Sunday, December 15, 2002

The Tires Are The Things On Your Car That Make Contact With The Road

Tonight Phish appeared on Saturday Night Live, their first live show in several years. Now, I'm no Phishhead. I have a strong affinity for music and, like many people, need my life to have a soundtrack, and I own almost all their studio albums, and I saw them for the first time over ten years ago in a three thousand seat venue in Somerville Massachusetts and sat in the fifth row next to Jon Fishman's mother. But I don't have it in me to be a true follower of any musical phenomenon. I enjoy a good concert but I won't cry if I miss a performer I like when they come to a nearby venue, and I might not feel like going that night even if I'm free. I'm of the school of thought that all music has merit, as evidenced by my bluegrass to blues, folk to funk, jazz to jambands, littlebitcountry littlebitrockandroll radio playlists and mp3 collection. I like too many kinds of music to specialize.

Still, it was nice to have it on in the background, and the students were happy I mentioned that Phish was going to be on. When I came in from duty at midnight about twenty of 'em were gathered around the broadcast hearth laughing together, which warms my heart in the cheesiest way. And, if they stayed up late enough, they got to see Tipper Gore with her arm around Trey Anastasio during the final goodnight, a juxtaposition of values and iconography worthy of a master's thesis.

Also on SNL tonight: Al Gore, who was better than the name Al Gore suggests -- Tipper was just visiting for the final thankyous, I guess -- and a Robert Smigel takeoff on Charlie Brown's Christmas episode wherein the gang develops magical powers, suddenly able to do, to everything and everyone, what they did in turning the sad ol' Christmas tree into a shiny and suddenly perfect tree (and with Phish soundtrack instead of the original Vince Guraldi, whose name I can't spell).

In other tire-related news, now that we've taken in my grandfather's old couch-on-wheels, it's time to retire the camping van. I'll miss it; the van got us through two years of music festivals and, once I connected with a couple of kids who loved a genre of music I too love, and were willing to pay for my ticket if I'd chaperone, the van took kids to the best jamband concerts, including String Cheese Incident, Widespread Panic (RIP), Michael Franti and Spearhead, Jazz Mandolin Project, and Keller Williams. We paid about $3500 dollars for it two years ago, so even though it's too rusty to pass inspection and not worth the cash it would take to rebuild the body from scratch, I feel like I've gotten a fair use out of it. But I will miss the lifestyle the van implied, and miss living that lifestyle through its oversized armchair driver's seat and backseat bed. Maybe I should have titled tonight's entry Oh The Places You've Gone.

posted by boyhowdy | 1:02 AM |

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