Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Stay Positive: I Never Heard a Story I Didn't Like

If you're looking for an excellent read, I highly recommend Todd Snider's I Never Met a Story I Didn't Like: Mostly True Tall Tales

The folk singer is known for his concerts where he tells insightful, entertaining stories in between songs. From what I can gather, many of the chapters are versions of his stories, his creative non-fiction, that he recounts before he plays certain tunes. He's a witty dude. 

Some of my favorite chapters are the where he talks about his friend Moondawg (of the song "Moondawg's Tavern"), his encounter with Slash of Gun-n-Roses in a hotel bar, the chapter about his friend Skip (who inspired "Play a Train Song"), and the chapter about Kris Kristofferson.

Snider's a raconteur. And the book has all kinds of playful moments where he calls attention to the fact that he's writing a book and that sometimes the stories he says onstage are not exactly what happened.  

To give you a taste of his wit and wisdom, here are some selected passages from the book:
  • There's always a loophole. All you have to do is stare at the loop long enough and you'll find the hole.
  • There they were, the football team. And I don't mean to disparage any of the other kids. I'm just saying that it could be argued that they looked like a bunch of dirty sheep standing around in a field, waiting to push a grown, screaming man on a padded sled. 
  • He [Skip] said, "Never go straight, always go forward." He said, "Don't apologize, I don't care enough." And when he answered the phone, he said, "I'll play your silly little game." 
  • …when it comes to slogans and fashions and bands, I like to be what I call "post-hip, pre-retro." That sweet spot, right when something isn't cool anymore and before it becomes cool in an ironic way. The cutting edge of uncool.
  • Contentment, not rejection, is the enemy.
  • …if someone asks you what a song is about and you don't have an answer, you might be in possession of a song that's not really about anything. 
  • You may occasionally have gotten the ideas from these pages that I am a little hard on sports. But baseball's not a sport. It's an art. I will not argue this point. If you try to argue with me, I will reply with a fart. 
  • Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a night. Set a man on fire, he'll be warm of the rest of his life. 

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