I have been writing many, many lists lately, and this one’s home is definitely the pointless-musical-weirdness hub that is Okay Annie. So, when I talk about rock star fantasies, what I’m referring is not just a helluva a night out with some steamy rock dodo, but a fantasy activity that is custom fit to them.
To start with an example from the friendly-neighbor genre pop, theeeee fantasy activity to engage in with Miley Cyrus is clearly snorting drugs off one of her open palms against the backdrop of a pin-drop-quiet sunrise as, with her other hand, she wipes away your cried-off mascara in a gesture that could only be described as sisterly. You do that and you have had the Miley Cyrus EXPERIENCE.
With no further ado, 5 fantasy activities involving your (or . . . my) favorite rock stars.
Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd: If you know your classic rock history or you’ve been a reader here long, you know Syd Barrett’s story. He had latent schizophrenia, he downed too much LSD, what had been latent took over, he kept trying the music thing for a while even after he parted ways with Pink Floyd. When he’d had enough, he walked the fifty miles back home to Cambridge, where he spent the rest of his days as a veritable hermit.
Well, once he was back in Cambridge, he often did this thing where he’d spend his days painting, occasionally show a painting to his sister, and then chuck his paintings in the fire. So, it’s tempting to go with “try to catch his paintings before they burn” as the Syd fantasy, but I think for this one I’m actually going to go with “sit quietly.”
Syd Barrett didn’t live in the world; he lived in his head. For better, for worse, for neither, he was not one of us anymore for those years he spent living as Roger Barrett (his real name), ex-star. He resided in the theater of his own mind and was seemingly—controversially, confoundingly—content there. To sit quietly with him and let your mind unfold like a gameboard while his did the same would be the ultimate Syd Barrett experience.
Greta Van Fleet: They’re in a circle; you’re in the middle. They each have a Super Soaker filled with a different, slightly faded primary color. You say, “Go.” They aim. You end up dripping tie-dye and nostalgia.
Courtney Love: You get the chance to interview her. You two get along like a cult reading room on fire. At the end, you realize you want her autograph but you have forgotten pen or marker, because even dorks adapt to tech. Hoping she has a pen, you bare your arm to her for the signing. She whips out the oblong instruments she does have on her person—a knife—and starts to autograph you with that. Just as you’re about to scream, it hits you that you’re enacting a Hermione-and-Bellatrix tableau. Not in any ethnicist way. But Courtney Love is the seasoned, wily witch. You are the nerd who would rather write term papers than eat or drink or anything with boys. The magic of the Harry Potter universe descends upon you. Plus . . . if Courtney Love is struck by the mood to cut somebody, she should be allowed to, and anybody she cuts should be honored to be The One.
Dead Sara: You attend their concert. It’s the only thing there is to say about them. Why? Because this is just a pure fuckin’ rock band. I have found nothing philosophical or personality-based about them to run with. They sing and play and put on a show like it was they who accidentally discovered distortion, like they were the first ones to get SO PISSED AT THEIR PARENTS AND CHURCH AND STATE and be like “I’ll make all their ears bleed except with style.” Dead Sara aren’t the future of rock because they’re predominantly female, and feminist whatnot woo-hoo rah-rah. They are the future because they’re really, really good. Plus, this is the one hyper attainable fantasy. They roll into town, you buy tickets, you get as close as you can the stage and get sweat on and ear-spanked and enjoy rock happening in front of your face.
Jack White: One day, I’d like to poll Jack White fans about something very specific that I have a hunch could be secretly widespread. The question would go as follows:
Imagine you have the chance to do aaanything you want with him. If you’re not attracted to men, this might be partying or jamming with him. If you are attracted men, and not just like men but GUYS, guys who are greasy and long-haired and dark-haired and look like some cheeky version of Satan when they sprout facial hair, this might be making unholy love to his gloriously tall frame. Or whatever. Do your worst. Dream up your best Jack White scenario.
Got it in mind? Now—honestly—would you rather do whatever that was or would you rather have him scream in your face?
Like he screams in “Jolene.” Like he screams in “I’m Slowly Turning Into You.” Like he screams in “I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself.”
My theory is that I’m not just some isolated freak in that, if I had a couple million, I’d pay half of it to essentially be the microphone when he had one of the professionally executed meltdowns he has multiple times per show. I think if you are a Jack White fan, you are a fan of a good primordial wail, which Jack White did not invent but is fucking good at. Imagine one of his shooting directly into you. Imagine it entering through your face holes, hitting your spleen, pinballing around your insides until it shoots back up into your throat and unlocks your own existential scream. So . . . You Scream, I Scream, Jack. (Nine million points if you know that one.)
Hell, I think that’s one important tentpole of the overall Jack White appeal. Listening to him feels a lot like obtaining permission to scream.
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