September 30, 2013

Glorified G

I've never fired a gun. Never even held one. Never actually been near one when it was fired. In short,
I have lived nearly forty years and the closest I have ever gotten to a real gun is by watching people shoot them on TV. I don't get them. I don't get the point of guns. Seems pretty simple to me-- guns are designed to kill things. I don't want to kill things nor do I want to be killed, so I will stay away from guns. Everything else is posturing and compensation.

original image by Pedro Alonso

Glorified G is a schizophrenic of a song. The opening riff more at home on an R.E.M album that a grunge song, it never really quite finds itself. Which is exactly the point. The band at this point was doing everything to dismantle the grunge prison they had been thrown into.

Mike McCready on the song:
I wrote part of that one. I had this Gretsch Country Gentleman and I started jamming on this little thing in D; the riff just came out of that. Stone came up with his weird part. There are all these strange, disjointed parts that kind of turned into a song. Stone's doing something weird, Jeff's doing something weird and offbeat, but for some reason it works, I really don't know why. 
Glorified G was one that went through a series of changes, and barely held together the whole time. We all knew there were melodies and riffs in it we liked. But even listening to the song right up to the mixing stage I was going, "Does this work at all?!" Here was Mike playing a very up, country guitar line while I'm playing this choppy down riff on the opposite end of the groove spectrum. Meanwhile, Jeff's got this totally other bass line going that's not really steady, and he's going off in a melodic direction, too. So there's not really anybody holding it down, and Dave's got to decide either to play it more the country way or play it the funky way. There was this precarious balance, and then suddenly the bridge comes in from out of the blue, which, if Eddie doesn't sing it just right, sounds sort of foreign. Finally, it never goes back to the chorus at the end, it turns into something else.
I've been trying all night to think of what else to say about the song, other than that I remember being shocked by it the first few listens. It was so unlike anything they had done at that point, but I was drawn in rather quickly. Like so many songs on Vs, the repeated mantra simplicity of the lyrics allow so much room of exploration and interpretation.

Over at the Sky I Scrape they have this to say:
Musically Glorified G is a fun firecracker of a song. It sounds like a party with its good time classic rock vibe. There’s no cowbell here, but it would fit right in. This song makes me want to have a BBQ. There’s a casual ‘who gives a fuck’ feel to the music that makes the song oddly contagious, and Mike’s solos sound almost festive. It’s an odd backdrop, to say the least, for Eddie’s sneering indictment of gun culture and red state (even though we weren’t using that term when this song was written) America.
I suggest you read the whole post here, there is some really insightful stuff there, which I suppose I could write, but not sure I could say it any better than this:
Certainly from Eddie’s perspective, a gun is a tool for murder, and that’s it. They’re not toys, and their owners are not sportsmen. These things are dangerous, yet we live in a society that celebrates them, that can’t have enough of them (Got a gun, ‘fact I got two), and that refuses to confront the harm they do: (never shot at a living thing). Eddie is railing against the inability of Americans to see a world outside their immediate horizons and interests, our inability to imagine that an action might have implications outside of how it affects myself.


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