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Ugh That Jazz

Having spent my high school years collecting albums, I considered myself fairly well versed in just about every genre of music that mattered. In the fall of 1975 I entered college. Farmingdale was my choice. It was close to home, had turkeys and cows as part of their agricultural program. More importantly it had a bar on campus called The Rams Den that opened at 9:30 in the morning.

Spending mornings at the Rams Den gave a whole new meaning to the term “higher learning”. College kids thought they were cool and listened to sophisticated music. I ended up in a circle of friends that listened to modern jazz. Mad Jim didn’t go to college but I would always pass on my new musical discoveries to my buddy. There were no screaming guitars, but there certainly was enough technique to pique his interest, and mine.

For about 7 months, I veered away from rock music entirely and got sucked into this vortex of modern jazz. Bands like Return To Forever, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jean Luc Ponty, Narrada Michael Walden. I was a sophisticated snobby music listener all of a sudden. My glam, Beatles, and hard rock records collected dust during this period.

As the 70’s passed their midpoint, the music got tired. The bands that mattered a few years ago were falling apart, running out of steam or just losing their edge. Rock was suffering. I bailed.

The problem with listening to modern jazz is you are always looking for something more technically advanced. It was layers of music on top of layers of guitar solos on top of long drum solos, on a heap of crap. Quite frankly, it’s some of the most boring music ever invented.

Something started to happen. I was getting bored with music.

Suddenly, I found myself with a girlfriend. Girls have a way of fucking up your musical tastes (sorry ladies). Next thing you know I am listening to James Taylor,  Jackson Browne and Joni Mitchell (dear god) and (wait for it)…Todd Rundgren. I was getting soft (music wise..ahem)

The other problem is when you break up with your partner of the moment, those artists and songs are ruined forever. In my case, that was a good thing.

So, lost and lonely, sick of music, and stuck at The Rams Den crying in my beer. I returned to Record Stop Thursdays for some comfort and hope for the future of music.

and then….it happened…

until tomorrow…

Return To Forever


About Stevie GB

60 year old stand up comedian from Long Island. My approach to comedy is telling the truth about being married, middle aged and living in the suburbs. I enjoy making people laugh without making them feel uncomfortable. My act is clean and clever. Featured in Newsday and on News12. Winner of the Huntington Arts Council Laff-off, 2006. 3rd place winner of LI Press Best of LI 2011, A regular on The Long Island Comedy Festival for 9 consecutive years. Opened for Dennis Miller, Louie Anderson, Kevin Pollak, Bobby Collins, Bob Nelson, Uncle Floyd, Kevin Meaney, and many more.

3 responses to “Ugh That Jazz

  1. Gerard ⋅

    Technically it probably is great, but it sounds empty, like elevator music, or when you have to hold your phonecall. I grew up with a dad who loved Jazz old style like Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Rita Reys and The Dutch Swing College Band. Maybe not that sophisticated, but there sure was heart and soul in the music.

  2. rocknrollnick ⋅

    To me music with extreme complexity and technical skills dont mean a damn if it doesn’t have attitude and personality. A bunch of guys who can play a 20 minute guitar solo is way lower in my book than the ferocious three chord attitude and personality of a band I can feel coming next; THE RAMONES

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