Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cruise Control

Sometimes, one needs to separate the wheat from the chaff. Weed the garden, you might say. Thin the herd, as it were. Sadly, this must even be done with fellow smooth groovers. Because, let's face it, there are lots and lots of poseurs out there when it comes to Johnny-come-lately yacht rockers. You know the type. They found a skipper hat at Target, bought the biggest Wayfarers they could find, picked up a sky blue turtleneck at the hipster vintage shop, stole their dad's Loggins & Messina 8-track and all the sudden they're Captain Stubing. Trust me, brothers, I wish I had a dime for each of these nimrods who show up dockside thinking sailing is going to take them away to where they always heard it could be only to find themselves puking before we pass the jetty.

So I developed a sure-fire test to determine whether or not an individual is a genuine smooth rock connoisseur. It comes in the form of a single question: "You dig Pablo Cruise?" If they reply "Why yes, I have all his records," I make them walk the plank. As you, fellow traveler, are undoubtedly aware, Pablo Cruise is not a he. Like Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd before them, Pablo Cruise is one of those bands that sounds like a dude's name, but actually is not a dude. They know that naming a band after yourself is for dickweeds.

I realize the quality of this video is not the best. But the power of performance triumphs here. As does the power of poofy hair. And I do believe those are some Mork suspenders I see there. Ok, so maybe it's a mystical combination of all those things. I'm not a musician, so I can't claim to know the secret sauce that makes PC's licks so delicious.

What I do know is I can hear a few of you candy-asses out there firing up your hate mail machines right now. "But Tuuuug, that ain't smooooth muuuusic." I hear your voice in my head like a whiny 7-year-old boy whose daddy refused to buy him a My Little Pony at Woolworth's. I suppose you don't think Boz Scaggs is smooth then, because "What'cha Gonna Do?" has a nearly identical beat and tempo to "Lowdown." Get your kid to beat match it. He'll deem it hip and ironic, play the mashup at the next party he goes to, get laid because of it and then laugh at you for doubting Exhibit A's lack of resemblance to Exhibit B. Then what'cha gonna do? Come whining back to Tug is what. "I'm sooooo sorry, Tug." But by then it will be too late. I will have sailed away, you will be sans pony, and your kid will be laughing at you behind your back. So trust me on this one. I mean, they've got "cruise" right there in the name and a logo straight out of a 1977 Ocean Pacific catalog.

Understand this before you send your "this ain't smooth" screed: Smooth can be funky. Funk can be smoothie. The two are not mutually exclusive. The age old "you got your chocolate in my peanut butter" vs. "you got your peanut butter in my chocolate" argument has long since been decided, brother. They are two great tastes that taste great together. Or is it great taste and less filling?

Pablo Cruise will be performing with the Beach Boys at the L.A. County Fair on September 5th.

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