By Mike Faloon
Should I listen to Tom Waits or Chickenfoot? I feel ridiculous posing the question, but there it was as I shot up the southbound 84 on-ramp. I opted for Tom Waits. I'm trying to stretch my boundaries by listening to Chickenfoot III, look for something of value in a record that repulses me in many ways. But I haven't lost my mind. I've been going back to Orphans a lot lately, especially the Brawlers disc. And yet Chickenfoot's “Last Temptation” and “Alright Alright” popped into my head repeatedly during work.
I was in the middle lane driving in this morning, going between 70 and 75. I came up behind a cherry red Porsche Panamera GTS. Before long I realized I was closing in on the Porsche Panamera GTS. This surprised me. I drive a Corolla, which should indicate how much I typically care about or pay attention to cars but as I closed the gap with the Porsche I was overtaken by the desire to pass it. Though it rarely happens I relish the chance to pass a car worth ten of mine. The guy driving the Porsche Panamera GTS was in Sunday drive mode. Passing him was easy. I didn't need to accelerate. As I sailed by him I thought, Dude, if you own a car like that, drive it. Do you notice this rusty Corolla easing past you? Why are you allowing this to happen? I enjoy passing you but I'm also hoping to trigger a bit of shame, wake you up. You should be passing me!
All of which is to say I get why Chickenfoot's Joe Satriani wails and flashes and shreds and extends four-minute rock songs past the five-minute mark. He owns it. He drives it. Not to the point where I derive enjoyment, but I get it and, a bit grudgingly, I admire it. Some of it feels like a dude passing on the left at 90 miles an hour ( I enjoy driving this machine! ) and some of it feels like a dude passing me on the right at 90 miles an hour ( I rock! Notice me! Can the scale of my coolness be measured? Not in our lifetimes! Honk! Honk! Time for the next dude to notice me! )