Green Point Honky Tonking
↑ that's a permalink! visit the full archive
Honky Tonk, my money's all gone, Honky Tonk, she done
My neighbor Danielle, a youngish, single mother of a fat and spoiled child, has taken to listening to Honky Tonk music mornings as she's trying to get the little crybaby ready for school. Usually, it's the strains of popular music that can be heard seeping through the walls of my bathroom as I go about my own morning routine, so I'm enjoying this shift in programming. But I can't help but think that something sad must have happened in Danielle's life recently--perhaps in the romance department. I know how she feels. But I must hasten to add that she appears to be handling the situation perfectly.
Who hasn't listened to the likes of Lefty Frizzel or Webb Pierce and thought, "I hear you, brother?" And how can one hear a confession so bald and honest as I'd much rather live a lover's lie without thinking "I'd probably do the same thing were I in your shoes, hoss."
For me, the road to recovery started with Rockabilly, which, of course, was a youthful reaction to the melancholia of the Honky Tonk. I was trying to get myself out of a post-breakup funk by listening to such fun and optimistic cats as Buddy Holly and Groovey Joe Poovey. Rave On--perhaps the best of the oeuvre--made me forget my troubles for its two-minute-or-so duration, and want to sing out "Yeah, Rave On with him, baby. Don't you see how much this guy fucking loves you and the little things that you say and do?"
But it didn't take long before the young-love enthusiasm began to buckle under the strain of thirty-something heartache. Eventually, it's hard to hear a sex anthem like Johnny Carrol's Rock Baby Rock It Rock Baby Rock It without wincing over the sad facts of one's own life.
Happily, when one delves deeper into earlier genres, the subtler nuances of their influences come out, so it takes no great succession of leaps to get from Scott Mackey's Rollin' Dynamite to Gene Lamarr's You Don't Love Me Anymore to Pierce's There Stands the Glass. You become thankful for the commiseration and the ah-ha moment of "Yes, women have been breaking hearts forever and of course it was only a matter of time before this one broke yours. So sit down on that stool next to me and we'll have us a good cry." You feel like you've learned a valuable lesson and earned your place at the bar, so to speak.
So when I heard Danielle's stereo playing Hank William's Alone and Forsaken, when for the past week she'd been listening to an Elvis Presley best-of album, I couldn't help but feel, though it was just 7:30 in the morning, like knocking on her door with a bottle of whiskey, singing If you've got the money, honey, I've got the time....
Kevin Kinsella knows about music and life.