Here it is:
I just realized the other day how much I can’t stand guys that play the guitar recreationally. I realized it when I thought about two utter pieces of fecal matter I know who do.
Not so ironically, these guys work in the same place and feed off each other’s perceived coolness. Only one could make the argument for being even remotely cool and there’s nothing cool about his punk ass either. They share similar obnoxious personality traits, chief among them being a sort of removed arrogance and over-compensating cockiness that is at once annoying and undeserved.
They are certainly not the only ones who fit this description. I’m sure you’ve had this experience or known someone who has. Some arrogant, know-it-all “rebel” whose carefully cultivated persona reeks of effort and thinly disguised hostility because he’s being forced to live the life he despises…you know, normal and accountable. But the world doesn’t get him, man. He’s a guitar hero. Those who don’t play should hail his very existence. His humility is the result of his enlightenment, since his one-ness with the wood and metal makes him a more fully evolved human being, am avatar of the ax, a monk of musicianship, a motherfuckin' GUITAR PLAYER!!!
Before I go any further, I should tell you that both of my uncles are musicians, One of them is a jazz guitarist who plays professionally and was part of the birth of Motown Records in the Sixties. Actually, thy both were. My other uncle was a bass guitarist and they collaborated on songs together, some of which got airplay. This is not the portrait of the Guitar Cult I am attempting to draw. Two accomplished and proven musicians who have proved themselves don’t qualify for membership.
And, honestly, dabbling in the guitar as a form of relaxation or self-improvement is perfectly fine. I don’t have any issues with guys like that.
The guy I have a problem with is the guy who struts around the office while insisting he’s not of the office, a cocky half-grin, half-grimace affixed to his lips as he tolerates the rest of us until he finds out some of us have our own forms of creative expression. The guy I take issue with is the one that thinks because he and a bunch of other recreational musicians jam in his buddy’s basement that he is on the same level as my uncle who still plays professionally.
For some reason, this guy has always wanted to write a novel or book of his life. He will most likely never finish the book and if he does it’s so far outside his comfort zone to submit the thing, he’ll probably never even try.
In many ways, members of the Guitar Cult remind me of soccer moms. They are a group that sees itself as somehow separate from the rest of us by virtue of its purpose. Both groups tend to want to only congregate with like-minded people and discuss what would be industry subject matter if these were professions. They both tend to be incredibly self-absorbed, often thinking their needs are paramount and superior to the needs of others. Oh, and they’re both really annoying dorks! How’s that for an academic overview of the situation?
Before my mom went onto her heavenly reward (becoming a displaced spirit that appears to me in dreams) she told me how sick and tired of the guitar she was. At the time, I found that odd. She said the guitar was always supposed to be staple in the rock ‘n roll sound but it wasn’t supposed to dwarf all other instruments. It became a symbol of instant gratification and stardom, a giant, noise-making penis used to release the pent up sexual frustrations and angst of pimply teenage boys the world over. What bothered her most was its utter ubiquitousness.
At the time, the mid-Nineties to be exact, popular TV ads featured guitars strumming in almost everything. Hip-hop had yet to capture the white suburban imagination and so alternative rock was the pop culture movement du jour. I think much of America came to agree with her, as the general de-emphasizing of the guitar that followed her death would seem to indicate. That didn’t last, of course. There’s always a new generation of suburban youth eagerly looking to escape the doldrums of their existence by banging away at three chords in their garages in the hopes of becoming the next White Stripes or some other equally uninteresting band.
But those are kids and kids are supposed to be morons. The guys I mentioned earlier are not kids. One of them is in his fifties and the other two are in their late thirties. I know for a fact that the guy in his fifties has rock star aspirations. He doesn’t know this, but I found his bitch ass online and listened to some samples of his band’s music. I haven’t laughed that hard since the Tina Fey Sara Palin skits at the end of last year. Mr. Hipster McFreebird caterwauls some of the lamest shit I’ve ever heard. I could get all immature and tell you it’s as if Crap & Puke had a baby and he decided to play guitar in their basement in a sea of raw sewage. But I won’t because I’m an extremely mature individual who doesn’t say bad things about pieces of shit like this low-rent fuckstick.
Not all recreational guitar players are reprehensible. My friend Dutch comes to mind. But he seems to be the exception to the rule. Most of them are pricks. God forbid you should ever have to work alongside one of them because they don’t seem to have any sense of loyalty either. Since everything except jamming sessions is an illusion, everything external is to be ridiculed , ignored and disregarded.
I’m not saying they’re scourge or a plague that must be stopped like soccer moms and midget Nazis but we should keep our eyes on them. Besides, they’re only a small part of a bigger problem. In the near future I’ll be discussing the self-entitled hip-hop wanna-be~