School of Rock: Jesus and Mary Chain

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It’s been a very busy week here at Washington Babylon, so I’m taking it easy today and am just going to post this one story, the first “Lazy Friday Playlist” I’ve run in over a year. It’s a cherished Washington Babylon tradition so I’m happy to revive it and will try to make it a regular feature again, if not necessarily a weekly one.

I have eclectic politics and also eclectic taste in movies and music. With movies I like everything from low brow (Hangover and Bridesmaids) to high brow (Pan’s Labyrinth and Mulholland Drive, though not sure either of those are precisely high brow; perhaps surrealism, one of my favorite artistic genres, is a better descriptor). With music, I love it all. Rap, rock, punk, country, jazz, blues and classical, to Brazilian, Senegalese, Venezuelan, Colombian, Salsa and on and on and on.

Today, I’m going to write about one of my favorite comedies, School of Rock, and one of my favorite songs, I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll, by Jesus and Mary Chain, which is far superior to Joan Jett’s version. (Here I digress but I’m undecided about who does the best version of another favorite song of mine, Crimson and Clover, Tommy James & The Shondells, the original, or Prince. I love Prince, RIP, but think I’d have to go with Tommy James. But I can’t mention Prince without noting another favorite song, Raspberry Beret.)

Anyway, back to School of Rock and I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll. I’ve seen the movie at least 20 times, most recently about a week ago, and it never gets old, especially the wonderful performance by Jack Black. Most people probably think of it as low brow. I don’t. Sure, it’s a silly comedy on the one hand but it also speaks of universal truths, which is why it holds up so well: the transformative power of music, whatever you like; the need to never quit or give up on your dreams; and, perhaps most importantly, one’s goal in life should always be to “Fuck The Man.”

I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll, which is a mix of rock and punk (edging towards the latter), is also, first and foremost, about the transformative power of music. Just check out the opening lyrics.

I had trouble but I found my star
I found myself an electric guitar
Well I was some kind of messed up kid
Now look what you did
Look what you did
You made me, yeah
You make me, yeah

But I don’t want to waste any more time writing about it, so here’s a video of this extraordinary, exhilarating song and the full lyrics so you can sing or read along. Emphasis added at my favorite part.

Crank it up, have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend as well. Washington Babylon will be back Monday with our regularly scheduled programming.

I had trouble but I found my star
I found myself an electric guitar
Well I was some kind of messed up kid
Now look what you did
Look what you did
You made me, yeah
You make me, yeah
Well I’m not preaching or making a case
I’m not trying to make the world a better place
Well I ain’t evil, but I ain’t good
I did what I could
I did what I could
To save me, yeah
To save me, yeah
I love rock’n’roll
I love what I’m do-ooing
I need rock’n’roll
Gets me where I’m going
Don’t need money if you’ve got soul
And it don’t matter if you’re young or you’re old
Well I don’t worry what the people say
They say what they say
I go my own way
But that’s me, yeah
It suits me, yeah

I love rock’n’roll
I love what I’m do-ooing
I love rock’n’roll
Gets me where I’m going
Don’t need anyone
Don’t need anything
Don’t need anybody
I need rock’n’roll

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