The trouble with never


I’ve an almost-earworm tonight, but it’s not the music that is in my head. It’s thinking about a line of the lyrics:

‘When is the last time you did something for the first time?’

This is a line from the song ‘The Trouble with Never’ from the recently released Van Halen album, A Different Kind of Truth. I have it burned onto a CD in the car and I’ve played it over and over – not because I adore it, but because I need several repetitive exposures to new music before I can decide if I like it or not. I know Van Halen isn’t everyone’s cup o’ tea, especially the fabulous Sled, but I love hard rock and VH were sooo good back in 1984 when they released an album by the same name. Eddie Van Halen is a master guitarist, and ‘Diamond Dave’ (David Lee Roth) was so big, blonde, and obnoxious that even despite his mysogynistic tendencies, I just had to like VH. Especially the song ‘Jump’ which I got so excited about one MTV-watching afternoon in ’84 that I danced down the hallway and leapt into my darkened bedroom, where I smashed right through an empty aquarium I’d left in the middle of the floor. I will forever have a long scar on my foot and the memory of sitting down on my bed and watching the white me-meat that used to be covered in my skin well up and begin to drip with blood, and I will forever hear my own worried, wavery voice call, ‘mommmmmm?’ because I knew it wasn’t going to turn out well.

But, I don’t love Van Halen. That was reserved for bands that were much less mainstream back in 1984, like my forever favorites Metallica – they are still around, and still jammin’ – but their current music is nothing like the amazing new sound and sheer powerful energy they had in the early 80’s. And I really miss their instrumentals – Sled, if you’ve never heard it, take a moment to search youtube for Metallica’s ‘Orion’. (I got no clue how to embed a link) Wow. And still my favourite of theirs, after all these years.

Back to the topic at hand.

I’m not a terribly positive person. I know this, and I don’t like knowing this about myself very much, but all the not-liking does for me is make me feel even more negative. So, I attempt to surround myself with people who aren’t irritated by my negativity; like Socks, or my hubby who can usually be broken out of his occasional bad mood by something as simple and as silly as a fart-joke; or even other bloggers, who might have a down day but usually use the medium to spread happy thoughts like Disney fairy-dust.

So, when I found myself really thinking about the line, ‘When is the last time you did something for the first time?’ I was a little surprised to realise that I do just about everything for the first time, every day. And I usually know it. For example, I’m well aware that I’ve never written these words in this order, and I know that I’ve never hoped that people I’ve never met might respond and feel something – anything – due to what I’m saying about this topic. I’ve never sat here and written a blog post while listening to iDJ work up a dance set in the hopes that he gets a spot on an Irish broadcast radio station instead of the (two!) international Internet stations he is played on.

I’ve never asked someone who loves Wagner to listen to Metallica. I’m a bit afraid with that one! I have so much respect for Sled – someone I’ve never met – that I’d be sad and a bit ashamed if she hated one of my favourite songs! How odd! How NEW!

Perhaps I’m a ‘change’ addict, like my cat Spot. If he is, it’s my fault. I’ve never lived in one house as long as this since I was a child. I’ve never held any job longer than five years. I’ve never kept a partner longer than four years, until I met iDJ. (yep, he’s that special. I need to tell him so more often! I’m glad that I’ve reminded myself of this.)

In any case I’m taking it as a positive thing that I know when I’m doing something new, and that I am continuously appreciating the new and that I’m noticing, and savouring, the moment. Even when it is something as simple as hearing a song I’ve heard several times before, but this time I actually hear the words and realise I’m a better person than I expected.

“The Trouble With Never” (abbreviated version, chopped by moi)

You often wonder, you want to know.
How deep does the rabbit hole go?

I know you never thought about it
but ask yourself later:
When you turn on your stereo
does it return the favor?

That’s the trouble with never,
(It) sure seems like a mighty long time.
That’s the trouble with never.
When was the last time
you did something for the first time?

13 responses »

  1. Awforgoshsakes!!!

    I gotta admit that song’s a little too much excitement for me (I looked it up) but that is some fiendish guitar work.

    You do know I work out in the gym every day with the “Classic Rock” station bangin’ away on XM, and while I don’t know some of the bands and titles until someone tells me, in that environment, it’s the right sound, and I have some favorites. And in my one competition I posed to this:

    (feature me at age 30 in a wine colored string bikini, weighing 144 at about 15% body fat, depilated and painted brown, striking the old Grable pinup pose to the line about the high heels. Never again.)

    Rarely discussed fact: I have Jimmy Buffett CDs in my car.

    Now I’m thinking about doing something for the first time, and when was the last time it happened. My life is pretty routine lately.

    • I’m a bit teary-eyed and snuffly reading your reply! I’d hoped you’d feel the rise and fall of Orion like I do – the same feeling I had on hearing ‘Hall of the Mountain King’ when I was a kid, and loving it to bits. That was the first song I heard away from my family’s recordings that I wanted to hear again and again – so much so that I asked our music teacher to give me a cassette of it. He was probably shocked, as he was stuck with teaching the recorder and this was the 70’s, after all.
      John Cougar Mellencamp! He used to be okay. Never even close to a love for me, though. I wish I could see that competition video! I HATE that I have to listen to popular radio daily: it sucks most of my love of music right out of me – it’s just dreadful talentless pap.
      I’m happy, and a bit surprised, to hear you might look at the daily druge as a new thing based on this post. Routine is what you (I) make of it – I took some crazy pics on Wed I need to post here, just because I took my brain away from the routine drive and looked around.

