Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Although I Search Myself...

Today I'm in line in the grocery store, and what should I hear but a song I consider a pop classic, Elton John's "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me." But it's not just any "DLTSGDOM." It's the Elton John-George Michael duet version of "DLTSGDOM."

A few things to note:

-My first exposure to pop music came through Elton. My dad loved his music long before I was born, and is still kind of obsessed. He's one of the suckers who bought The Captain And The Kid, Elton's sequel to his concept album Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy.
-Elton's main songwriting collaborator, lyricist Bernie Taupin, wrote "DLTSGDOM" about the pressures of songwriting.

-Wow, has Elton John recorded some crappy songs in his time.

-Wow, has Elton John recorded some amazing, wonderful songs in his time.

-The song was one of the few redeeming moments of Caribou, an album that sorely needed redemption (other highlights: "The Bitch Is Back," and maybe the maudlin kid-on-a-rampage ballad "Ticking").

-In his duet with George Michael, Elton doesn't fucking play piano. It clearly shows another dude playing it for him, as Elton prances about in a shitty baseball cap. Hey, Elton, your retardulous fashion choices are supposed to make you more amusing, not less, remember?

-In any context, George Michael will look like an asswipe, and the asswipery will be infinitely compounded and refracted by whatever he's wearing and whatever hand/body gestures/supplementary vocals he provides.

-George Michael keeps wagging his left arm/side around as if he is paralyzed along his right side
-4:32: After many tense minutes of shared harmonies and exchanged lines, the two finally hop off their respective metal platforms and hustle toward each other across the arena's large, inhuman stage, like lovers reunited at a Hawaiian Tropic promotional event. Pause here to ready another beer/shot/bowl/syringe, as the "heavy memories" portion of tonight's post is fast approaching!

-Rewind to 5:14. What the hell kind of hat is Elton wearing? Rebar Workers' Union? Iron Cross? Knights Of Columbus? But that's nothing compared to the Crappy Elton Hat action you'll find here.

-5:30: After all this time, finally, the man-hug is consummated! Christ, I thought it'd never happen.

-When I was in fourth grade or so, one of my classmates was this total smart-ass jerk we'll call SJ. Never had any reason to talk to me, except to say something hurtful. Also, I recall that he was good at soccer, so right off the bat, fuck him. However, one day I found myself talking about "DLTSGDOM," and he overheard and snapped to life: "Oh, the one where he sings with—" "Yeah, George Michael!" Keep in mind, this was just a year or so before kids like him discovered Nirvana and kids like me started to feel pretty oblivious. So, for one fleeting, tender moment, the union of these two overripe British pop loonies brought together the little nerdy kid and the jackass. Where the hell are you, SJ, and how many Wham! singles have you since collected on vinyl?