Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Let's Talk About Sax

When I was a young street tough, roaming the suburbs menacing the local populace, I held certain principles to be sacrosanct, at least as it pertained to how I liked my rock music. Keyboard players weren't allowed to wear leather pants, drummers weren't allowed to sing, and most importantly: rock songs weren't supposed to have saxophone solos.

Let's be clear: many terrible things happened in the 1980's and early 1990's, and the most heinous of them seemed to involve saxophone solos. [But there was good along with the bad; there was the great Lora Logic, but I didn't know about that kinda stuff just then, and of course Clarence Clemons gets a pass.]

Which of course brings me to Roxy Music. While my views on them have transmogrified over the years, I worked backwards from what I once classified as slick, metrosexual art-disco, to their edgier early recordings with Brian Eno, and through them I have made my peace with the modern day rock and roll song sax solo.  "Over You" is my favorite tune. And it is perfect; a hooky slice of teenage bubblegum heaven.

One must remember that it was a more innocent time, and the sax crimes that my generation was cursed to endure were far off in some unimaginable future. And while it can be argued that The Great Rock Song Saxophone Solo Moratorium of 1991 (also popularly referred to as the Cobain-Vedder Act) may have been a bit heavy-handed, ultimately, it was the kind of musical enema rock music needed. Though if you miss the 1980's Pop Song Saxophone, there is a Facebook page for you, so fret not.

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