The Truth About Beets


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 a friend of mine, “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 1920 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.

  • AC/DC
  • Aerosmith
  • Asia
  • Beck
  • Ben Folds Five
  • Black Sabbath
  • Bon Jovi
  • Bonnie Raitt
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Captain Beefheart
  • David Byrne
  • Dave Matthews Band
  • The Decembrists
  • Deep Purple
  • Def Leppard
  • Elton John
  • Eric Clapton (solo)
  • Eurythmics
  • Fleetwood Mac (the Nicks-Buckingham years)
  • Foreigner
  • Heart
  • Journey
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Morrisey
  • Mötley Crüe
  • Pearl Jam
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • R. E. M.
  • REO Speedwagon
  • Simple Minds
  • Soundgarden
  • Styx
  • Survivor
  • Talking Heads
  • Ted Nugent, Kid Rock, etc.
  • The Band
  • The Eagles
  • The Smiths
  • The White Stripes
  • Tom Waits
  • Van Halen
  • U2
  • Uriah Heep
  • Yo La Tengo

I now have a standard response whenever a fan (short for fanatic) starts working up a head of steam in preparation for a full-scale attack.

“Can I interest you in some beets?”

12 responses

  1. Like the new look! 🙂 I see Led Zeppelin on this list…steam is building. No thanks on the beets. 😉

  2. My first time I ate beets, I forced myself to eat ’em, because I had read they’re nutritious. ARC, you are completely correct, they did taste like dirt – but I liked them all the same. As for your list – you might like some early Fleetwood Mac, 1967-1970, when their founder Peter Green was with them, they sounded quite different to the later Buckingham/Nicks line-up, some tremendous songs and playing. I’m going to read again your “Tommy” review, so as to remember why that one pissed off some (one?) reader(s). So great to have you back in (writing) action!

    1. Good point—I loved Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac. I will make a note! I should do a review!

      The “Tommy” review won’t be in my book so this is the only place you’re going to read it. It’s just so awful I could stand to do a track-by-track analysis.

      1. Bob Welch had a good run too. The song Hypnotized is one of my all-time favorites.

  3. Michael Chaney | Reply

    ARC, welcome back. I’m glad you’ve resurfaced. None of the email addresses that used to work for you are good any longer, and I’ve wanted to get you a bunch of new songs from your former favorite artists, including The New Trocaderos, The Connection, and The Dahlmanns. Please email me at your convenience and let’s TCB.

  4. I can live with your list providing you remove Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath.

    1. That definitely won’t happen with Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath, as I loathe the high-pitched whine of both lead singers. Deep Purple has just never really grabbed me.

  5. Courageous ‘hate’ list or ‘not care for list.’ I agree w/some. Anyone to question Led Zep,FMac has got my attention.
    But on the subject of beets there was this great bar band The Beat Farmers, which seemed much funnier a long time ago. Still elicits a chuckle tho:

    1. Oh, god, they’re a hoot! Hubba hubba! Kazoos! Gargles! I love The Beat Farmers!

  6. Great! Well can ‘o beats, er, beets for you then!

  7. […] you find yourself pissed off at what you consider to be my complete idiocy, please read my essay, “The Truth About Beets” before you […]

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