Just before embarking on my journey into Columbus-proper from my vantage point beside the cornfield in Kirkersville just east of the city, I was notified by my messenger of a new contact. It was elspazz0, a resident of the fair city. We chatted briefly about the possibilities of coffee or booze and decided to meet later in the evening. After dropping my loaded trailer and picking up an empty one, I proceeded to our drop yard on Frank Road, just south of town. I dropped the empty there so as not to be encumbered by it's length and gave her a phone call.
Fifteen minutes later I was walking into Cup O' Joe, as her directions were more than sufficient, plus, you know, I kinda do that for a living, follow driving directions. Anyway, a large espresso with a shot of raspberry and we retired to the patio where I could smoke. For the next hour or so we enjoyed the cool later summer night talking about the joy of divorce, gainful employment, writing, reading, music, video games, movies, and travel. After a week and a half on the road, the respite was refreshing and much needed. Thanks, elspazz0, I hope to do it again sometime.
After parting ways, I decided to walk down to the AMC megaplex next door and see what was playing. The night was already tenfold more exciting than I had anticipated, I wasn't quite ready to be all couped up in the truck again just yet. I wasn't really terribly interested in any of the choices. Any one of them I probably could've waited for video, but decided on Pirates of the Caribbean. I figured that the sheer scope of the set, costumes, and action would make this a somewhat more enjoyable experience on the big screen than could be appreciated on a smaller one. Buttered popcorn and soda in hand I sat in the theatre with about 6 other people waiting for the film to start. This is one advantage to seeing a film weeks after its release.
For me, the best part of most movies are the trailers. Typically, most trailers are about as good as the whole movie. Someone needs to make a feature length film that is edited like a trailer: complete with the deep, baritone voice-over and the cut-up sequences of touching moments, funny lines, and explosions. Brother Bear looks to be good, but then again, how often are Disney animated films "bad". Second Hand Lions has Michael Caine and Robert Duvall with the "I see dead people" kid. He's a teenager now with a cracking voice and he's starting to look really gawky. I hope he did well on his SAT's. But Robert Duvall is the man. Period.
So anyway, the movie finally starts and... well what can you say. Johnny Depp is a Kentucky homeboy who has made good. Of course this is a cash cow for him and the franchise that is sure to follow. And if you have any doubts that a sequel is intended other than the rather conspicuous subtitle, those of you who always walk out when the credits roll rather than sit through them missed out on the most obvious indicator: the final scene after the credits. Sorry if you missed it. If I could look that good in that much eyeliner... Jesus it looked like he rolled around in mascara, actually, come to think of it, it kinda looked like Jesus rolled around in a buncha marcara.. But, if you are one of the few people who haven't seen this movie, you're not missing a whole lot. The plot yields few surprises, the dialogue is often tedious, and the characters are predictable and cliche. Then again, that's a Jerry Bruckheimer film for you. But that's not really the point of this film. It's simply meant to be gorgeous, sexy and fun, which it is.
I got back to the drop yard around 1am and wrote part of this journal entry then hit the sack. And slet until noon! I love sleeping-in. Well, not so much the sleeping-in, in fact, I hate sleeping for long periods of time, but I like being able to go to sleep and not have to set an alarm clock. To go to sleep and awake from it naturally. I drove toward Richmond, Indiana where I was to load next. On the way, I stopped and got a much needed shower and shave at the truckstops on the Ohio/Indiana border right outside Richmond. My load wasn't due to be ready until 4pm, but I went on in and checked. Of course it wasn't, so I dropped the trailer and headed back into town.
There's a regional pizza chain in Indiana called Pizza King. It is the parent company of a small chian in the central Kentucky area called Sir Pizza, which, I'm quite fond of, so I decided this would be dinner. I bought a copy of Rolling Stone at the grocery at read it cover to cover while eating my 'za. It's the one with their "100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time" list. I like reading or watching VH-1's zillion lists on all things music. I don't believe music, or art general, should be treated too objectively, but it's fun to sift through lists like these, make predictrions, and take note of glaring omissions, etc. This was no different. To spare you all the gory details, I'll put the rest of this music crap behind a cut.
The top ten
All in all they did a fair job. Number one is obvious and should be in anyone's book. When it comes to the guitar, there has yet to be any comparison to Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix was one of those amazing flukes of nature that may never be surpassed. That said, one would assume Eric Clapton would be the obvious number two. Somehow they put Duane Allman above him. Morons. Duane Almman a top ten for sure, but number two over B.B., Slowhand, Robert Johnson and Chuck Berry? I don't think so. Those four, along with Hendrix should've been the top 5, hands down. With respect to the total package of passion, technique, tone, innovation, and impact/influence, Duane Allman isn't even in the same galazy as those gentlemen. 'Nuff said. The rest of the top ten I more or less agreed with, (Stevie Ray Vaughn, Ry Cooder, Jimmy Page, and Keith Richards) with the possible exception of Stevie Ray. Stevie Ray a top twenty no problem, but number 7? That's a bit inflated.
The rest of the top twenty
Kirk Hammet and Kurt Cobain at 11 and 12 respectively was a bone-toss to GenX. Kirk, maybe a top twenty but Kurt is more questionable. The impact of his band was certainly amazing, but I think it remains to be seen if his guitar prowess will have the sort of impact as Kirk's has. I'm apt to think not. Jerry Garcia at 13 surprised me as did Johnny Ramone at 16 - both were way over rated. Jeff Beck and Carlos Santana at 14 and 15 though were pretty accurate. Jack White was 17. Jack White? Please, I love the White Stripes as much as anyone, but the flavor of the year shouldn't influence lists like these. The jury is WAY out on Jack White. 18 was John Frusciante which was well warranted. It's nice to see him get the respect he deserves, he is truly an amazing guitarist. The top twenty was closed out by Richard Thompson (probably a little overrated) and James Burton, a session guitarist who I'm not familiar with. So, maybe I'm not qualified. So what?
I think what bothered me about some people in the top twenty were the people missing who I thought deserved to be in it. Eddie Van Halen (who ranked 70?!?!), Steve Cropper (36) and T-Bone Walker (47).
The rest of the list
All in all, not bad. There were some people who made the list that surprised me because of how underappreciated they have traditionally been. (D. Boon of the Minutemen and Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine) I was surprised by some people who made the list that didn't deserve to make it (Joan Jett, who probably made it on account that that would've left Joni Mitchell as the only guitarist with boobs and Greg Ginn of Black Flag). I was pleasantly surprised to see Buddy Guy rolling in at 30 but disappointed that Link Wary was a mere 67th. More importantly there were notable omissions. Billy Gibbons should've been a shoe-in for the list but was no where to be found. Personally, I think Leo Kottke and Bill Frissell should've been in there on the strength of thier techincal brilliance alone. I was surprised Leadbelly or John Lee Hooker didn't make it either. Helios Creed would've been a long-shot but probably deserves the recognition.
Of course there were other people I would've liked to have seen make the list that I knew wouldn't: Mudhoney's Steve Turner would've been nice. Ditto Steve Albini. As far as making the ladies feel more appreciated, Babes in Toyland's Kat Bjelland would've been wholly warranted and for that matter, Nashville Pussy's Ruyter Suys. Perhaps the Corine Tucker/Carrie Brownstein axis of Sleater-Kinney. Any of these would've been appropriate in the latter 20 or so, just for the undue appreciation and recognition of the ladies picking up guitars out there.