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Bloviating Zeppelin: Music That Marks Your Life

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Music That Marks Your Life

Perhaps I am odd; well, in truth, I realize that I am odd and have been told so by numerous persons on innumerable occasions.

That being said (or perhaps more aptly, written), I tend to mark critical times in my life by various pieces of music that I found myself listening to at the time, or that I purposely sought.

The first "get-over" music I can recall: losing my second very close girlfriend, Linda Fertig, in the 70s. John Fogerty's "Rockin' All Over The World" pulled me through, as did Stray's "Stand Up And Be Counted." They seemed to work absolute magic.

Though I have to admit, my very first girlfriend affected me infinitely more; I worked at Chatham Village in Kettering, Ohio, on the maintenance crew and took a radio with me when I worked inside and out, shoveling snow, changing filters, mowing lawns, painting fences. Dawn Keller was in fact my first and most staggering girlfriend. I'll not then and now ever forget her. Music, for me, at the time (1970 to 1973), was all over the map. I know that she was my first actual true love that surpassed, even, my first wife. But I suspect she knows this already. And more. Maybe our musical icon would be the Humble Pie concert at the Hara Arena in Dayton, Ohio. I smile when I think of her and associate her with the music of the times. There are SO many memories. Fairmont East High School, Chatham Village, my white 1966 Ford Fairlane, her mother, my mother. Those were wonderful days for the both of us. Only positive. Except for the make and manner of our parting.

In 1979, I encountered a critical incident where I ended up taking the life of another human being as a law enforcement officer. My friends the FBI came to visit (oddly enough, I ended up working for them almost five years later), as did the local DA. I was the subject of suits. I can clearly recall listening to nothing outside of a steady diet of Van Halen and Black Sabbath; more specifically, the Sabbath Bloody Sabbath album. I replayed the title track and "Killing Yourself To Live" over and over. I do not know why.

I can write about this now, many years later, after having gone through many transmogrifications and adaptations. My final analysis is this: the heroin-dealing asshole died and I lived because I was the better shot at 25' on a vehicle stop. He pulled his gun first. Inaccuracy was his downfall. Fuck him. I was younger and had better training. He was stupid and took 3 rounds to the torso, and one very nice scaldingly-hot round to his forehead. Center-punched. BABY. He fell like a fucking rock. There is much more to this story. That I shan't reveal in public. The suits and hate and discontent are over. Besides, his survivors wouldn't have the mental capacity to scan blogs, much less read.

As an aside: Never poo-pooh either the stainless 4" K-frame S&W Model 66 or its concomitant .357 round. Trust me; it's taken MANY years to get to the point where I can crow about my living and his death. And if you've never been there and find my analysis disturbing or inappropriate, well I can only say this: STFU. The asshole is dead because he was stupider and slower, and I was smarter and faster. Then. And that's all that counts. For me, anyway.

Okay. Better now. Vented. Probably shouldn't have done so in public, but, there it is.

Other music crises:

My divorce in 1988: listening to a steady diet of Talking Heads, 801, Smashing Pumpkins and King Crimson. I went back to my roots, to what I loved, to what was familiar. I have absolutely no idea why. But of course I do.

Fast forward to 2004: I severed a relationship of 17 years which, in public, I should not address to be fair. I found myself primarily listening to the newest Phil Manzanera album, 6 PM. It just seemed to typify my angst, my confusion, my resolution, my new direction, my temporary vacuosity.

It was slow, it was wistful, it was introspective, it was self-centered -- it simply spoke to me.

My life, perhaps because I was in radio for so many years, revolves around music. Much of it remarkably obscure and esoteric. I associate radio and music with many chapters in my life.

I completely concur with Foghat's philosophy from 1978's Stone Blue album:

Wind tearin' through the backstreet, I hear the rhythm of my heart beat,
Rain blowin' to my face, I'm tired of being in the wrong place.
Blues knockin' on my back door, I can't jump from the second floor,
Turn up the radio higher and higher, rock and roll music set my ears on fire.
When I was stone blue, rock and roll sure helped me through.

When I was stone blue, rock and roll sure helped me through.

Do you associate music with certain portions of your life?

What do you link with what songs and at what time?

