Madeleina and I have this argument going since she first came to Peru with me three years ago to help run my jungle trips. See, I only bring a couple of cassettes or tapes these days. On the boat on which I fell in love with Chepa, Madeleina's mom, I had Tom Waits' The Early Years and a Dylan album. On the next trip, without Chepa, I had...well, I forget. But when Madeleina came the first time I had The Best of Cream; the double album Best of Bob Dylan, the Gypsy Kinds, a Santana Album--a mix my kid made--the Blues Project, Best of Bruce Springsteen and Best of Neil Young.
Sunday, September 02, 2012
Now on that trip I realized that Young only sang in a falsetto. I don't know how tall he really is, but I imagine him to be Bill Walton size or at least 6'7" and to imagine that giant singing in falsetto his whole life--and I saw a program where he was talking about coming up with the falsetto as his signature--well, Jesus Freaking Christ. I don't care if he's gay/transvestite/transsexual, but NOBOBY chooses to sing in a falsetto unless they want to be part of the Papal Choir.
So I still love Neil Young, but every time Madeleina or I put him on I make jokes about that freaking silly voice. She punches me. I take the pain and keep talking. Because it's just silly that a man is singing about Kent State and the killings there in a falsetto that he's had to produce by working at it because he was too afraid of his own voice--by his own admission.
And I feel similarly about Stevie Ray Vaughn when I hear him talk about modeling his singing technique around someone else's. What's wrong with your own voice? What's wrong with your own truth?
I will always poke fun of people who don't trust their own truth. I won't do anything or say anything really bad; I just wish they had the courage. Imagine if Young and Vaughn sang in their own voices! How much stronger would they have been than trying to come up with a voice they thought would have been acceptable?