Search This Blog

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Lebanese Don't Love Rock N' Roll

What is with Lebanese and their non-existent taste in music? I would say god awful, but that would be just a tad arrogant, no? Allow me to explain …. As this week has consisted of one holiday after the other, I have been stepping out on the town quite a bit with the usual suspects, give or take a new addition or two. As is usually the case, I get really bored with the going out scene mainly because the music at most places (with the exception of my favorite haunt in Monot) is so bloody terrible. It’s like people in this country can only like one song at a time, and they obsess over it for an entire season, so that it’s played over and over and over – you get the picture? – again until the mere opening bars start to make your ears bleed. But no matter how over-played the tune is, when it comes on at whatever club you happen to be at, Bimbo Barbie jumps on the table, ‘whooing’ until her shrieks break glass while Macho Man waves his hands up and down in his best ‘gangsta’ impersonation, with cigarette in one hand and whiskey in the other. Yes, tres cool. Ask them what this song is called or the name of the singer, though, and you will be met with blank stares.

Now, I’m not saying I have superior taste in music or anything - actually most people here hate my music, which is fine - but at least I have my own individual taste. I know the names of the songs I like and who sings them. I even have favorite bands – shocker! Okay, so I know this country has major problems that go way beyond no real music knowledge, but it would be nice to mention a singer and have the other person know who you’re talking about. There are a few exceptions, like Mr. B, for example. We don't have the same taste, but at least we can have discussions about different bands and genres. We argue a lot - he thinks British Pop is a genre on its own, I insist it's part of the Alternative group; he thinks The Clash rock, I think they suck; I think Moonlight Mile is the best track off the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers, he thinks it's the worst, etc. But at least I can have a conversation about the Rolling Stones with him ....

Which is totally not the case with MadGlam, who was at a club in London where a Rolling Stone - identity still unknown - was partying and she didn't even know who it was!! An actual Rolling Stone!! Can you believe it?
"Oh, I was at a club with someone from that band you like," she brought up nonchalantly.
"What band?" I asked.
"I don't know, the one on that t-shirt you wear."
"The Rolling Stones?? Was it Mick Jagger?" I asked, excitedly.
"Yeah, the Rolling Stones. No, no, not Mick Jagger," she answered, "it was the other one." Hmmm, very helpful.
"Was it Keith Richards?" She had no clue who that was, of course, and trying to get any further information out of her was about as effective as getting water from a stone - no pun intended - not surprising considering that she wandered onto the set of the latest Pirates of the Carribbean movie and thought it was a Halloween party ... where everyone was wearing the same costume, but that’s another story entirely.

I guess, then, that I'm only to blame when, on discovering that one of my all-time favorite bands Guns N' Roses will be playing in nearby Abu Dhabi, I asked her to go with me. (In my defense, I did ask Mr. US first, but he replied, "I only like two of their songs." Hmph!) MadGlam's reply? "Isn't that a clothing brand?"

I guess Huey Lewis was wrong - the heart of rock and roll is not still beating ... not in Beirut anyway!


  1. well, i guess we all lost taste in music, i remember that 10 years ago, i used to like a song because of its lyrics, meanings, type... but now its different, we just follow the beat, rhythm.
    most of recent songs are meanningless, made of strong beats and sang by "Babies-Kent". and the "lebanese-fans" repeating whatever word is said in the song, like "F* me, F* u..., ", in french it is described like that "c'est le bordel" ---> "shitty situation"

    I liked the way you described how lebanese act in clubs "Bimbo Barbie jumps on the table, ‘whooing’ until her shrieks break glass while Macho Man waves his hands up and down in his best ‘gangsta’ impersonation, with cigarette in one hand and whiskey in the other"

    waiting for your next post :)

  2. i loooooooooooooove guns n roses :) and loved this post ;)