Friday, June 19

Notes On The Theoretical Impossibility Of Misspelling "Lynnnert Sykinnert"

1. I don't care.

2. I refuse to look it up.

3. As such it is sort of a running gag, albeit one that may take place entirely within my own skull. In fact my original draft the other day had "Lynnnnerd Skynnnnerd", which probably would have made the point clear, but I changed it in editing for some reason, probably intestinal gas.

4. The name is, reportedly, a "comic" misspelling of "Leonard Skinner", variously a high school shop teacher, gym teacher, or office martinet who gave the boys shit about their hair length. We are, certainly, not just sympathetic but empathetic, an attitude that continues despite an ongoing sexual relationship with a public school teacher. This does not require us to "get" the "joke" or pay attention to the (inexplicable) misspelling. We think "The Leonard Skinner Experience" might have been funny at the time, for about five minutes, provided we hailed from Muscle Shoals, say. Otherwise, not so much. We really believe it's important, once one obtains that GED, to refrain from entering young adulthood still carrying a massive chip about high school days on either shoulder.

5. "Southern rock" collided head-on with our college listening experience, beginning in the dorms, just as we were succoring our own sense of aesthetic superiority with Roxy Music, Lou Reed, Richard Thompson, Zappa, Beefheart, Randy Newman--and Little Feat and Leon Russell, lest one imagine we are immune to the twin charms of Boogie and Woogie--and soon had commandeered every turntable at every party, at least once someone managed to get Desperado stopped.

6. This was not too bad when it was just the Allmans, whose guitarists we admired for their skill, if not particularly for the uses to which they put it. As with anything you have no real use for, its becoming a pop-culture ubiquity eventually turns it into a series of assaults with a blunt-edged weapon, no matter how hard to try to avoid it (and I did not even own a radio between 1972-1995), or how quickly you turn over your lunch money. And like any cultural ubiquity, it very shortly became an excuse to water the drinks and increase the house's take. Enter Charlie Daniels. Enter The Marshall Tucker Band, whose ruderal flute solo on "Heard It In A Lo-ooove Song (Cain't Be Wrong)" likely killed my parents' elderly dog. Enter the Confederate Battle Flag as stage decor for white men singing music they'd stolen from Africans. Enter, especially, Løønnerg Skøøønerg.

6a. Incidentally, what radio I couldn't avoid, being from Indianapolis, was frequently The Bob and Tom Show, which, from syndication, people in other parts of the country today might imagine involves two guys laughing like Foley artists at someone else's jokes. In the 70s, pre-syndication, it involved those same two guys laughing incessantly at their own jokes, frequently centering, as my friend Greg puts it, on whether pussy or beer is life's greater pleasure. This yukfest was interrupted every twenty minutes or so so they could play "Stairway to Heaven" or "Freebird" for the twenty-second time that morning.

7. And the total cultural forced immersion is not the only, or even the real, problem; you and I have both ignored worse. It is that, so far as I can tell from what I was forced to observe, the entire Ludenord Skimnord opus consists of declarations of undying fealty to New World political boundaries set in 17th century England by the ruthless inbred oppressors of one's progenitors, or to malarial swamps in general, interspersed with musical exhortations to nameless groupies to hurry up and blow the Big Time Rock Singer, as he has a plane to catch.

8. The single exception, if you want to call it that, being the famous verse "replying" to Neil Young, who'd had the Canadian audacity to suggest that Southerners were not very nice to colored folks at some unspecified time period. And, look, while After the Gold Rush is probably my favorite Young album--okay, scratch that, it's Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere--"Southern Man" is a facile piece of crap whose proper response was Randy Newman's Good Old Boys, not a can of warm Pabst hurled at the popular Prairie Province singer-songwriter's head. Metaphorically, I mean. Ronnie Van Zant was presumably too busy getting blown to hurl any real beer cans.


Doug said...

Ahh, the incessant smoker-laugh of the Bob & Tom show. That's good radio!

