Pop songs Ayn would have loved


Recommended Posts

ND,

Art Pepper wasn't black, but he was a herion addict for most of his adult life. In this video, part one of my series "Stories of Jazz," I include a text that explains how heroin addiction affected Pepper's playing, and this tune in particular. The text is taken from Pepper's autobiography.

Ghs

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="

name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 70
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I include a text that explains how heroin addiction affected Pepper's playing, and this tune in particular. The text is taken from Pepper's autobiography.

The story’s hard to believe, after six months his embouchure had to have gone to hell, there should be air in the sound, but he sounds great. I know a professional sax player who travels a lot, and he always carries his mouthpiece everwhere, to keep in shape. So, I’m sceptical of Pepper’s story, but I liked the recording, he doesn’t sound…oh well here goes…white. So maybe it’s the smack that makes the difference.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe we should tie together this thread and the Hickman one by listing songs about murderers that we wish Rand would have liked:

"Nebraska" by Bruce Springsteen, inspired by Charles Starkweather

"Frankie and Albert" by Bob Dylan, inspired by Frankie Banker

"Midnight Rambler" by The Rolling Stones, inspired by Albert DeSalvo

"Psychopathy Red" by Slayer, inspired by Andrei Chikatilo

"I Don't Like Mondays" by The Boomtown Rats, inspired by Brenda Spencer

J

Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe we should tie together this thread and the Hickman one by listing songs about murderers that we wish Rand would have liked:

This thread has drifted pleasantly enough, but I just assume let it die. The original idea for the thread was pretty lame, sorry Mikelee999. Plus the "Ayn" in the title makes me cringe. Like she was your buddy (was she?). I like the associating music with the philosopher idea, but I don't have any more good ideas for examples right now. There's Schopenhauer and Wagner, but that's pretty obvious. Kant'll be tough, though when I visited the Figarohaus in Vienna, they had a copy of Kritik der Reine Vernuft on display, as something that was contemporary with Mozart's time living there. But it's doubtful Mozart ever heard of Kant, and Kant isn't known for his views on music. Hegel and Mendelssohn had a connection.

Anyway, on to the murderers motif, you left out Sondheim's contributions:

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eu2YmyklYT4&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param'>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eu2YmyklYT4&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eu2YmyklYT4&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object><object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="

name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

And typing "Leopold and Loeb" into YouTube brought up this cringe-inducer:

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="

name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>
Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyway, on to the murderers motif, you left out Sondheim's contributions...And typing "Leopold and Loeb" into YouTube brought up this cringe-inducer...

I was trying to stick with what seemed to be Mike Lee's initial concept of "pop," which I took to mean music that you would hear on your local pop or rock radio station interspersed with songs by Rod Stewart and Chris de Burgh. Sondheim and the like wouldn't fit.

J

Link to post
Share on other sites

I include a text that explains how heroin addiction affected Pepper's playing, and this tune in particular. The text is taken from Pepper's autobiography.

The story’s hard to believe, after six months his embouchure had to have gone to hell, there should be air in the sound, but he sounds great. I know a professional sax player who travels a lot, and he always carries his mouthpiece everwhere, to keep in shape. So, I’m sceptical of Pepper’s story, but I liked the recording, he doesn’t sound…oh well here goes…white. So maybe it’s the smack that makes the difference.

Having played sax (primarily alto) for many years myself (though my college years), I was initially skeptical of the story as well, so I researched it a bit. There is some indication that Pepper did one other recording session during the six month period that he refers to (though I've never been able to find out the details), but other than that the story seems legit. Pepper was known for his long periods of inactivity during his drug binges, and even after his lengthy prison terms for possession, including one of over four years, he was up and playing again in astonishingly short periods of times.

Pepper was not alone in this regard. Charlie Parker would sometimes show up for recording sessions and concerts after lengthy layoffs and play well. (Parker would sometimes hawk his sax to get money for drugs, and at one now famous concert, he showed up with a cheap plastic sax that he had never played before.) Similarly, tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons, known as "Gentle Jug," did a two year prison stint in 1958-60 and shortly thereafter recorded a number of memorable albums until serving another prison sentence, this time for five years, beginning in 1962.

I'm aware of embouchure problems on woodwinds after long layoffs; I used to have them after only a few weeks without playing. But it is possible to play well for the first few hours. The problems, in my case, arose later on, as tired facial muscles and a sore inner-lower lip took their toll. In addition, the details of Pepper's story, such as the stuck mouthpiece and rotted reed, have the ring of authenticity. Pepper may have exaggerated the time somewhat, but I think his basic story is sound.

Pepper was an extraordinary talent -- a true musical genius -- and I am very reluctant to say that something was impossible for a musician of his caliber.

As for Pepper not sounding "white," I'm at a loss to know what that means. I could play any number of jazz recordings for you, and I'll bet you couldn't tell if the player was white or black. The subject of race has been discussed in many histories of jazz, btw.