      • I might turn the volume down and give that clip another chance.

        The XM stations are usually a little less horrible than popular radio because people can select quite specific flavors of content. Whoever makes the pick for my gym has given us relief from the worst — it’s not Top Forty craperoo. I worked in an office once where the office manager had some awful country station going all day. Ack.

  2. Aah, I love van Halen and Metallica. I grew with those (along with others). But I don’t listen that much anymore to those bands as I want to, actually.

    And I don’t think you’re negative. You just have a different view on things. That’s how I see it. 🙂
    I don’t know if I explained it well. It’s early.

    • Yay! I do enjoy my hard stuff. It’s funny to think of my generation being old and listening to Metallica, or rave music, in a nursing home. I’m already set against the top 40 stuff as it is usually terrible. I hate the inventor of auto-tuning.

      • Oh, I don’t like auto-tuning at all. Auto-tune totally ruins the song. I like a lot of genres, as long as it doesn’t has auto-tune in it.

        I like hard stuff, but I also enjoy softer music. I remember when I was little, my father would listen to music like Slayer or Izzy Osbourn, Haha. He still does tho.

        But with hard stuff, I like older songs. 🙂
        People don’t make music like that anymore these days.

  3. I went to a salsa class for the first time last night. Danced with at least 15 strange men. That’s new, cos I like to dance alone. And I had a conversation last week with a friend who knows she is going to die. We talked about how she would use her time to prepare things to help her young children (4 &1) after her death. That was new.
    I’m reading a book you might like:
    Bring me the Rhinoceros. see here:

    • Sorry for your friend. She must be very young. Hard to even conceive of a way to prepare those young ones. Glad she has someone like you to talk about it with, though. So many people turn their backs on terminally ill people, out of fear or embarrassment or….? Hope the dancing was fun.

      • Think it’s because death represents our ultimate fear – lack of control, so we attempt to control it by ignoring it. People logic is crap.
        Dancing was fanfeicingtastic!

  4. Story for you from another big VH fan: they started their career in a small, West Hollywood nightclub called the Starwood, two blocks down from Sunset Blvd. circa 1978. Your correspondent lived three blocks away in those long-lost days. Saw them regularly before they broke big. Saw Eddie VH do things with an electric guitar that seemed inhuman esp. when you consider this was BEFORE computerized, synth gadgetry that makes everyone who swings an axe these days sound like Eddie VH. Every weekend, they blew the roof off the joint…and I was there to see history in the making…

  5. I don’t see you as negative either… just you.

    I tend to not know what genre a lot of “my” music is because… it’s just what I like. I know enough that when I’m somewhere and someone asks if anyone has a Ipod to put a little music on NOT to volunteer. Occasionally I’ve been in a position to have to explain WHY I don’t.

    Easy, I listen to almost everything, and lots of my music isn’t in english. It’s not genre, it’s how the music or the words move in me. I hate sharing that with people to get a “You listen to weird stuff” or “Maybe we don’t need music”. Music is important to me, I don’t want to know someone doesn’t like something I love.

    Sometimes some piece of music will raise my goosebumps or move me to tears. I thought that was normal, apparently not. Some people do it, some don’t. Weird eh?

    “When was the last time I did something for the first time?” Honestly, you and I share the same answer. Even though many of my days are often the same, each day I do something for the first time. I’m more moved by the idea of…. you never know when it’s the last time.

    The last time you hear a commercial, or watch a movie. The last time you put a tape in or use a rotary phone. I often think… if I’d known. Which is why I always tell my husband I love him. Maybe that sounds grim, but the way I see it is… he will always know and I won’t ever regret that last time.

    Well, I’m a bucket of sunshine aren’t I?

    • Music is terribly important to me – but not in the same way it is to the hubby who likes EVERYTHING, or so it seems. I agree, it has to move me in some way. Even to laughter like Weird Al.
      Now, your take is a bit on the cloudy side and I’m surprised to hear that! We always kiss goodbye – just in case, or habit? Couldn’t say – but I’m betting on habit coming from me as I always kissed my parents goodbye and goodnight, no matter how old I got. Still kissed dad goodnight when he was here last May! Yep, you never know what might happen, so enjoy it while you can, if you can.

      • Funny thing, I’m a cloudy gal. 😉

        I’d like to claim it’s the back talking or that I’ve gotten grim over time, but nope, it’s always been there, I just never let it out.

        I do think about it more up her. I think maybe I’m becoming obsessed with that last time, but maybe it’s not a bad thing, it may mean I enjoy every moment as much as I’m able. Sure maybe it’s that “you never know when the last time will be” thought that pushes me, but hopefully it means I don’t take stuff for granted.

        That or I’m just really morbid, which I suppose it very possible. 🙂

Thoughts? Gardening tips? Cocktail recipes? Don't just like and leave, please - I can talk for Ireland and would love to prove it!

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