Sunday, 1 January 2017

Progressive Thoughts - Day 1

I thought I would start the New Year, as I did five years ago, with a daily series of posts. It will also help me to forget all of the weirdness that happened in 2016, a memorable year, but for all the wrong reasons.

Anyway, enough of that! We are now in the year 2017 and this year will hopefully be much better.

Five years ago, I chose to select a pop song every day in January and talk about where and how it featured in my life at the time.

This time, I am not going to do that exactly. Instead, I am going to endeavour to introduce you to the world of Progressive Rock, my favourite music genre. I can hear you groan, dear reader, as you think “Why? What the hell IS Progressive Rock anyway?”

Don’t be despondent. My aim is to pour forth my thoughts on a number of subjects inspired by the music that you will hopefully give a little go. To be honest, Progressive Rock in itself is a weird genre because many people claim to have never heard of it, but when I mention the bands and artists, they say “Oh yeah! I never knew they were Progressive Rock!”

Take Genesis, for example. They are one of the most famous members of this elite group of artists. You will hear from them in a few days.

I want to start where it all began, way back in 1977. The very first record I ever bought was a Progressive Rock masterpiece: Fanfare For The Common Man by Emerson, Lake and Palmer. I guess the genre appealed to me even back then.

Here it is:

I’ve always regarded myself as a common man. There’s nothing that special about me, really. If you were to meet me you hopefully not think I’m an okay kind of guy. I like to think I’m a nice person and would never knowingly upset anybody.

Yes I rant about people and things but if I genuinely don’t like somebody, I simply avoid them – for their sake as well as mine. I can’t bring myself to be nasty even to so-called foes; it’s just not in my nature.

To be fair, I would prefer to listen to a song called "Fanfare For The Nice Guy" because ultimately I think that nice guys don’t always win. Nasty people exploit and use nice guys – I have been a victim of that in the past when I was a na├»ve youngster. Such experiences have made me cynical and that is one of my weakness and something I can’t do anything about.

I like to think that I am a good judge of character and when I meet somebody who I think has a hidden agenda, I nod and smile but am very wary of their motives. I’ve met quite a few people like this, mainly through work and usually socially.

For example, at a wedding I went to once, I met a guy who bored me senseless for about an hour, telling me how wonderful he was and how rich he was. He asked me about what I had done, but his sole purpose was one-upmanship; to basically tell me that he had done something better or something more successful. Whenever I mentioned the exploits of friends I knew, he claimed to have friends who were better than them, more famous than them or had made a bigger mess of something.

At the end of the conversation, he wanted to keep in touch – why, I don’t know because compared to his person he claimed to be, I was just a plebeian non-entity. Perhaps he thought that I would become one his army of fans and he would be able to claim that he had common men as friends.

I haven’t seen him since – and I am glad.

Most of the people I meet, I genuinely like, which tells me that most people are fine, most people are nice guys and girls and we’re all common people with normal everyday lives.

I am sure you are too, dear reader, because I like you all too – unless you are a pseudo-intellectual or a keyboard warrior, in which case I shall reserve judgement until I meet you in person.


Elephant's Child said...

Hooray for the little people. The important little people. Who are overlooked by the media, but do so much.

Grace said...

People who tell you how wonderful they are used to annoy the living daylights out of me - until I realized they were incredibly insecure. They try to make themselves big by making other people small. Pitiable and sad.

River said...

"if I genuinely don't like somebody, I simply avoid them"
Me too! it makes life so much easier.
I like a lot of the Genesis songs, but didn't realise they fall under the 'progressive rock' banner. I'm willing to give your songs a try, even though most of them get turned off again about 1 minute in, there are some that I've liked. I do have a problem with the length of a lot of it. I like my songs or music a bit shorter. Today's Fanfare for the Common Man was okay for two and a half minutes, then I'd had enough. You have occasionally played stuff I liked enough to listen to all the way through, even five or more minutes and it's nice to discover something different that doesn't make me reach for the stop button.

Pandora Behr said...

Happy new year, PM.

Emerson, Lake and Palmer - wow. That's one out of the annals.

Nothing wrong with Progressive Rock, PM Nothing at all.

Here's to a great 2017.



Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

This is one of the reasons why I hate the "Cult of Celebrity" and the UK honours system. There are so many decent people out there but sadly a lot of the arseholes get the attention they crave.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Grace,

Yes - I guess they are insecure. In that case, I feel a little sorry for them. I shall continue to ignore them though.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

A lot of prog songs are quite long but there are shorter ones too (normal length for you I suppose).

The longest I have is 24 minutes - but I won't be posting that one.

I hope you are surprised over the next few days or so.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

Happy New Year to you. Let's hope the world becomes more sane in 2017.




Big D said...

RIP Greg Lake.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Big D,

And Keith Emerson.