Ghs

Link to post
Share on other sites

As for Pepper not sounding "white," I'm at a loss to know what that means. I could play any number of jazz recordings for you, and I'll bet you couldn't tell if the player was white or black. The subject of race has been discussed in many histories of jazz, btw.

Indeed, it was just a cliché, meant tongue in cheek . However, if we turn to opera singers, I think I could reliably pick out black from white. Or Scandinavian from Italian. And on a really good day, Apulian vs. Sicilian, now that takes an ear!

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="

name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object> <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkRTvRojDjE&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param'>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkRTvRojDjE&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkRTvRojDjE&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>
Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/rod_liddle/article7094203.ece

The author of this article about the Sex Pistols claims that Ayn Rand would have loved punk rock. 7th paragraph. I had them pegged as fit for Bakunin, I stand corrected.

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=8318&view=findpost&p=95358

Link to post
Share on other sites

Would she have loved Nomi:

Why not? Remember, the theme of the thread is: if you like it, Rand (er, sorry, make that Ayn) would have liked it too. I guess Nomi didn’t make to early 1980’s MTV? I’ve never heard of him until now. I thought it was awful, but the crazy costume made me think of this:

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="

name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="
type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>
Link to post
Share on other sites

Would she have loved Nomi:

Why not? Remember, the theme of the thread is: if you like it, Rand (er, sorry, make that Ayn) would have liked it too. I guess Nomi didn't make to early 1980's MTV? I've never heard of him until now. I thought it was awful, but the crazy costume made me think of this:

I like Nomi; I only found out about him through Patrick Wolf's blog.

Actually, if the theme is she would have liked if I liked it, then I like this much more:

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Ayn would have gotten a “fall out of her chair” kick out of all three recently mentioned songs especially the Leningrad Cowboys. That was really good.

Still, after laughing, she would have sniffed with disdain at The Magic Position (boom boom).

From “The Goddess of the Market, Ayn Rand and the American Right,” by Jennifer Burns, page 45:

Her villain, Ellsworth Toohey, promised to transform Rand’s supposedly nonpolitical novel into a sharp satire on the leftist literary culture of 1930’s New York. One evening she and Frank reluctantly accompanied two friends to a talk by the British socialist Harold Laski at the leftist New School for Social Research. When Laski took the stage Rand was thrilled. Here was Ellsworth Toohey himself! She scribbled frantically in her notebook, sketching out a brief picture of Laski’s face and noting his every tic and mannerism. She and Frank went back twice more in the following evenings.

Most of Rand’s notes on Laski’s lecture, and her resultant description of Toohey, showcased her distaste for all things feminine. Rand was repelled by the women in the New School audience, whom she characterized as sexless, unfashionable, and unfeminine. She and Frank scoffed at their dowdy lisle stockings, trading snide notes back and forth. Rand was infuriated most by the “intellectual vulgarity” of the audience who seemed to her half-wits unable to comprehend the evil of Laski’s socialism . . . This misogyny rubbed off on Rand’s portrait of Toohey, who was insipidly feminine, prone to gossip, and maliciously catty “in the manner of a woman or nance.” Through Toohey, Rand would code lefitism as fey, effeminate, and unnatural, as opposed to the rough-hewn masculinity of Roark’s individualism.”

End quote

I think Jennifer Burns meant Toohey’s description, “showcased her distaste for all things feminine” IN MEN and all things masculine in women, though she was an initial fan of feminism, and the book, “The Feminine Mystique.”

A “nance” as unnatural? If your function does not follow your form, then you are an evader? I think Rand moderated her views about gays, much as she did after her initial encounter and direct observations after coming to America, of “negroes as inferiors.” Later she embraced “all men as created equal,” which would include gays.

Yet, I still think her features would have tightened, and her lips would have pursed, if she saw a “gay performance” unless it were some really good female impersonators, performing indistinguishably from women.

Dan Ust wrote:

Would she have loved Nomi?

End quote

I don’t think Ayn would have loved him, though he would have captured her attention for a few minutes, partially because of his (and your,) similar good looks, and she would have laughed and laughed.

Quite seriously and not meant as a criticism, but I think my five month old niece would love Nomi in that video. I may show it to her. The stark, black and white costume, the falsetto, and the simple but wonderful music might be on her level, like the cartoon, Barney. She is fascinated by him, and when Barney sings, “if you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands,” she laughs and moves her arms and legs in approximate time to the music.

I am happy that being gay no longer causes breakdowns and deep melancholy as with Tchaikovsky when he despondently wrote, The Symphony No. 6 in B minor, “Pathétique.” He wanted to “love” a particular woman, so very much, but his sense of life, and inner being, precluded the consummation of his dream to be “normal.”

