I love beets. Fucking love them. Pickled beets, beet salad, borscht. You say you got beets, I’m there.
The truth is that most people hate beets and think they taste like radioactive dirt. I am well aware of that and I have no ill-will towards the beet-hating people who surround me. I like to think of myself as a mature adult, above all these petty conflicts of taste. I also want my readers to know that I have never denied sexual access to anyone, male or female, solely because of their beet preferences. You can interview all of my lovers and you will find no one who will describe a dramatic scene where I cry out in anguish, “If you loved me, you’d at least try them!”
To quote my friend Robert Morrow, “people are different, not better or worse.” I love beets. Okay. You hate beets. Okay. Surely we can look past our beet preferences and accept each other for who we are. I’m happy to report that my tastes in relation to beets have never been a serious bone of contention in relationships with other humanoids.
I wish I could say the same about human tastes in music.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been attacked, screamed at and threatened with abandonment because I don’t happen to share someone else’s tastes in music. People think I’m crazy that I don’t believe Bruce Springsteen walks on water and Nirvana fans think I’m a total sellout because I think Nevermind is a better album than In Utero. I vividly remember being subjected to a full-hour rant because I told this old fart at work that I didn’t think The Doobie Brothers were very good. “You don’t know what you’re talking about!” he screamed at me. He pulled up “China Grove” on his Mac and forced me to sit, listen and appreciate.
“Meh,” I replied when the song ended. He turned beet red.
This is why I hate calling this song “the greatest” and that band “the best.” I have my tastes, you have yours, and I make no claim to superior discernment when it comes to music, literature, film or cuisine. That said, I do write a blog about music and think I owe my reading public full disclosure regarding my preferences. Because my sphere of operation is popular music from 1926 to the present, you may wonder why your favorite artist never earns a spot in my rotation. It’s either because I haven’t gotten around to it or I simply don’t care for their music. I may respect them as musicians, but they’re not my cup of tea.
So here is a list of some of the artists who have received rave reviews throughout their careers, have fans who love everything they do, but leave me unmoved. No offense meant; I’d just rather listen to someone else.
- Ben Folds Five
- Black Sabbath
- Bonnie Raitt
- Bruce Springsteen
- Captain Beefheart
- David Byrne
- Dave Matthews Band
- The Decembrists
- Deep Purple
- Elton John
- Eric Clapton (solo)
- Fleetwood Mac (the Nicks-Buckingham years)
- Led Zeppelin
- Pearl Jam
- R. E. M.
- Talking Heads
- Ted Nugent, Kid Rock, etc.
- The Band
- The Eagles
- The Smiths
- The White Stripes
- Tom Waits
- Yo La Tengo
I now have a standard response whenever a fan (short for fanatic) starts working up a head of steam to launch into a full-scale attack.
“Can I interest you in some beets?”