I confess to being a bit of a "music snob" in a former life.
You know the guy behind the counter at the record store who snickered condescendingly as you brought your copy of Journey's Greatest Hits to the register?
Yup. That was me.
The guy with the enormous vinyl collection.
The guy who could recite to you the entire liner notes of Dylan's Blood On The Tracks.
The guy who went straight for your record collection when invited to your home for dinner.
That one actually got me into trouble once.
My boss had invited a bunch of us from work out for a day on his sailboat. After spending the entire day drinking way too much beer in the scorching hot sun on said sailboat, we retired back to his house for some steaks.
And of course, I went straight for his records.
After sifting through the sorry collection of albums by the likes of the Steve Miller Band and Electric Light Orchestra, I made my move.
"So Ray (that was his name)," I asked, "Have you bought any music since the Seventies?” My boss then proceeded to pull out a Kenny G album.
My response to that — something about a dentist's office I believe — got me physically thrown out of his house.
I also spent the remainder of that weekend wondering if I still had a job.
Just for the record, I did. After all, where else was he going to find a "musicologist" as supremely gifted as myself to run his record store?
And let's be absolutely clear about this: the proper term is musicologist.
Music snobbery has actually become something of a lost art.
It doesn't help when there just isn't a whole lot to get excited about in music these days.
That just makes for a whole lot more crap for the seasoned music snob to turn his ever-sophisticated nose up at.
Or more importantly, to look down upon you for listening to.
All that means is that yesterdays Journey or ELO is today's Celine Dion or Clay Aiken.
It's just that last night's American Idol results don't inspire quite the same intellectual discourse that dissecting a great, groundbreaking album like Pet Sounds or A Kind of Blue does.
Music snobbery is an art that has lost its way.
Oh sure, it's still the exclusive territory of the usual group of music geeks.
You know the ones I'm talking about.
The pony-tailed record exec. The underpaid Tower Records employee with the green hair, the piercings, and the tats. The stereotypical rock critic that once inspired David Lee Roth to remark that the reason rock critics like Elvis Costello more than Van Halen is because most rock critics look like Elvis Costello (today it would be more like that guy from Weezer).