But I had friends, tin-eared and delusional, who thought the Rolling Stones were The Ones. Poor dears! Their sonic worlds were clearly different from mine, and they were clearly wrong.
One thing was certain: nobody liked both. In fact, it was tacitly understood that one was not allowed to like both.
Which meant that I deprived myself, on principle, of the raucous splendor of the Stones music for many years. I still like the Beatles best, and probably always will. But I know now that there are times when only Keith Richards' guitar tones will do.
Over the years, I watched heated arguments over whether Kiss was categorically better than Alice Cooper, jazz better than rock, fusion indisputably better than swing, countertenors better than female altos. Yikes! Either/or, either/or. Choose or lose! Yes, it's necessary, to a certain extent. But it's also choose and lose. The best musicians I know listen to everything, and borrow from everything. Both and all would seem to be their motto, and I think this is the best way to be.
I bring this up today because I am tired of hearing wonderful musicians and singers (including me) complain about Lady Gaga. I think we should stop doing that. Most of us can't do what she does, and there are a lot of folks who really love what she does. Fair enough. Her music and performance style are not to my taste, and so they're not part of my daily life. What does seem to be part of my life is the ceaseless growl of negative comments made by some of the artists I do like.
Most of us are old enough to know better. I think we can do better, if only when in front of other people.
Let's lighten up on each other. Let's speak with a greater measure of grace and dignity, and stop flaying the girls in the meat dresses and the short dresses and no dresses at all. Let's stop muttering about J.K. Rowling's wealth, too (you know who you are). Success does not ensure a trouble-free life. Things can happen. The Wheel of Fortune can turn very quickly. Believe me. I know this very well.
Benjamin Disraeli is credited with having said, "Never complain, and never explain." I'm going to try that, at least for the rest of the afternoon.