StringonaStick said...

I recall one miscreant who would play "Ramblin' Man" over and over on the jukebox in the high school lunchroom. Finally the Mean Girls walked up and unplugged the thing mid-ramble, and there was a round of applause. That was the only time I was thankful for the Mean Girls.

Ronnie Rossington-Collins Powell Gaines-Wilkeson Pyle said...

Since as everyone who's not a bozo knows the live version of THE GREATEST SONG EVAR is eleven minutes and thirty seconds long, and you admitted that at least twenty minutes went by between each playing, Bob and Tom could not possibly have played THE GREATEST SONG EVAR twenty-two times in one morning, because that would mean four hours and thirteen minutes of the song alone, plus at least 21 intervals of 20 minutes each (i.e., seven hours), so unless their show was at least eleven hours and thirteen minutes long, and what about commercials, smart guy? so therefore, YOUR ENTIRE ARGUMENT FALLS APART.

P.S. Bryan Ferry sux!!!1! and everyone knows no good music ever came out of England, anyway.

heydave said...

On another note, I find the comment "despite an ongoing sexual relationship with a public school teacher" to be rather tartly of you, however accurate it may be.

Tracy said...

Three words.


You have heard "Southern Rock Opera" or "The Dirty South," I hope.

Kathy said...

Well, I tried to leave a clever comment:

DISCO: Hey, what about ME?

But "blogger" rejected my "DISCO" Nom-de-computer. It asked "what were you doing at the time this error occured?" I thought: "Pressing enter/return?"

map106 said...

Remind me never to correct you again in comments.

And my word verification is "rerestud." I guess my reputation precedes me.

TM said...

You have my pity for possessing the knowledge of the origins of Lanyard Skanyard's (I like this!) name.

That's a waste of synapses, sir.

Anonymous said...

...hurry up and blow the Big Time Rock Singer, as he has a plane to catch.

I can't help but think that the mention of a plane was intentional.

comment by bliekker

map106 said...

And just for the record, "The Bad Seed" is on TCM tonight.

Buttermilk Sky said...

Fascinating. Has anyone heard about Dave von Ebers, whose blog has disappeared?

Anonymous said...

Oh I dunno...Scannurd has a song about Saturday Night Specials & their uselessness for anything but killin folks. Or was that some sound-alike slandering them?

Oh yeah, and their largest sin against musicalitude, still found cringing in corners in roadhouses with LIVE MUSIC SATRDAY NITE, is not Freebird but Gimme Three Steps.

PS Thanks for ruining that Blind Faith album for me... I used to love Sea of Joy & now Ginger Baker obtrudes. Goddamnit.

Mo MoDo said...

Without the flaming cover, southern rock aficionados would never have the stoned conspiracy theories that have haunted the Beatles and The Who.

yellojkt said...

When Bob and Tom were briefly syndicated in the Baltimore area, not only did they incessantly laugh at their own jokes, they would repeat their pretaped bits at 30 minute intervals and laugh at them all over again.

Doghouse Riley said...

PS Thanks for ruining that Blind Faith album for me

Y'know, I apologize. We top tier bloggers sometimes forget what awesome power we wield.

MR Bill said...


(Stan, that is..)

Jaye Ramsey Sutter said...

Well, they love Gov. Wallace and don't mind Watergate. We call that fascism here in the greater Houston area. Not that everyone in Houston is bothered by Wallace or Watergate.

I hate that redneck band. I only wish every single one of their albums went up in flames and down on that plane, too.

I too hate Desperado and all other things Eagles just as much as The Dude does, too.

Jaye Ramsey Sutter said...

Oh yeah how is the knee doing?

Anonymous said...

Lessee.. Neil Young writes "Southern Man" in 1970

Skynrd comes back with "Sweet Home Alabama" in '74

In 1977, half the band dies in a fiery plane crash.

Don't fuck with a Crazy Horse.