Sunday, August 09, 2009

Double Nickels on the Dime

One of my favorite records is "Double Nickels on the Dime," by the Minutemen. It is a double album of about 40 songs released by SST Records in 1984, a year before the group's singer and guitar player, Dennis Boon, was thrown through a van window in Arizona in a car wreck and died.

I found an interview with the band's bassist Mike Watt (from 1992 or so) where he said the album photo and title of "Double Nickels on the Dime" was a goof on Sammy Hagar's "I Can't Drive 55" song and album. Apparently, according to Watt, they decided to make the entire point of their album cover and album title to show them driving at 55 mph on a freeway in Los Angeles at an exit to San Pedro (where they were all from).

To get the photo, Watt said they had to go round and round on the highway three times to get the speedometer pinned at exactly 55 mph at the moment they passed the San Pedro exit and to get Watt, who was driving the car, smiling in the rearview mirror.

All this for a dumb joke on Sammy Hagar, who probably still has never heard of the Minutemen.

Of course, given Mike Watt told this story, it is quite possible he made it all up just so people like me would repeat it.

I really like the line where Dennis Boon says, "And I can't believe it all was good for human kind. And I have to read the lies between the lines."

But the best part is when Dennis Boon rolls down the hill, which as any kid knows, is why hills were invented.

Something very precious and vital left the Earth when Dennis Boon was killed on a highway in Arizona in December 1985.


Aurora Erratic said...

Any fool can drive 55. Try 57 for a real challenge.

Chris Rich said...

Wow, you write some of the best pieces ever about White Cedar wetlands AND Double Nickles.

I'm floored.

aupanner said...

yo, thought i'd take this off BR's blog. he's probably going to cut us off soon...

my last post sounded more harsh than i intended it. i just meant that management risks educating employees and then losing them to competitors if they don't treat them fairly...

i agree with you that the numbers are obnoxious - the spread between senior execs and us low level employees. but that is capitalism. it is shitty, but it's kinda the point of capitalism. there are companies out there that don't play by those rules, and they have better perks for employees, better retention and some may say better ROI.

you can criticize management of companies for being greedy on a personal level - but you can't ask for systemic change to prevent it. i know a few senior management people who made millions - they lost it all in the last two years. between being over leveraged and getting divorced because their wives left them because they spent all their time trying to make that money. they end up with nothing.

i choose to rise above the whole mess. i say - senior management might get more money in their bank account, but at what life cost? i prefer to live way below my means and save my money and look for the relationships i have with other people as the currency that makes me happy or not. this banking b.s. is obnoxious and i agree that the pay differential is hideous in many cases. and i would not run my company that way. i in fact would pay employees as much as possible - more than market. but i would not expect anyone to pay me more than market. and i would not want others to EXPECT to be paid more than market.

hope you don't mind me leaving this on your blog. delete it if you wish, i just didn't want to post on TBP....

cool blog by the way. please don't look at mine - i have no idea what i'm doing with it....

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