You've read mine. . .

"When I was stone blue, rock and roll sure helped me through."

This is more honest than I've been in years . . .


I began my blog in 2004; it actually "caught on" in 2006. Despite that, it's taken me almost 30 years to reveal this information to anyone, much less proffer it in public. Some may be offended; some may not. For those offended, my first response is not kind. My second response would be: unless you've been there, read and listen. A book I might suggest:

On Killing, by David Grossman.


Blogger Mark said...

You sound almost defensive about defending yourself. I wouldn't bother . when a dumbass hauls iron on a cop at a traffic stop, he wants to die. as a plain 'ol citizen of this country, I'd prefer all the cops to win and all the perps to lose in that game. you played the hand you were dealt, he made his move first, and lost. be thankful for it.

Sat Aug 11, 07:38:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Mark: an easy assessment; have you been there? I had no more an inkling that my duty would consist of taking a life than I had an inkling that some reports wouldn't be acceptable in terms of format.

I was defensive back then. Clearly. And then some. It has taken me almost 30 years to understand the primary concepts behind my actions.

Make no misunderstanding: I am CLEARLY thankful.


Sat Aug 11, 08:37:00 PM PDT  
Blogger bigwhitehat said...

Officer, let me make something perfectly clear. Thank you for removing one more of my problems from the face of the earth. I won't tell you how to feel but you did do the world a favor.

Sometimes justice is rough. That is why we need good people wearing badges.

Neither of us has to understand why this music helped you through the rough spots. I'm just glad something did. The world is better for you being in it.

Sat Aug 11, 10:47:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Mark said...

Yeah, I am talking out of my hat, as I've never been forced into such an action, and I can imagine the mix of feelings one would have upon being forced to use deadly force, but you didn't make the fool draw on you, and I'm sure I'd rather have you for a neighbor as him, even if you might play your music a bit loud sometimes.

Sun Aug 12, 06:23:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Ranando said...

Better him than you.

Well done.

Sun Aug 12, 01:08:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Mark: okay, guilty: I do play my music a little loud at times but, oddly enough, primarily whilst I'm blogging.


Sun Aug 12, 01:17:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous DK said...

Hey BZ-Do you remember letting me drive your 1966 Fairlane? I road up on the curb and flattened your tire and you made up some story to tell your parents so we wouldn't get in trouble. Do you remember the story? I do. You and I did some things no one would ever believe we would have done. We were "good" kids. Ha! Ha! DK

Sun Aug 12, 04:52:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bushwack said...

Well BZ, thanks for dropping that story and the loser. Any LE officer that can take a life and not show some sort of remorse, is an officer we don't need. Our officers are the best in the world because of their humanity and compassion.

While I might say, it would be great to see a group of officers high fiving each other, after a removing scum like the one you did, it would not be a good world to live in.

I will also say that after the initial shock of taking a life and the 2 minutes of remorse, a cold beer and a hearty HELL YEAH is not out of the question.

Unfortunately in my case, when a life was lost, it was not in such a cut and dry situation.
Eventually that story will be told.

Sun Aug 12, 05:40:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Gayle said...

I go along with the rest of the commenters here: Thank you, BZ. Think about it... how many people may he have killed had he lived? You did society a favor for sure, and I'm positive that you went through a lot because of it. Thankfully you were able to deal with it and music helped you through it.

Sun Aug 12, 06:02:00 PM PDT  
Blogger shoprat said...

The fact that you were able to kill when you had to and feel remorse afterwards says a lot of good things about you. Sometimes a person may have no choice but to kill but one should never feel good about it. That is the difference between a good law officer using deadly force and a bully using deadly force.

Mon Aug 13, 08:40:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

DK: matter of fact, that one has slipped my memory chain but, obviously, I knew how to do The Right Thing even back then!

Bush: it's taken years to put it behind me. For many years thereafter the ol' Brain Theatre used to treat me with many repeated shows nightly.


Mon Aug 13, 04:01:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Just John said...

As Bushwack said, if it didn't cause you to reflect upon it, there might be something wrong.

Anyone that would condemn what you did should walk a mile in your shoes.

A profound post; hope it helped.

Wed Aug 15, 05:48:00 AM PDT  

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