I am that guy.
The one who didn’t know who Paul Westerberg was until ‘Singles’ came out. The one who was listening to 1984 in 1984, not ‘Let it Be’. The one who looked vaguely uncomfortable at the ‘Come Feel Me Tremble’ shows because they weren’t in an arena.
I am that guy. The one that you kinda sorta wished didn’t claim to be a Paul Westerberg fan because he smells vaguely of popular mass entertainment. And I guess I can’t blame you. But, hear me out, because for me a funny thing happened on the way to middle age. As I delved into the history of PW and the Mats, and listened to the raggedy songs that veered from third grade humor to thirty-something disillusionment, I felt a bond with the music that had never existed between my multi-platinum selling heroes and me. On most days, I feel a little unsatisfied. Ready to ‘Rock Rock Til I Drop’? Not so much.
Don’t get me wrong – I still love my glossy eighties tunes and their choruses sung by no less than a hundred voices. But sometimes when I listen to them I can’t help but feel a little . . . silly. So now they find their way into my CD player less and less, often shoved to the back of the line by a grumpy Minnesotan who could no more play Answering Machine than he could Uriah Heep. And when you see the man with a tie in the passing lane who looks like a card-carrying member of the unwashed masses but is singing ‘Soldier of Misfortune’, you’ll know that . . .
I am that guy.