Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Song of the Day - July 8, 2009

Back in 1993, when North America was infatuated by grunge, John Hiatt decided to turn the volume up and get a little grittier. The result, at least on the first single and title cut of Perfectly Good Guitar , was a good approximation of... Neil Young, not teen spirit. Not entirely inappropriate, given that Neil was, at the time, being called the godfather of grunge for his lumbering, blistering workouts with Crazy Horse.

Yet the song is, in some ways, not very charitable to its inspiration - Nirvana's Krist Novoselic. Hiatt, watching TV one day, saw the trio's bassist get hit in the head with a bass guitar he was trying to shatter. "I don't know who they think they are," he says with a fogey's derision, "smashing a perfectly good guitar." And yet, musically, it's very muscular and appealing. Hiatt and his cohorts give the song a good working-over, like they're using a side of beef as a punching bag. It may be his best rock song, even if he seems at odd with the whole nihilistic, showy aspects of rock music.

The real reason I picked it is a nod to my blog about how United Airlines smashed a perfectly good guitar belonging to Sons of Maxwell member David Carroll...

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