100 Days Project

Ben: 100 Writings / 100 Opening Guitar Hooks

various, random creative expressions / writings, inspired partially by 100 popular songs (songs that somewhat begin with a leading hook of a guitar.)

Day 19:

“Last Nite” (2001) by the Strokes

“Last Nite” (2001) by the Strokes


I don’t care want anyone says, I loved Limp Bizkit.

Grunge came through the 90s and ended with Kurt’s death. Britpop came along and ended when Liam left the American tour. Being the typical kid, I waited for the next train to catch, the new Genre change – and it was Nu-Metal. Sure, history may not be kind to Limp Bizkit (I’m a huge Rage Against the Machine fan and history will be kinder to them instead), but Fred Durst and company were all the hype. And it so dam fun! Whiteboys talking about bitches and hoes whilst smashing and flying things across the room – it was an amalgamation of two earlier Genres: Rap and Punk, so it really wasn’t anything new, it was simply all a lot of fun. My white friends and my brown friends were into it. It was blaring on shitty, tinny car systems at Soccer practices. It was the number one album across the world. It was great to be a part of.

But then I heard of a new Train coming – something out of New York; something called Garage Rock. Some friends were whispering. Radio stations were discussing. Magazines even had bands on their covers. I didn’t even really notice – “I DID IT ALL FOR THE NOOKIE”, I rapped as I walked down a street, with my large navy headphones and backwards cap.

But then one day at home, I put the TV on the music channel. The VJ was about to introduce this New York band called the Strokes. I thought, "okay, here we go, let’s see what all the fuss is about, I guess."

The camera panned down into a dimly-lit studio, backgrounded with loud 1970's colours and bright neons.

“Oh, I see – this band is trying that Retro look, ey!”

The film footage was soft and patchy.

“Oh, I see – they’re trying to echo that Vegas Elvis, Sammy Davis, Jnr look. Whatever.”

The opening guitar riff strummed.

“Okay – that’s pretty simplistic. It that even on distortion?”

Drums.

“Hmmmm. Not a bad beat. Sounds like a Casio Keyboard, in fact.”

Another layer of guitar.

“Wow, that guy’s gotta mean Afro.”

Bass.

“okay, okay – I think I got the idea now. So it’s all building towards some bitches and hoes lyric. Some smashing plates or a ‘fuck you’ of some sort. Okay, okay.”

And then Julian came in:

LAST NIGHT /
SHE SAID.

And in a double hit, the Strokes confused my expectations but blew me away in the same instance. This was far simplistic than Nu-Metal. This was minimalist Rock. This was definitely a throwback to the 1970’s. The Casino Pokie machine colours in the background only re-inforced this idea. Plus, Julian looked like Lou Reed circa his Heroin phase.

They looked smart. One guy even had a tie, and now that the lights were up on the drummer, I realised that guy had an Afro too. No one in bands wore ties in 2000. (I also heard talk of a band called the Hives, but also didn't investigate them either (until after this song!)) They looked New York. And sounded as slick and suave as New York.

I also hadn't noticed the smile on my face. This was something new to me. This was not of misogynist or violent content. This was not chugga-chugga Nu-Metal. This was melodic. This was rhythmic. This was Sammy Davis, jnr – classy and swinging. Very swinging.

Right then and there, swapping my cap for a tie, I caught a new Train.