Thursday, August 25, 2011

In which Sly criticizes Paul McCartney's singing

Sly is a singer. Or used to be. We asked Sly and Doris if they would sing at our wedding and they declined. Oh, they were out of practice. Right. But I didn't really care. The request was about making them feel included, not because I really wanted them to sing.

I wanted to elope. If I had to have a wedding, it was going to be as no-frills or at least as no-Sly and Doris as possible. No music, no flowers, a simple red and white dress that I have worn again.

Sly considers himself quite the expert on singing and singers and he may well be. Well, he does know about singing. Classical singing. And classical music. Primo says there was no pop music in his house when he was a kid. Just classical. All the time.

Which might explain why Primo is such a pop music fan now. He even likes Britney Spears. How do I know that? Because early in our relationship, he played a Britney Spears CD. And he wasn't even doing it ironically. He really likes her. Our conversation went like this:

“Is that Britney Spears?” I asked in horror.

“Uh huh,” he answered absently.

Not even a trace of shame in his voice. Not one drop.

“You have a Britney Spears song on your CD?”

“Well, I didn’t make this CD,” he explained. “But I do like this song.”

“You like Britney Spears? You are admitting to this?”

“I like pop music,” he shrugged. “I have some Britney Spears CDs at home. Yes, I like her.”

“You know this means I have to break up with you, right?”

Rolled eyes. “It could be worse. I could like some headbanger band, like Crocus or, or, or….”

He couldn’t think of anything worse.

But at least Primo acknowledges that Britney can sing. His taste might be suspect (See: Primo and his flowered shirts) but he does not apologize for it and he does not try to diminish the talent of those who make a living singing.

Sly, on the other hand, cannot bear to see anyone be better than he. Or be considered better than he. He refuses to acknowledge that someone, somewhere else might have talent. What do you expect? He can't even take talent in his own son.

So when Paul McCartney came up in conversation one day, his dismissive comment was, "If only he could sing."