I'm staying at my sister's due to an ice storm that has made travel back to DC unsafe until tomorrow. One of the key features of her house is my brother in law's mind-boggling CD collection. He has hundreds of them, mostly from his childhood/adolescence in the late 1970's. His collection is a bizarre mishmosh of musical acts that don't seem to go together. I'm talking Rush, Aerosmith, Foreigner, Zeppelin, the Eagles, Pink Floyd--followed by Prince, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Elton John and Def Leppard. It's like a collection in which fans of all of the first list of bands would beat the crap out of people who listened to the second list of bands. I can't figure out how they peacefully coexist on his shelves.
What I also can't figure out is why I felt compelled to burn them all to my laptop. The only Foreigner song I know is that balladish one about "I want to know what love is," the only Zeppelin song I know is Stairway to Heaven, the only Rush song I know is...um...I don't know any Rush songs. Pretty much you can sum up my knowledge of classic rock bands (are those even classic rock? or more 70's guitar rock? whatever) by the statement, "I became aware of them when they did a really sh*tty song with synthesizers and some backup from Chaka Khan or Jane Weidlin from the GoGos circa 1983; until then I had no idea of their voluminous catalog of arena rock staples." I heard about Robert Plant when he did that song in a band called The Honeydrippers that went, "do you remember when we met, that was the day I knew you were my something..." to a kind of 50's retro tune. I didn't know who Glenn Frey was till he did some truly dreadful tunes for the Beverly Hills Cop movies and also Miami Vice.
And yet here I am, uploading freakin' Foghat to my laptop as if I'm ever going to listen to them. Maybe it's just the thought that maybe some day I'll get to Blue Oyster Cult. Or maybe it's something to do besides watch "How I Met Your Mother" on CBS with them. Or maybe it's like the movie "The Ice Storm," where instead of inviting the neighbors over for a 1970's style key party, I just decide to skip the fanfare and spend the night with Mr. Steely Dan.