My Secret Shame: A Reluctant Edition

philcollinsSo my friend and colleague Jordan, or “Bonnie Prince Rocknuts” as he’s known around the office, challenged me the other day to reveal my musical “secret shames”, songs that I am embarrassed to admit that I like. We used to call these songs “guilty pleasures”, so I guess we’ve graduated from guilt to shame when it comes to enjoying music we’re not supposed to enjoy.

I know it’s just a word, but “shame” reflects some seriously fucked up thinking. Why should anybody feel shame about enjoying any music? And who are we to shame anyone else for doing so?

Geez, music is such a positive force, we should all be grateful that other people are enjoying music of any kind. Maybe over time, with the help of some friendly curators like those of us at Rocknuts, Nickelback fans can learn to love Queens of the Stone Age and the Arctic Monkeys. But in the meantime, passing judgment about the musical taste of others doesn’t help anybody.

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Personally, I don’t feel shame about anything I like. I am prepared to try and give you legitimate reasons for liking any piece of music. I can like a song for its musical or cultural value, or, failing that, I can argue for its ironic value, making just about any song ever made eligible for inclusion.

Having said that, I guess there are a few tunes I like that I’m not ashamed of per se, but let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be recognized at a stoplight singing and grooving to them. They include:

Nino Tempo and April Stevens – Deep Purple

This song won the Grammy for Best Rock and Roll Record of 1963. I’ve tried selling friends on its effervescent melody, sweet harmonies and florid imagery, only to be met by sympathetic stares. Maybe I’m not getting enough cheese in my diet.


Doobie Brothers – Listen To The Music

What was with those ‘60s and ‘70s rockers and their self-reverential songs about music? I Dig Rock & Roll Music, I Love Rock & Roll, Long Live Rock – it all seems so banal now. They might as well have been singing about doing dishes or brushing their teeth. But I still love that easy peasy acoustic guitar riff.

Phil Collins – In The Air Tonight

Yes I know Phil Collins (pictured) is the Sultan of Cheese personified, but I could make an argument for the lyrical and musical power of this song if I didn’t mind being laughed at by millennials and housepets.

Puddle of Mudd – She Hates Me (Explicit Version)

Yes it’s been a while since I was in high school, but I could make an argument for the pure pop/rock perfection of this song if I didn’t mind being laughed at by my financial advisor and yoga instructor.


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One comment to “My Secret Shame: A Reluctant Edition”
  1. Rich, I totally understand where you are coming from with “She Hates Me” and “Listen To The Music”. They’re just so damn catchy.

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