Semper cogitans fidele,

Peter Taylor

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dan Ust wrote:

Would she have loved Nomi?

End quote

I don't think Ayn would have loved him, though he would have captured her attention for a few minutes, partially because of his (and your,) similar good looks, and she would have laughed and laughed.

I agree that Rand would likely not have loved him -- if she ever heard of him or his music.

I also guess there's no disputing tastes -- if Peter Taylor believes Nomi has "good looks" (I believe he has weird looks, which he tried to intensify, and would not be considered handsome by most people's standards) -- or perhaps he believes I look "similar" to Nomi.unsure.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dan wrote:

If Peter Taylor believes Nomi has "good looks" (I believe he has weird looks,

Boor that I am, across a dozen web sites, seven continents and several mystical countries, you or I may be mixing them up. I thought you looked like the guy in the Magic Position, video. And the elves in "Lord of the Rings."

Young man, why aren't you in school? The truant officer will catch you!

Peter

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dan wrote:

If Peter Taylor believes Nomi has "good looks" (I believe he has weird looks,

Boor that I am, across a dozen web sites, seven continents and several mystical countries, you or I may be mixing them up. I thought you looked like the guy in the Magic Position, video. And the elves in "Lord of the Rings."

Young man, why aren't you in school? The truant officer will catch you!

Oh, I thought Peter was discussing Nomi's looks -- not Patrick Wolf's. The latter is now 26 -- so he's long out of school. (I don't know his full bio, but I believe he left school early to pursue his music career.)

Actually, too, I only brought them (Klaus Nomi and Patrick Wolf) up here not because I felt Rand would've loved them, but because I thought she absolutely would detest them.wink.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Wet Blanket Committee (previously the Objectivist Bed-Wetters Club) for once again demonstrating the finely honed art of GOB (Gratuitous Objectivist Buzz-kill). I feel well and truly GOB-smacked.

I asked people to nominate pop songs Rand might have liked

Here’s a link to Rand’s own comments about people recommending music to her. Sorry you felt “GOB-smacked” Mikelee999.

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=7801&view=findpost&p=96154

Hey, It Beats Listening to Lanza.

I've never understood why anyone likes Lanza.

Now now let’s not blame him for his fans. jabba.jpg Are you speaking as opera buffs, or just scoring a cheap point against Jabba?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Here’s a link to Rand’s own comments about people recommending music to her. Sorry you felt “GOB-smacked” Mikelee999.

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=7801&view=findpost&p=96154

I'm glad you posted this, because I was finding all the speculation about whether Rand would or wouldn't like particular songs to be quite amusing.

I do think that "Songs with Objectivist lyrical themes" is an interesting topic. How about "Capitalism" by Oingo Boingo?

There's nothing wrong with Capitalism

There's nothing wrong with free enterprise

Don't try to make me feel guilty

I'm so tired of hearing you cry

There's nothing wrong with making some profit

If you ask me I'll say it's just fine

There's nothing wrong with wanting to live nice

I'm so tired of hearing you whine

About the revolution

Bringin' down the rich

When was the last time you dug a ditch, baby!

If it ain't one thing

Then it's the other

Any cause that crosses your path

Your heart bleeds for anyone's brother

I've got to tell you you're a pain in the ass

You criticize with plenty of vigor

You rationalize everything that you do

With catchy phrases and heavy quotations

And everybody is crazy but you

You're just a middle class, socialist brat

From a suburban family and you never really had to work

And you tell me that we've got to get back

To the struggling masses (whoever they are)

You talk, talk, talk about suffering and pain

Your mouth is bigger than your entire brain

What the hell do you know about suffering and pain...

:lol:

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Rand would have hated any pop song written after 1960 or so, even if it would have been based on Galt's speech.

If it didn't come from her or her husband she wouldn't have liked it. Why? I suspect it buttressed up Frank in her estimation for he was supposedly infallible about what she'd like and I also suspect it was just a way of maintaining a personal exclusivity. It had something to do with her sense of life. Anyway, this was part of her public persona. Having an affair with a man 25 years her junior wasn't part of that either--or even getting or needing help from anyone or We the Living not getting for not needing a serious revision. What a shame.

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede
Link to post
Share on other sites

This thread has taken a wrong turn. People are recommending songs on grounds of the didactic messages they preach, a move Rand would never have made. Her criteria were sense of life first and technical quality second. These are songs; listen to the music.

You are quite right. Words might add something to a melody Rand liked, but the melody itself-- its sense of life -- was the sole basis on which she liked or disliked a song. If she didn't respond to the melody, the words, however beautiful or inspiring, were irrelevant.

Barbara

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have long held the belief that Ayn Rand would have loved Mariah Carey. I still stand by that.

You're missing the point. It was not the singer of a song she responded to as embodying her sense of life. .It was the melody.

Barbara

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now