead shirt it must be laundry day.


Anonymous deb said...

I think those kids must be listening to too much 105.9 FM ;~)

And where the heck do you find an Al Green t-shirt. I want one!

5:21 AM  
Blogger melusina said...

All my concert purchased t-shirts of yore are unwearable now. Well, I think I have a semi-new Jethro Tull shirt somewhere. But my Abba shirt is toast. Yet I still won't throw it away...

7:32 AM  
Blogger lotus said...

I loved AC/DC when I was a teen, & still like the Bon Scott era stuff. Brian Johnson didn't suck, it just looks like he's trying to expell a large cheese turn when he sings (who knows, maybe he is).

My older brother had dreams of writing for Hit Parader when he grew up. I remember a paper he wrote for journalism class that was a tribute to Angus Young. It was really good. Hit Parader didn't call back...

I had the big Highway to Hell poster on my wall, alongside the billboard sized Judas Priest one. I remember striking terror in the heart of my aunt when she first caught me listening to If You Want Blood.

Sorry to be so wordy. You just took me back to the days of big hair, tight Levi's, & good rock n roll.

Thank you , good night, I love you all....

8:26 AM  
Blogger lotus said...

large cheese TURD that is...sorry

8:26 AM  
Blogger Wally Bangs said...

Let There Be Rock transmogrified into Let Them Go Shop!! Talk about you dirty deed done cheap. At least the shirts come in XXXL if you've a whole lotta rosie that wants to wear one.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

is the only place I've found a good old-school Al Green t-shirt, Deb. I havn't actually pulled the trigger on it yet, as I am a cheap bastard, but plan to do so in the near future.

Ha, Wally! How could I have forgotten to work in "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" somewhere? It is indeed regrettable

9:13 AM  
Blogger Stella said...

And don't forget the Ramones t-shirts that are scattered throughout the trendiest of apparel. It needs to stop.

And this is coming from a music girl who wears lots of band t-shirts. Difference is, when I'm wearing the shirt, not trying to be ironic. I just happen to like the tunes.

For instance, I found a cool Blondie t-shirt out in LA. I absolutely love Blondie, so I bought it. Justified. But when I see Britney Spears wearing a CBGB shirt when she's up there singing bubblegum pop, it reminds me how wrong this generation is.

Okay, done.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Peggasus said...

I saw a Target back-to-school ad on TV yesterday that was set to the tune of Sir Mix-a-Lot's classic (?) 'Baby Got Back.'

It featured little girls romping around in cute skirts, amongst other images.

It was very, very wrong, on many, many levels.

3:15 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

I started to bleed from the eyes when I saw my boss' 14 year old son in a CBGB shirt.

I started to bleed from the heart when he told me that OMFUG stood for "I dunno but I think it's a swear."

Brat was wearin' the shirt because he thought he was slidin' in some attitude. Jeez.

And step off the Dead. I've still got plenty SYF and Rosie Annie shirts around here somewhere...

8:17 PM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

I was waiting for someone to jump me for the Dead comment.

I actually like the Dead sometimes, but I really have to be in the mood.

9:54 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

"In the mood"...
Yeah. That's it.

"This mood not sanctioned by the DEA."

10:25 PM  
Blogger Stella said...

Kinda like being in the mood for Widespread Panic. Kind of.

9:28 AM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

Ha! I wasn't really thinking about that connotation when I said "in the mood", but I imagine that most of the success of those bands has been based on things not sanctioned by the DEA. Widespread falls into that same camp.

On a related note: I could listen to the Allman Brothers Band anytime.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous tom said...

"Neil Diamond ate babies."


On another note, I must confess that I find popular music increasingly vapid and worthless. As I careen toward the big 3-0, I'm finding myself more irritated with MTV.

Music isn't about rebellion anymore. It's about shopping. I think the biggest blight on modern society is American Idol.

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