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For the Love of Cheese 

Wednesday, Jul 17 1996
First, there was silence. There were no chilling, icy-perfect opening chords of electric guitar, no explosions of rock-your-fillings, churn-your-stomach drumbeats, no sudden earthquakes of deeeep, throobbbbing bass in your face.

In the beginning, there was silence -- even before you went out, even while you were getting ready.

Remember this. Remember, as Richie Sambora and US3 and Van Halen and the Beastie Boys and Cypress Hill and Pavement and Paula Abdul and the Clash and the Pulp Fiction soundtrack infuse you with a kinetic current of adrenaline.

Remember this as you "get psyched," as you "get pumped."
Remember as you stand half-naked in front of the mirror blissfully, gloriously exalted, powerful, magnetic ... and maybe a little high.

Remember this as you Become. Scream! Dance! Change your outfit again!
Remember! Then go see a thousand faces -- AND ROCK THEM ALL.

Being in a Rock Band Cheese
Closing your eyes while you sing
The "No chicks at practice" rule
The lit-cigarette-in-the-guitar-strings
The facing-your-amp guitar
Bass solos
Whammy bars
Slap bass

Dropping or breaking a stick and still playing without skipping a beat (literally) because YOU FUCKING ROCK!

Pointing to someone in the audience
Playing a really powerful chord and then pointing to someone in the audience before hitting another powerful chord

Concert T-shirts that have alist of the shows and dates buthave a stamp that says "Sold Out" over every last show!

Saying the word "venue" and meaning it
Wearing the shirt from the last tour to this year's show
Bringing members of the opening band onstage for the big finale
The Howard Jones guitar/keyboard thing
Breaking strings
Breaking sticks
Breaking hearts
Misspelling words in band names on purpose
Playing in drag
See-through plastic instruments
Dolby sound (Bonus: calling it "Dubly")
Marshall stacks
European tours
Being big in Japan
Bands from England singing like they're from Georgia
Bands from Berkeley singing like they're from England
Duct tape
The Ball-Boy-at-Wimbledon/Roadie-on-Tour hunchback scamper across stage
Terrycloth wristbands
Playing on a barge or rooftop
Spoken word bridges
Thanking cymbal manufacturers in your liner notes
Taping spare picks to the mic stand
Courtney Cox's "Dancing in the Dark" video cameo
Having a soundman named Cosmo
Drinking bottled water onstage
Toweling off
Returning for the encore with a towel around your neck and no shirt
Band members leaving stage arm in arm
Analog vs. digital arguments
Left-handed drum sets
The Paul Shaffer end-the-song-n-n-n-n-n-NOW! gesture
Encores in general
Hiding behind your amp
Battles of the Bands
Curse-word stickers on guitars
Eating fruit onstage
Musical "integrity"
Set lists
Being in the audience and writing down the set list
Calling yourself a jazz band because you don't have a singer
Doing tricks with the mic
The guitarist/bassist back-to-back guitar solo
Songs about being on the road
Naming your band after a disease
Playing by ear
"Label interest"
Twins in the same band
Clap machine/clap sample
Between-song banter
Explaining every song before you play it
Bringing your girlfriend on tour
Bringing your children on tour
Bringing your children onstage
Farewell tours
"We Love You Good Night!"
Asking the crowd if they are ready to rock and roll tonight

Asking it again when you know damn well they heard you and responded the last time (Bonus: saying you couldn't hear it from "the people in back")

Surfing the audience
Surfing the audience against your will
Saying "Hello, Houston!"
Saying "Thank you, Detroit!" (Bonus: getting the city wrong, both times)

Getting out of a limo, drunk, shirt unbuttoned, sunglasses half on, model on your shoulder, smile on your lips, cigarette in your mouth (barely), and chortling, "Where are we? Where's the gig? Oh shit, look at all these people!"

Hip Hop Cheese
Opening your song with gunshots
Pseudo-improv studio conversation
Pseudo-intellectual rap critics (Bonus: they're white!)
"Everybody say, 'Ho-oh!' "
Flow (Bonus: flava!)
Stunts and blunts
Timbos (Bonus: kangols!)
Having NBA guys on your album (Bonus: in your video!)
Frontin' (Bonus: representin')
Triplefat Goose
"Hellz yeah"
Having "the skillz that pay the billz"
Visors to the side
Rhymin' about your dick
Dissing sucka MCs
The 808 (Bonus: the human beatbox!)
Coming straight out da ghetto
Coming straight from da streets
Bringin' that beat back
Breakin' it down
Rockin' on and on, till the breaka dawn

Shout-outs (Bonus: to the five boroughs) (Double Bonus: to Afrika Bambaataa!)

The fake white guy voice
Suffixes (-Dog, -Love, -Mack)
Using "yo" at the end of a sentence
Old Skool
Rugged beats (Bonus: raw beats)
Hoes that you knows
Party peoples
Bein' in da house
Saying "brothers got to work it out"
Dropping beats
Being all that (Bonus: and then some)
New Jack Swing
Your ride
Your crib
Your bitch (Bonus: bitches!)
Calling your friends your "niggas" (Bonus: you're white and Jewish)
Keepin' it real

Jazz Cheese
Toe tapping
Muting your horn with a plunger
"Take Five"
Founding a religious cult after your favorite dead jazz musician
Raspy voices
Clapping in the middle of an improvisation
Spending a good portion of your day burnishing

People who tell you that what you're listening to is not actually "jazz" (Bonus: they make the quote signs with their fingers)

Soprano sax

That John Coltrane "Blue Train" poster everyone has on their god- damn walls

"Monster" players
Having a son who's a rapper
DJ Jazzy Jeff
Acid Jazz (Bonus: Vol. 1)
French jazz bootlegs
The way people always say the French really appreciate jazz
Playing Dixieland at a funeral
Spit valves
Jazz singers
The Jazz Singer
Having good chops
Having puffy cheeks
Having to wear sunglasses all the time

Blues and Soul Cheese
Harmonica solos
Slide guitar
Songs about drinking
Songs about a woman
Songs about a drinking woman
Songs about a mean drinking woman
Songs about a mean drinking woman with one leg (Bonus: in Memphis)
Beale Street
Jeri Curl
The Blues Brothers
Marvin Gaye tributes
Don Cornelius
Soul groups that employ bubble-lettering

Singers that "got da blues so bad" they got to do something about it (Bonus: like write a song!)

Blues songs with "Blues" in their titles
Being sad all the time
Growling when you forget the lyrics

Excerpted from the book For the Love of Cheese, by the editors of Might magazine, published this month by Boulevard Books.


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