August 2nd, 2013

I listen

Garage rock

There had to be a first.

Walking past a house last night, I got to hear a band practicing. I heard mainly the drummer drumming, then the drummer and the other people in the garage talking. I resisted stopping to listen -- the garage door was half-open so any way I'd stay would likely be a surprise or maybe even creepy ("Wait, whose legs are those?") -- so I just had a few moments of drumming on my personal soundtrack.

Ah. Garage bands. What long-ago, long-forgotten band combined "band" and "garage"? Who said "Well, we can't practice in the yard, the kitchen's too small plus the acoustics are weird, Mom's NOT gonna want us to move the living room couches...hey, could we get the Bel Air out of the garage?" *

The thing is, they probably didn't say "Hey, could we get the Model-A out of the garage?" Now it seems like it can't be a coincidence that rock and roll took off in the Fifties around when more and more North American homes had garages. Here's a slightly detached space, probably just an attic above it instead of the occupied part of the house, so the noise (even in the echo chamber a garage can be) wouldn't be too obnoxious. And then MAGIC could happen! Even if you and your bandmates sucked, because YAY MAKING NOISE.

I want that garage, if it's still standing, to be found. Get the commemorative plaque and everything. "Rock and roll will never die, and HERE's where it was born," it could say, because rock-and-roll hyperbole is fun.

Remember: the world was saved because Bill and Ted had a garage...

* The early attempts to play BEFORE they said "hey, could we get the Bel Air out of the garage?" were distinctly uncomfortable.