The Evening: Early with Smiles
September 29, 2017
It's Friday, September 29th.
Note : Yom Kippur begins at sundown, so tonight, The Evening is coming to you early and in the abbreviated form of a smile.
Well, I was right that my buddy Parker knew precisely who Status Quo is and the history of “Pictures of Matchstick Men.” But I was wrong that he was the only one! So many of you knew and thanks for writing to me about it!
Parker had a great question for me though—how did I know Status Quo and the song? How did I recognize it from the Ray Donovan closing credits, Parker wondered. He assumed I knew the song from the 80s Camper Van Beethoven version.
I confess, I didn’t know the song at all. And I had only a vague recollection of Camper and Status Quo. So how did I figure it all out?
There is one thing I do know about music. It’s that strong guitar riffs get me out of my chair. They are the foundation of most great rock ‘n’ roll. So when I heard the crunch of “Matchstick Men” powerfully putting an exclamation point on last Sunday’s Ray Donovan, I immediately grabbed my iPhone.
You see, the kids of today have this iPhone App called “Shazam.” When I was a kid and you heard a song you liked and you didn’t know who the artist was you had to endure the embarrassment of humming the tune for an older cool kid in the neighborhood or some smug record store clerk. No more! Now you grab your phone, fire up Shazam and instantly (as in “Shazam! The Incredible Captain Marvel”) the App listens to the song and within seconds tells you who the artist is.
It can identify just about any riff in the world—trust me, I learned a lot about Middle Eastern rock last summer using Shazam to pick up the incredible riffs I was hearing all over Tel Aviv.
There are of course some riffs that are just burned into my soul. Here’s a riff courtesy of one of rock’s greatest all time riffers—Keith Richards. Smile, have a great weekend and be “Happy.”