On Ramble Tamble / 16 September 2003
I got a gift from my eighth-grade self the other day. Back in eighth grade I was in my friend’s bedroom — and he was one of those all-American boys with lots of crooked posters of sports figures on his wall? None of whom I recognized? While meanwhile over at Chez Josh there were anally straight posters of pasty English musicians? Are we on the same page here? OK and he was playing me a Creedence Clearwater Revival record for some reason, I guess maybe trying to sell me on the whole CCR vibe, which I wasn’t really interested in being sold on? And later he played a Melissa Etheridge record because I didn’t believe his claim that someone had a song that went “Somebody Bring Me Some Water”?
But anyway I remember being struck by the opening track on this CCR album, which was long and mostly instrumental, and so I filed it away as a Song To Get A Hold Of At Some Later Date. And years went by, and every once in a while I’d see a CCR album and remember that I was supposed to Get A Hold Of some song, even though I’d long since forgotten what it sounded like or why I should care. Once I found the album in my stepfather’s collection and got excited and fired up said song, “Ramble Tamble,” but turned it off after a minute because the song was typical CCR stuff and so surely I’d misremembered the name of the song. I mean surely this by-the-book CCR song wasn’t what’d gotten me all fired up back in the eighth grade.
But then I started to doubt myself. Maybe Eighth Grade Me was dumb and had dismal taste in music and, at the time, this standard CCR sound seemed noteworthy. I became very disappointed in Eighth Grade Me. I scowled at EGM. I resented EGM for being part of my history.
Then I’m on eMusic the other day and they had some CCR and I said: Consarn it, I’m downloading “Ramble Tamble” and I’m going to listen the shit out of it and see what in the hell stupid EGM saw in it. So I did, and sure enough, the song totally changes two minutes into it, evidently right after I’d turned it off back when I hijacked it from my stepfather, segueing from Typical CCR into a slower extendo-jam, complete with the — well, I don’t know how to describe it, exactly, but a kind of moody descending-slash-cyclical guitar line that I always go for — the closest comparison I can think of right now being maybe “I Want You” by the Beatles. And, also like that song, CCR runs the riff into the ground, another thing I’m a big fan of (cf. American Analog Set, Queens of the Stone Age).
(Oh screw it, here’s a little excerpt. And I added my own slow fadeout which I realize now they totally should’ve done, too, because like Nicholson Baker says in Vox, a long slow fadeout makes it seem as if the band kept running that riff into the ground all night long.)
So when that long instrumental section began, I knew instantly why EGM’d perked up back in that sporty bedroom, why EGM’d filed it away for future reference, and I took back all the horrible, petty things I said about him and felt better about the world in general, once again being secure in the knowledge that I’ve always had my shit totally tight.