Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Plausible Rock ‘N’ Roll Conversations

1973. England. The Wailers—including Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer—have just taped a performance for The Old Grey Whistle Test.

BOB MARLEY: That wasn’t too bad.

PETER TOSH: No. Not bad at all. Pretty good show.

BOB: This weather is really crappy though.

PETER: Sure is.

BOB: Can I ask you a question, Peter?

PETER: Sure.

BOB: When we play together, what do you think about?

PETER: What do you mean?

BOB: I mean, what do you think about when you’re playing guitar? What inspires you?

PETER: I guess I’m still a little unclear about what you’re asking.

BOB: For instance, when we play a song like “Stir It Up”—a song that has so many connotations, sexual, political—I think about a whole bunch of things: Rita, Jamaica, His Most Excellent Hailie Selassie, the slowly churning gears of revolution. Different things depending on my mood, but always things that mean a great deal to me and cause me to create really fantastic music. Do you see what I’m saying?

PETER: Yeah. Yeah, I think I get what you’re asking now.

BOB: So what do you think about?

PETER: Soup.

BOB: Soup?

PETER: Yeah. Soup. I think about soup.

BOB: What . . . kind of soup?

PETER: Oh, all kinds. Usually something creamy. But not too thick. Sometimes something spicy, like mulligatawny. It varies. You know, like you, depending on the mood I’m in.

BOB: So . . . .when I play my music, I think about throwing off the shackles of our oppressors and unifying the world . . . and you think about soup?

PETER: That sounds about right.

BOB: I guess that’s kind of the same. But not really.

PETER: How isn’t it the same?

BOB: You think about soup; I think about revolution.

PETER: Soup is a kind of revolution, Bob.

BOB: [slight pause] What?

PETER: What?

BOB: Do you think about soup just when we sing “Stir It Up” or on every song we play?

PETER: [reflects for a moment] I think about soup pretty much every time I play any song.

BOB: Oh.


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