I touched my first breast to the dulcet tones of “Spirit of Radio” by Rush. We were making out on her bed with a poster of David Bowie (circa “Let’s Dance”) gazing down on us in boredom from the ceiling of the bedroom in her parent’s house in the suburbs of Tucson (which is like saying it was the suburbs of the suburbs. Can a city be almost entirely suburbs and still call itself a city?). It was in one of those planned communities where all the houses look like they were less constructed than extruded from a tube onto the scraped earth to quickly gelatinize and then harden in the blazing desert sun. She let me lick and suck at her nipples until she grew tired of it, sighed, said “That’s enough,” sat up and pulled down her shirt.
A few years later, I lost my virginity to the Moody Blues Greatest Hits Volume 1. Specifically, if I remember, side 2, which included “Nights in White Satin”. The concrete block walls of my dorm room were cold and the tile floor chilly and my bed springs creaked in protest as she lowered herself onto me. I did not love her, and was barely attracted to her. We ended up going out for a year or so after that, mostly out of my own sense of guilt. (As an interesting side note, I also used that album to listen to while I was having my wisdom teeth pulled. I was given a local anesthetic and a muscle relaxant. I listened to the Moody Blues and fell asleep before they were done.)
My friend Roger read a poem last night during the Slam at 13 which spoke of calypso music as being the sort of template for love making among his people as well as the substrate of a repressed culture preserving its integrity. I saw quite clearly in this brief instant the absolute bankruptcy of white suburban culture, and I was sad. He spoke of calypso, writhing and passionate, double twitch hips and the language of resistance.
Compare and contrast, if you will, to Rush and the Moody Blues. Intellectual pretensions, half-assed ripping off of older Western music traditions, but without any real connection to, skill for, or understanding of those traditions. Not to mention being practically impossible to dance to. This was the music of my sexual awakening…
Is it any wonder I started taking drugs?