An alleged near-brush with death has left rabid indie fan Franklin Dyer pondering what will happen to his massive music collection once he springs off this mortal coil. Dyer reports that his near-demise was the ironic result of his good intentions to share his musical tastes with his two teenage neighbors, whom he now describes as two “hopeless pop music lackeys and who blast whimsical and vacuous tunes and other toxic waste at top volume.”
According to Dyer, the numerous attempts he’s made to share his impeccable musical preferences have resulted in emphatic rejections from the two neighbors. “It’s one slight after another. I kindly place Doolittle, a mix CD of rare Neutral Milk Hotel live performances, and the book Our Band Could Be Your Life in their mailbox, and they return it to my front porch in flames,” Dyer said dejectedly.
Yet Dyer never imagined that his goals of spreading his musical gospel to those truly uninterested in his opinions would nearly cost him his life. In a series of events that the two teenagers dispute – though judging from their frequent smirking and giggling, they clearly had some hand in the mayhem that ensued – Dyer alleges that the two teens switched out his October Uncut magazine’s CD with a collection of some of today’s most recognizable mainstream artists.
“I eagerly popped in the CD to get an idea of which new songs I wanted to illegally download, er, purchase legally so that the composers are compensated for their work. But something was immediately amiss. The horror revved up with two Fergie songs, took a cruel detour into five different Pussycat Dolls songs, and concluded with Paris Hilton’s Stars Are Blind EP. Within seconds I began to have labored breathing, my vision got blurry, my throat closed up, my eyes started to burn, a purple rash developed on my arms, and I began to babble incoherently in Farsi before blacking out. I eventually woke up to find the Repeat function enabled and the song ‘Don’t Cha’ permanently seared into my brain.”
The horrific incident has left Dyer pondering what will happen to his enormous, and slightly disturbing, music collection once his life “starts to be measured in dirt years,” as he cynically puts it. “I’ve worked too hard through three marriages and several careers with varying degrees of success to just kick off without ensuring this collection finds a worthy home,” Dyer said with conviction. The collection, which he refuses to sell because of its priceless nature, includes both official and unofficial releases, and is a veritable history of music that the vast majority of Americans have never heard of.
For this reason, Dyer feels that its eternal preservation is essential, though he admits his attempts to find a suitable heir have thus far been unsuccessful. According to Dyer, “emails to my old trading partners have returned harsh and somewhat cavalier questions about when exactly I’m planning to die and what the shipping charges might be. My ex-wives declared they’d help me ‘take that junk out with the garbage next Tuesday, and personally pick clean the bones.’ My only daughter thinks Bruce Springsteen is the guy who runs the local Jewish deli, so obviously she’s not a good choice.”
Institutions have likewise shown little interest in the collection. Though he’s somewhat evasive when discussing the matter, he acknowledges that repeated inquiries to Federal preservation agencies have only resulted in his name being added to “various watch lists…but it’s only the government, so why worry?” Dyer likewise received a chilly reception from his local library, where the head librarian “only asked if I had any Perry Como records before making me pay up for an overdue copy of White Noise, which I checked out in 1985.”
Regardless, Dyer vows that his collection will find a loving home before he goes to that great backstage lounge in the sky. “Like innovation or creativity in current pop music, my time on this earth is limited. This collection traces the most obtuse and marginal strands of music history that most people aren’t even remotely aware of. Who wouldn’t be interested in this?”