Rock
Saturday, February 14, 2004
Listen

When I was a kid, I dreaded Valentine's Day because I was such a loser. I had Nerd written all over me. Girls gave me Valentines because the teacher made them but they were used Valentines, I could see where the other names had been erased. I was so desperate to have a Valentine, to sit next to a girl and put my arm around her, it was all I wanted, and when Elvis sang ----

I would beg and steal
Just to feel
Your heart beating close to mine -------

I knew what he meant. I would have begged and stolen too. I grew up back when people preached against rock and roll and all the newspapers wrote editorials against Elvis and your mom was worried about you------

SS (MOM): I hope you're not listening to that rock and roll. That's not the Lord's music, you know.

Nowadays there is Christian rock, there is Christian heavy metal. What is that? Rock and roll is not about redemption by faith, it's about sins of the flesh. In my day, we knew that.

You shake my nerves and you rattle my brain
Too much love drives a man insane
You broke my will but what a thrill
Goodness gracious great balls of fire

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm hold me baby
Oooooooooooooooooo feels good
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm kiss me baby

Rock and roll was music for the night. A dark road and two people sit in the backseat of a car and one of them is doing most of the talking. (PIANO CHORDS UNDER)

FN: I think if you trusted me, you'd take your dress off. -----I'm not trying to pressure you. I'm not. Believe me, I'm not. -----It's just that I love you so much. And I want you to know how much. How else would you know? I'm not good with words. This is the only way I can truly communicate what I feel. Let me just unbutton two buttons. And that's all. Just two.

GK: OOOOOOOOOOOOO

FN: Okay, but what if I died in a car crash tomorrow? And you'd come to my funeral and you'd think, "This deserving young man never experienced the greatest happiness that life can give, and it's my fault."

GK: OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

FN To me, the most important thing between two people is trust. That's what love is. It's going that extra mile, taking that extra step, even though it might seem like a bad idea, but you do it because you're united by the mighty force of trust that unites humankind.

GK: OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

FN (SEDUCTIVE): I'm just putting my hand there. What's wrong? It's just my hand. What? No. No, It's just my thumb. Just the first digit of my thumb. Trust me.

GK: And he put his thumb there and the music going around in his head was not "Abide with me, fast falls the eventide," it was----

My hands are shaky and my knees are weak I can't seem to stand on my own two feet Who do you thank when you have such luck I'm in love * I'm all shook up mm mm mm oh yeah yeah

The person I knew who hated rock and roll the most was my uncle Arnie, who had left the faith and become an Episcopalian, and taken up with mixed drinks and jazz music, and he loved the pianist, Art Tatum.

TR: Rock and roll is nothing but noise! You're a smart kid, I'm surprised you can's hear that. Listen to this guy. This guy knows how to play the piano. Listen.

ART TATUM

And he was right. Art Tatum could play the piano. For Uncle Arnie, it was a question of simple justice. Art Tatum was a better musician, so he deserved to get more attention.

TR: He can play circles around that, what's his name, the guy who married the 14-year-old ---- Jerry Lee Lewis! There's no comparison! Listen to this and tell me who's better.

ART TATUM

Uncle Arnie had a big record collection, and anytime you walked in his house, he'd grab you and take you into the den and put something on the turntable----

TR: Listen to this!

That was his big phrase.

TR: Just listen to this. This is Django Reinhardt and Stephan Grappelli ----- ever hear of them? Just listen.

DJANGO/GRAPPELLI

He really believed that if you'd just do as he said and listen, you'd be rescued from rock and roll and find a better way of life, but when you're 17 it's hard to listen when you've got your uncle at your elbow telling you to listen.

DJANGO/GRAPPELLI CONTINUES

TR: Listen to this right here---- this part coming up now ---- right here----- this part---- (PAUSE) you hear that? You hear it? --------- Okay, here' s more. Listen----- right here----

He played Dixieland for me, he played progressive jazz ---- he was a big fan of the Skip Jackson Quintet which put out records with abstract paintings on the cover and titles like Hip-ology and Cosmic Projections.

PROGRESSIVE QUINTET

TR: What do you think? Huh? Pretty far-out, huh? Like it?

I wasn't sure. When you're 17, you're weird enough all by yourself without adding even more weirdness to your life. I didn't need help being weird, I could manage that on my own. I just wanted to feel normal. I needed help with

. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm hold me baby
Oooooooooooooooooo feels good
Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm kiss me baby

I want to love you like a lover should
So fine so fine
I want to tell the world that you're mine mine mine mine

I wanted that girl to put my arm around.

SS: Hi.

GK: Hello.

SS: What are you doing?

GK: Not much.

SS: You going to the party at Marcie's

GK: What party?

SS: Oh. You didn't get invited? It's her big Valentine's Day party.

GK: Oh.

SS: I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said anything. I thought everybody was invited.

GK: Oh, that's okay. I couldn't have gone anyway. I promised my uncle I'd come over and listen to jazz. (MUSIC)

Part of Uncle Arnie's problem with rock and roll was that he had three beautiful daughters. Fathers of daughters understood rock and roll too well. He didn't want his daughters to go off with rock and roll guys.

FN: Sorry, I'm having trouble unfastening this. I'm all shook up. Is it a snap or a clasp? My insides are shaking like a leaf on a tree.

GK: He was afraid of that. But it all passed so quickly. We came to the end of our rock and roll years when our own children reached puberty and we realized our responsibility to wear a suit and tie and be stuffy and cautious and sort of clueless, and now I have a couple of little grandsons and I'm waiting for the day when I can sit them down and say, Listen to this. This is good. You're going to like this.

LOVE ME


Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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