October 16, 2012

Rolling Hop

Filed under: books — theresaurus @ 4:40 am

Found this beer in the discount bin at Liquor Mountain last weekend and I bought it because I’m in the middle of reading Keith Richards’ autobiography. It’s very light but delicious, a little sweet. A big display of imported German pretzels for only ¥198 (big, mini or stick type) intrigued me and I got some for Sam but he said they were tasteless. These will not be popular with customers. They still have a large amount of German pickles they can’t seem to sell even at half price — they’re cucumber pickles with hot peppers and what’s the point of masking the taste of a nice dill pickle with heat? I have no choice but to hold a grudge against Liquor Mountain because they stopped buying good imported cheeses. They do have a fine pasta selection, I’ll give them that.

I started out liking Keith as I read, but by the end of the book didn’t so much. I admit to skimming though some parts because the book has to go back to the library tomorrow, maybe not fair. Maybe it’s me, it’s the times we live in. I’m not in the mood to hear about another rich guy’s bullshit even if it’s honest bullshit.

Mind! In answer to the eternal question of Rolling Stones or Beatles, I choose the Stones over the Beatles by a long shot, although if I listen to too much Stones I feel the need for a shower. That sort of rock and roll is dirty, don’t you know. I’m beginning to really dislike the Beatles — I’ve reached the limit of how many times I can hear their music in a lifetime and beg Sam to refrain from playing the same old songs while I’m in the vicinity. I especially hate their hippie period, the hideous outfits and hairstyles and the whole Indian guru thing. One of my favorite Stones songs is one of their covers of the old funk song “Down Home Girl”  (“every time I kiss you, girl, you taste like pork and beans”) they heard for the first time in New York in 1964.

In fact, my favorite part of his book is when Keith talks about the Stones’ first tour of the U.S. that year.

From Life:

“There was the stark thing you discovered about America — it was civilized around the edges, but fifty miles inland from any major American city … you really did go into another world. In Nebraska and places like that we got used to them saying, ‘Hello, girls.’ … Everything they said was offensive, but the actual drive behind it was very much defense. We just wanted to go in and have a pancake or a cup of coffee with some ham and eggs, but we had to be prepared to put up with some taunting. All we were doing was playing music, but what we realized was we were going through some very interesting social dilemmas and clashes. And whole loads of insecurities, it seemed to me. Americans were supposed to be brash and self-confident. Bullshit. That was just a front. Especially the men, especially in those days, they didn’t quite know what was happening. … The only hostility I can recall on a consistent basis was from white people. Black brothers and musicians at the very least thought we were interestingly quirky. We could talk. It was far more difficult to break through to white people. You always got the impression that you were definitely a threat.”

Sounds familiar. Still are insecure hostile white men who’ll vote for the fake reality show ticket of Romney/Ryan next month because they don’t know what’s happening and are afraid and angry at fictional enemies. The white men who’ve thought of themselves as victims since the end of the Civil War, then the sixties completely freaked them out. It would’ve been fine, they would’ve adapted, but the Republican Party figured out how to get them to vote Republican despite the party’s systematic wrecking of the manufacturing economy they depend on for jobs and ridiculously high deficits that allow Republicans to cut funding for social programs and education and all the rest, they happily vote for the demise of their class and descent into a poorer life in every sense of the word.

“Most towns, like white Nashville, for example, by ten o’clock were ghost towns. We were working with black guys, the Vibrations, Don Brandley, I think his name was. … So, get in the cab and we go across the tracks and it’s just starting to happen. There’s food going, everybody’s rocking and rolling, everybody’s having a good time, and it was such a contrast from the white side of town, it always sticks in my memory. You could hang there with ribs, drink, smoke. And big mamas, for some reason they always looked upon us as thin and frail people. So they started to mama us, which was all right with me. … You wake up in a house full of black people who are being so incredibly kind to you, you can’t believe it. I mean, shit, I wish this happened at home. And this happened in every town.”

Keith’s recipe for bangers and mash is included. Find fresh sausages at the butchers, fry some onions and bacon, boil potatoes with a dash of vinegar with onions and salt and peas (carrots if you like them). Put the sausages in with the onions and bacon and “let the fuckers rock gently.” Mash the spuds and “HP sauce, every man to his own.” And his secret to sheperd’s pie is to put a layer of chopped raw onions on the meat before you spread on the potatoes.

“We’ve been trained from babyhood to have three square meals a day, the full factory-industrial revolution idea of how you’re supposed to eat. … That’s what school’s all about. Forget the geography and history and mathematics, they’re teaching you how to work in a factory. When the hooter goes, you eat. For office work or even if you’re trained to be a prime minister, it’s the same thing. It’s very bad for you to stuff all that crap in at once. Better to have a bit here, a mouthful there, every few hours a bite or two. The human body can deal with it better than showing a whole load of crap down your gob in an hour.”


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