Monday, August 11, 2003

“Room 101”

An occasional series on things that get right up my arse.

No.3: “Jazz”

What in the name of blummin’ fuck is jazz all about? And why is it that people who claim to like, or God help us, understand jazz happen to be so bloody smug about it? I think Roddy Doyle has it just about right when he referred to jazz as “musical wanking” - playing with your instrument for your own pleasure, ignoring the fact that everybody else finds it offensive.

It’s no wonder that jazz festivals often have the words “Real Ale” tacked on the end and involve very large quantities of alcohol. I’d want to drink myself into oblivion if some bloke came after me with his oboe.

And what is it with people who “get” jazz? Why do they assume that everybody else on the planet is inferior and needs a “musical education” by forcing undiluted Courtney Pine down their throats. Somebody tried to start a Jazz Club at work, and railed incoherantly at us heathens and philistines for days after he sat in an empty room for two hours while we were all out doing something far more interesting, like cataloging our ear wax, or listening to the collected works of William Hague. He has a beard. And sandals. Yet he persists, hijacking office parties with meaningless noodlings on the clarinet.

Jazz, like masturbation, should only be performed in public by the supremely skilled, and then only for a select brand of perverts who are prepared to pay through the nose for it. It’s also a telling fact that Woody Allen ceased to be funny the moment he started playing jazz in public. Look, if you want a descending obligato, do it in the privacy of your own home away from us normal people.

Jazz Club Host: Great. Tonight, here's Jackson Jeffrey Jackson with, er- what are you going to play for us today, Jackson?
Jackson : Trumpet.
[slight pause]
Host: No, er, what tune?
Jackson: TUNE? This is jazz!

And don’t get me started on Radiohead. You can tell your favourite band is losing it when the drummer says he wants to “experiment with rhythm” instead of hammering away at the skins like he’s paid to. I’m going to be the boy who saw the Emporer’s New Clothes here and say that Radiohead are, in fact, jazz musos who MUST BE STOPPED before it’s too late. Make ‘em to listen to The Bends a few times until they get the message. Thom Yorke - stop it now or you’ll end up with hairy palms.

Kids: Jazz rots your brain. Just say no. Daddio.

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