Four-Year Old Rages Against The Machine

January 16, 2010

I have been mistaken for David Lee Roth, Axl Rose, Anthony Keidis, Andre Agassi (before he shaved his head), Andy Gibb (before he died), and some kid from some show on MTV. And that is the short list.

Yes, I am a guy with long hair and, apparently, we all look alike to most people.

A lot of people assume that we are criminals, stupid, hobos, or hippies which isn’t always the case. And, although my hair is long, it’s clean, so clean that, like Elaine Benes once boasted, you could eat off my hair.

(but that would just be strange)

Yes, it can be fun to be mistaken for a musician, but, just as often, people assume that I can’t count to ten or that I live on a commune.

(I’m not, I can and I don’t, haven’t, and likely wouldn’t)

So, when I read the tale of four-year old Taylor Pugh, I understood. This tyke got booted from kindergarten because he has long hair.

(he hardly looks like a menace – more like a child baffled by the angst of the grow-up humans around him)

But, he apparently likes his hair long and he heroically gave the finger to The Man, striking a blow for all of us guys with long hair. We should lobby to have him put on a postage stamp.

Way to go, little man. You bring great honor to the tribe and it’s always fun to rock the topknot.

You might come under greater scrutiny in airports, but sometimes strangers in foreign countries will buy you drinks or offer to steal a bicycle for you merely because they believe you might be some famous long-haired musician or tennis pro.

(the universe is funny sometimes)

But it is possible for a guy with long hair to accomplish whatever you want.

You could be a rock star.

Or a tennis player.

Or a hobo.

Or even an astronaut.

(OK, maybe not an astronaut because I think you have to have a military background to have a shot at the space program, but, in another galaxy, far, far away, a guy with long hair could be a Jedi Knight, so, you know, that’s pretty cool)

I would have been four in January, 1972, I had little interest to music beyond a song here and there. So, there are a lot of songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 for this week from that year which I might not remember hearing then, but a lot of them I know now.

Here are some of them…

Three Dog Night – An Old Fashioned Love Song
from Celebrate: The Three Dog Night Story, 1965-1975

Strangely, my boss – who had a few moments of glory as a musician – mentioned Three Dog Night the other day, telling me of a time he had worked lights at one of their shows.

I often forget how many songs I do remember from Three Dog Night’s string of hits in the early ’70s. I’ve never owned a single album by the band, merely stray tracks, but the choruses of half a dozen songs come easily to mind.

An Old Fashioned Love Song seemed to get played a lot on the station that was played at the pool when I was a kid.

Elton John – Levon
from Greatest Hits, Vol. 2

One of the few times I remember taking note of a song as a kid was hearing Elton John’s Benny And The Jets blaring from a jukebox in a Pizza Inn in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I don’t remember hearing Levon from a couple years earlier.

I do love Levon, though. The lyric has always intrigued me and the song is more striking to me the older I grow.

T. Rex – Bang a Gong (Get It On)
from The Legend Of T. Rex

Has there ever been talk of a bio-pic on Marc Bolan?

(did I wonder that when I yammered about T. Rex last autumn?)

The Carpenters – Hurting Each Other
from Gold: 35th Anniversary Edition

I do remember hearing The Carpenters as a kid and they seemed to be on television a lot, too. I liked them as a kid. I did take note of their numerous hits and Karen was a cutie.

Then, once I began to fall in love with music and learn more about pop culture, I learned what a horrible blight The Carpenters were on the collective psyche of pop music. They were loathed more than the Bee Gees and I promptly forgot about the duo.

I was fifteen when Karen died and, over the next fifteen years, there was a serious re-evaluation of The Carpenters and their music culminating in a host of alternative acts from the early ’90s paying tribute. Suddenly The Carpenters were cool and the flawless perfection of their singles was appreciated.

It’s been good to have them back.