Originally I thought it would be funny to write a review of the Greta Van Fleet album in this overeducated, bloviating, Richard Meltzer ’60s male critic type voice, only he thought Woodstock 99 was the one defining moment of rock music. The joke kind of fizzled out and ultimately didn’t make any sense and I couldn’t really tune it how I wanted to. Anyway, bad first drafts usually are destroyed but I’m bringing blogging back so here’s this:
Rumsfeld Dreams & Greta Van Fleet
Let me talk at you about this dream. Haven’t had one like this since Donald Rumsfeld rat fucked us in Iraq, a purebred, seminal dream. Oh-h-h I used to dream about it: Rock, that is. Rock and, as they say, its concomitant roll. Many dreams. Lots. SEVERAL. Three, four a night if the drugs were right. Unsafe post-moral, post-structural, post-everything dreams, NSF the kiddies. This one, this new dream was a craven vision, legs and hair and guitar and c. that had me twirling all the way back to the dawn of rock.
The dawn: Woodstock 99, the first particle of rock, the font of primal unity, you know, the real thing. A rare weekend rich w. oxygen before Bush II (but after Sixteen Stone), when there was finally some hot spit on the ball again: Lit, Godsmack, Creed playing w. the Doors’ one and only Robby Kreiger, and the rock-and-ok-some-funk-too Chili Peppers’ climactic conflagration, a raw display of eschatological viscera.
You won’t find this in your shabby history book, but the toast of Woodstock was king skeezix himself, Josh Davis, he of Buckcherry, he of the aforementioned dream. Take Iggy Pop and pour uncut U.A.E. diesel down his throat and that’s J. Davis, the once and future savior of rock&roll (give it time). Most bands was red sometimes yellow. Buckcherry was Roy G. Biv every song. They contained It, possessed It, became It—rock, that is.
To the dream. We are sitting, ass on cushion feet on pilly carpet, at a Famous Dave’s BBQ somewhere in the middle of farm fuck nowhere and it’s Josh and me and Justin Hawkins (he of the Darkness). On the table: drinks, appetizers, a rack of ribs, you know, lunch.
Picture this trio: dressed tip to toe in leather and rings and shimmering aquamarine jewelry and J. Hawkings, J. Davis, and me J. Larson are picking at the pork when Davis, shirtless (natch) leaps right up on the table and holds aloft a bona fide compact disc, a relic, a wonder, a rarity. “Davis get down from there what are you doing man” Hawkings says, seraphic, salacious.
“Attention all you shit weasels I hold in my hand a CD full of sound and fury...”
Ah, enough w. this shillyshally, I don’t need to tell you what he’s holding aloft above the sweet teas and smoked comestibles: the new Greta Van Fleet album, Anthem of a Peaceful Army, you keen-eyed reader full of so much sparkle and pop. This is the THING. Not since Buckcherry did a band blow out all my lights. All of them. Every one. At the same time. These four nu-saviors from Michigan (home of the Rock whose name is Kid) well they’re not just Buckcherry or Wolfmother even JET hack-o-lites, they’re on level 99—far out, intergalactic, cosmic, you know, out there.
Woke up from the dream and I swear to you kid the disc was lying next to my pillow like I was supposed to make it eggs. Shit, had I known what it was gonna do to me I woulda went out and bought a ring that morning. Anthem took me away to the fecund fields of peace and love, ice and snow, the past and the future, time bending around every guitar solo this kid tries to seduce me with. GVF was everywhere in the dream and out of it. Rumsfeld can rot and so can dreams now that we have a new Anthem.
NB: I read an article about Greta Van Fleet comparing them to Led Zeppelin but I don’t hear it. What I hear are millions of streams on Spotify, an army coming back from the dead. I hear rock finally tolling the grave bells from underground, a genuine dead ringer.