For those not familiar with the wisdom of Nigel Tufnel from Spinal Tap, he claims that his particular Marshall amplifiers are better because they “go up to eleven.” I guess I need that “little extra push over the cliff” myself.
For what it’s worth, Marshall amplifiers are both classic and choice, for both guitar and bass. Back in the dark ages when I played bass, I had a 400 watt full stack that pretty much never got turned up past three. That’s probably more of a commentary on the fact that I never got very far in the rock and roll endeavor than the quality of the amplifier. I had the power to play in large venues- but not the opportunity. Success in the performance business is based on a number of factors, and actual talent isn’t terribly high on the list. Stage presence, one’s connections, and just being in the right place at the right time matter more than how well one can play or sing.
I have no stage presence, I am not well connected, and when my ship comes in it’s guaranteed I’ll be at the airport. I am not going to claim that I am or was the best thing in the world since sliced bread either. I was a decent singer and a pretty good bass player, but who cares when you are female and have the body of a mutant troll? It worked for Angus Young, but he was both British and a dude. For women in performance and music it’s a “damn, she looks fine, but can’t sing a note,” world out there- and the staircase matters more than what’s upstairs and/or what kind of voice projects from said staircase. There are plenty of talented people out there that the world will never see or hear. Cronyism and nepotism remain alive and well in many spheres, and a pretty face trumps a good voice, musical talent and/or a brain every time. Vapid, marginally talented (or even no-talented) beauties have far better odds of success in this world than talented homely people, which partially explains the Kardashians.
Pretty, but a combined IQ of 12.
Suffice to say that I don’t have the pretty face. I let the rock and roll dream go when my son was born because I had to get down to reality sooner rather than later. It’s fun but (with the exception of a very elite few) it doesn’t pay the bills. It was a lot of work and time and money that I didn’t have to spend.
On a brighter note, the POMC bought his very first new car Saturday. He went to the dark side a long time ago (he’s enamored of the Germans, even when I won’t drive anything unless it’s built by Toyota) so I wasn’t surprised by his choice. After endless research, test drives, perusing online reviews and three hours going back and forth with the poor finance guy at the dealership, he bought a loaded out 2014 VW Jetta- diesel.
Black on black, very conservative…but still the German performance thing.
I can’t blame him at all for wanting the fuel economy. 50MPG+ is enticing, even with the knowledge that maintenance on a diesel is both more frequent and more costly than on a gasoline car. The car doesn’t sound like a diesel and doesn’t stink like a diesel, but my frame of reference on diesel cars goes back to the old VW Rabbits from the early ’80s that rattled to beat hell and stunk to holy high heaven. Over all he ended up with most of the same features as my Corolla (including the obligatory manual transmission), only I have a bit better navi unit and I have automatic climate control. He has a cute little sunglass holder over the rear view mirror and a bigger trunk. He also ended up with about a $7000 higher price tag than the Corolla- but he has a turbo and more low end torque, which means his car has more power. Then again, when the German stuff fails it does so in a blaze of expensive and inconvenient glory. The Japanese stuff doesn’t have quite the performance edge, but it’s generally more reliable and easier to maintain over time.
As I told him, it’s about trade offs. For me the Corolla has plenty of power. After all, I live in Ohio. I usually see at least three cops every morning just driving the three miles from my house to the Y. I can’t afford to speed.
~”Not one state of the fifty has the death penalty for speeding . . . although I’m not so sure about Ohio!”- Brock Yates
Not me. Not in a little black Corolla. Not ever.
So when he was finally done torturing the finance people at the dealership and he was satisfied that it was OK to sign, we made a little road trip in the diesel beast to try it out. On the WV turnpike, of course. I must say in this car’s favor that this was the only time I’ve been down the WV turnpike without being scared shitless from Charleston to Beckley. Even at 70 MPH there’s no body roll whatsoever on those curves and grades. I have not driven the WV turnpike in the Corolla for comparison (yet) but the Corolla did surprisingly well on I-40 in Tennessee and NC with similar grades, curves and speed limits.
He’s happy with what he got and I’m happy with what I got. Different strokes for different folks. Now if he’d been eyeballing a Kia or a Hyundai, Mommy and the POMC would have had to have a sit-down heart-to-heart regarding why we don’t buy shitty cars, but he knows better. Way better.
One thought on “This One Goes Up to Eleven, Reality Bites, and the Diesel Beast”
Congratulations on your boy buying his first new car! This is kind of embarrassing, I guess, but I’m about your age (I think we figured out one time that I’m just a year or two younger) and I’ve NEVER owned a new car. I’m not sure I ever will, honestly. I would certainly LIKE one, but they’re just not worth it to me. I DO understand the appeal in a car that you know will work every time, though. I’ve had cars where I didn’t know if I was gonna make it to work or not.
Musical talent is cool. I’m not especially musically talented. I was in choir for 16 years, so I’m probably a better-than-average singer (and I mean that just like it sounds–I’m okay to decent, not great) but that’s about it. As for stage presence, it’s something I think about a little more now with my work, but still not something I’m accomplished with.
Stage presence is a funny thing. About 15 years ago I saw a band in Seattle called the Murder City Devils. The lead singer was this short, pudgy dude in glasses wearing an Oxford shirt. He spoke a couple tentative words into the mic, and I thought “Who is this chump?” Then he opened his mouth and let out a roar and suddenly he OWNED that stage. It was pretty remarkable.