leave your inhibitions at the door
Hey y’all –
As I write this Boom Boom, the Pieholes, and I are on a whirlwind trip to Paris and Amsterdam. I’ve been to both places before and mentioned those trips in this older post. I realize it was a small sample size and those trips were quite a few years ago. This time we’re driving up to Amsterdam so I’ll have a few hours in the car to see if my experiences with Europeans’ love for shitty music was just an anomaly.
You know the drill, right? Every Friday I take a break from writing about food and drink to do a post about music. I’ve written about all kinds of themes – exercise music, man-crushes, the 90s, holidays, etc – but in the beginning the music posts were about Guilty Pleasures. A Guilty Pleasure is a song that you adore even though you really, really shouldn’t. Who knows why you like the song, but you just do. When it comes on, you crank up the radio and start singing and maybe even dancing. And you just don’t care who sees or hears you.
I’ve had the occasional comments where people take umbrage with the concept. They say stuff like:
“If you like the song who cares what others say?”
“If it’s a good song, it never goes out of style!”
“Geez, are you reading all the sections of the Sunday Times? Other people have to use the bathroom!”
No, there are some good reasons why you shouldn’t like a song. The song could be so deliriously out of touch, the artist could be the anti-Christ, or the song is just flat-out bad. Like this one. Whatever the reasons, you can pretty much find a lot of people that would agree with you.
But did you know the Guilty Pleasure is this strictly an American concept? I firmly believe they don’t have them in Europe. In Europe, people don’t have an internal filter that says a song is just not cool. I’ve been there a few times and have witnessed some horrifying music behaviour. (That’s the European spelling of the word…)
European musical taste
I was meandering through Amsterdam when I came upon some kind of festival. One of the bands was performing on a stage that was a barge in one of the canals.
rock and roll
They looked like rockers, right? Jeans, black t-shirts, long hair, a little grungy. Actually, the lead singer looked a lot like Kurt Cobain. So what was the first song they sang?
Cat Stevens’ “Wild World”
Followed by Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence”
And they weren’t even hard rock versions of the songs. Just based on their looks and the crowd they attracted, I thought for sure I’d be hearing some Pearl Jam or Stone Temple Pilots. Heck, I would’ve even settled for Creed! I didn’t stick around for the third song.
I was in Printemps, a gigantic department store in the middle of Paris. I got on the escalator behind three punk rock looking guys. They had the jeans, tattoos, piercings, Mohawks, leather jackets – everything. I was actually a little scared because they were badasses. I didn’t dare take a picture of them but, trust me, they looked like these guys.
Paris travel music
As we were riding up, they heard the song that was being played on the store’s sound system. And they started nodding their heads. And singing. And fist-pumping.
Tina Turner’s Simply The Best.
That’s just wrong.
David Hassselhoff was HUGE in Germany.
Need I say more?