The Asian Persuasion
I remember it quite clearly, the day they came back in to my life. ExFiance and I were hanging out watching VH1 Classic and trying to figure out our plans for the day. We were sitting on the couch kind of tangled up in each other when I heard it and sat up just quick enough to actually jar her into spilling some of her wine.
That intro…the synth on the “Violin” setting…
Holy SHIT I love this song!
HELL YES I DO!
“It’s ummm…this is ASIA. You love an Asia song?” She said it as though she were saying “you like root canals?”
OK, look youngin’, first; I LOVE Asia. LOVE. THEM. And second, you love that “I Saw the Sign” song so you have nothin’ to say on the subject of fromage-y music, k?”
Ahhh Asia. From the first time that I heard “Only Time Will Tell” in 1983 I was all done. It was on this thing called MTV, which was a channel of the same name as the “MTV” the kids are watching today, only back then they played videos to the music that bands and artists were releasing. It was really cool. I digress.
In 1983, I was 10, almost 11. I was raised on two VERY different worlds of music, but music was a constant in our house. My dad? He was a Stones, Zeppelin, Cream, Dylan kinda guy. My Mom? Joni Mitchell, the Beatles, Joan Baez, Billy Joel, and once in a very unfortunate incident, the Bay City Rollers. The sounds I grew up on were diverse…the first song I knew all the words to? Hey Jude. The first album that I loved? Disraeli Gears. But the first song that I found on my own and flat out could not stop hearing was “Only Time Will Tell”. It was so friggin’ sad and the tones were just such pure ear candy to my little head….what can I say? I loved it.
I remember the Old Man buying me the album (Yes kids, the ALBUM) and saying “Steve Howe? He’s in Yes! This MUST be great.” We got home and I OH so gently pulled off the cellophane and CAAAREFULLY removed the album and handed it to my dad and he put it on the turntable and
There it was. Oh the sweet sweet sound of that guitar on The Heat Of The Moment (which Cartman RUINED for me, by the way) flooding the room while my dad was making hot dogs and drinking a Budweiser in the kitchen. This is like yesterday to me. I can still remember staring at the artwork on the album cover and thinking “this is the COOLEST THING EV-AH!!!” (bc I still had my New England accent at that point) while the Old Man made a pained face because CLEARLY, this ain’t Yes.
But they DID have mad chops, yo…I mean, John Wetton? He was going to front King Crimson! Geoff Downs was in Yes and the Buggles…you know who the Buggles are right? Carl Palmer? That dude played in ELP. I mean, c’mon! He’s the friggin’ “P”…and Steve Howe was the MAN in Yes, before Trevor Rabin took over and made them the “Owner of a Lonely Heart” Yes. (Which was, I believe, the next album that I bought…90125)
And just so you know, I all but cried when I learned that you had to 18 to win the MTV “Asia in Asia” contest, wherein the winner (and a guest) are flown to Tokyo to see the band on their world tour to support the MONSTER #1 album…
For real, yo. I wanted to cry b/c in my 10 year old mind, I was DESTINED to see this.
Instead of entering the clearly ageist contest, I wore that record out. My parents to this DAY cannot hear it without cringing a little.
So imagine my surprise when i learned recently that Asia…not the bastardized 1/4 of the band playing for beer money Asia…but ALL OF ASIA is touring. And, not just touring…coming to the Birchmere! I was aghast…this means that this year, I am finally going to see the Police (all hail the genius that is the Police) and in a smaller venue I will get to see a childhood fav of mine, too?!
But hold up…the Police want like $100+ per ticket, and you know what? Fuck it. Yes please. I’ll pay whatever you want Mr.’s Sting, Summers, and Copeland. You are royalty. You are the Police. Play Roxanne and Can’t Stand Losin’ You and I will give you as much of my hard earned cash as you’d like…
However, you can imagine my surprise when I went to the Birchmere website and discovered that Asia wants…
Are you ready for this….
Dear Asia; have you lost your fucking MIND? $60?! FOR ONE TICKET? And that doesn’t include an open bar? I mean, WHAT? Yeah, I get that you are cashing in on nostalgia and there aren’t many paydays left for the guy that was GOING to front King Crimson and the Video Killed the Radio Star dude, but get fucking serious!
$60?! Hold ON a minute. You’ve got 2 good albums, and only the first one is good straight through. The second one only has like 2 good songs…and that third album is just crrrrrrrrrrrrrap! After that it’s like…yeah. All downhill. That environmental song from the early 90’s? Who’ll Stop the Rain? First off, that’s a Creedence song title, and that’s just not nice. And don’t tell me you don’t know it, either, Mr Asia Guys. Oh wait, you called yours “Who WILL Stop the Rain”. How clever. But moreso, what the hell was that?
How about THIS; you PROMISE me that you’re going to play your hits, NOT force-feed me ANYTHING off of your inevitable “new album”, AND that you’ll play “Video Killed the Radio Star” and I’ll pay $40. If you’ll come out with me after the gig? $50. And if I get a shot of So Co and Lime whenI show up and a hot dog like my old man used to make while telling me that your old bands were better?
THEN you can have my $60.
Oh, and it’s Happy Hour day, kids. Get yourselves a good lunch so that you can soak up the drinks tonight. (That’s my PSA for the day…because I really do care) And if you’re new, find either myself or LMNtal for your first drink. We can’t wait to meet you!
I am now off to find that video of Cartman singing Heat of the Moment to congress. THAT was worth $60.