Number One Rooftop Party
Number One Party.
Let's hear it for Nashville; where the pickers do the picking and the singers do the singing and the writers do the writing. Friends in low places? I got em in high places. Literally, I'm on the roof of the BMI building overlooking the same Nashville skyline Bob Dylan studied.
Tell me `bout the good old days. Days like yesterday when the Judds sounded like fucking Creedence weren't too bad, were they? John Anderson on the front porch just "a swinging".
I'll take it.
We're at the BMI Number One Party for friends Hilary and Troy. They're the writers on Carries number one smash "Wasted". Hilary is trailer trash royalism. All Forever 21 and high heeled sandles. Writes and sings like falling off a log. Troy started off as coffee boy. Worked his way up to tape room copy boy to staff writer and beyond.
Met a lot of folks in a blur. Angelo pointed out biker dude in a cowboy hat. As a bad ass/the man who wrote: I've Got Friends in Low Places". A Ford Country Tough looking mother fucker. I heard the song in the rental car the next day and I was like, wow this IS tough.
It's a big Tennessee sized cheese salad! It's not important. It's very important! It's romantic. It's a turn off. Oh sure, you'd rather rub Velveeta all over your body... The little steak crackers were to die for so I helped myself. Whatever your pleasure, the honeysuckles are blooming, baby. Don't you love this time of year? Come on!
Trashville: Don't forget, it's Elvis and Blonde On BLonde too. Really, what's not to like?
I've always loved Country Music. Even before I watched in awe as Alejandro and the Kinman Brothers' Rank and File had the punks square dancing to the Wabash Cannonball opening for DOA at the On Broadway.
Years ago I came to Nashville to dip my bucket into the world of Country Songwriting. I joked with my then manager: maybe next Hollywood, I'll write a screenplay. It all seemed so obvious. Dan Penn was one of three people at my showcase at the Bluebird. Me, Dan, the soundman and the doorman ONLY. Why even plug in and sing in the mic? We wrote Got A Feeling the next day, Kelly Willis cut it a couple months later and I was hooked. I dug it.
Angelo was one of the diamond geezers who befriended me. His lineage equally wack. From Brooklyn. One time Arthur Baker side kick. Played Rhythm guitar on countless Arthur Baker sessions. He once changed Bob Dylan's guit string (while the guitar remained around Bob's neck) during the Empire Burlesque sessions in NYC. He came out and coach surfed and thumbed around with his Gigson LG. Right out of the box he caught a break with "Believe Me Baby I Lied" co writ with Kim Richey. Numero Uno for Trish Yearwood, it was.
No one is buying records. Yeah, I heard ya twice the first time. The apocalypse is in a tailspin. Only one artist is out there "defying gravity". Carrie Underwood. Straight outta Nowheres-ville Oklahoma, singing like a ring in a silver bell, it's Carrie "fucking" Underwood. Okay, okay, okay... you want real, right? Carrie never set foot on Melrose ave. She's real even when she's faking it. Oklahoma. Screen doors. Fly swatters. She's College sports real. Bug spray real.
Nick Tosches said it: Itâ€™s hard to decide who are the most ridiculous, the sensitive assholes or the make-believe hard guys. Hereâ€™s Willie Nelson, starry-eyed in Judy Garland pigtails at the age of fifty-seven... We all know Willie's a godhead and Waylon's forgotten more about Rock and Roll than you'll ever know. Ask Buddy Holly.
But Carrie Underwood? Damn, she stole me heart!
What was I doing there? Well, there was the food and I am a BMI writer. Pseudo tex mex cuisine (all you can eat). Only in Texas do they refer to Mexican food as "cuisine". What would the French think? It was easy to park. The BMI parking lot looks like the kind of place I'd circle looking to syphon gas when I was Carrie's age.
But damn, she's fine. And nice too.
Do you think Carrie needs to be reminded to call her mother on mother's day?
I doubt Jack White does either. I see him every morning at my coffee place. Jack knows. They tell me he bought a pad right on Franklin. Same place Ol' G Jones and Hank Sr. bought their colonial mansions whey they hit it.
The golden age. Someday, like the dolls said, we'll even look back on this fondly. A long ways from yodeling blues singers. let's just say it's become increasingly less wreckless. It is what it is. And the sun is out bright.
Don't know what it all means. Is Country really as pitiful as they'll have ya believe? I was down in the front at the Mabuhay when Jello pulled down his pants and displayed his naked penis. Now THAT was pitiful. I mean Iggy had already put out cigs in his own eyes and "Dead Jim"? Well, there was that deal in Fla. So, it's not like it was ground breaking. Give me the boom in the chicka boom any day. They didn't call it No Depression back then. You just somehow knew that Johnny Cash was always gonna be a bad ass. John Doe, Mark E. Smith, and the Thompson Twins aside.
Look, its me with my old friend Kim Carnes.