He (after learning of my former occupation as a record store owner): So, what is your favorite
band of all time?
Me: You mean I have to pick just one?
Me (trying to get some wiggle room): Can it be a single person or does it have to be a band?
He: Either one.
Me (not using the wiggle room): Well, if it’s just one, then I’d have to go with the Beatles.
He: I hate The Beatles! The Beatles suck! Why the hell does everyone always say, “The Beatles?” What’s so great about the Beatles, anyway? (God, I can’t stand the Beatles.)
Me: I guess they wouldn’t be your pick, huh?
He: Auggh! Give me the Stones any day.
Me (acknowledging the inane age-old debate arguing the relative merits of the Beatles vs. the Rolling Stones): Well, it’s possible to like both the Beatles and the Stones, you know.
He: Yeah? Name one album by the Stones that you like.
Me: OK. How about Let It Bleed?
He: Mm, I suppose that’s OK. It’s not as good as that album they recorded at that drug party in Barbados, though.
Me: I bet you’re thinking of Exile on Main Street. Those were some crazy sessions, but they were recorded in France. That’s a great album, too.
He: I hate Exile. No, I’m pretty sure the album I’m talking about was made in Barbados.
Me (grasping at straws): Voodoo Lounge?
He: Yeah, that’s it.
Me (after a dumbfounded pregnant pause): So. Who’s your one favorite artist?
He (no hesitation): Primus! Dude, they RAWK!!
>Me (not wanting to reveal my Primus deficiency and be immediately eviscerated by cliché, simultaneously thanking providence for a recent brief discussion of Primus with a friend during which I gathered a small handful of talking points): That dude plays a mean bass.
He: Damn straight.
[Stillness, leading to an awkward silence]
He (half-interested): So, who would be your second favorite band of all time?
Me (cringing a little inside): And it can be a solo artist, right?
Me: Bob Dylan.
He: Oh, man. He can’t sing worth shit.