Johnny America


The Three Past and Fu­ture Spous­es of Car­men Elec­tra De­bate the Place­ment of the A‑sharp


ROB PATTERSON: Dude, what’s that green shit in your eyeliner?

DAVE NAVARRO: Fuck. I must have been rub­bing my eyes. I just re­ceived a ship­ment of the new har­vest of matcha and was, like, out with the old, in with the new.

ROB PATTERSON: You’ve al­ways been so well-organized.

DAVE NAVARRO: When I was in ju­nior high I texted this red­head who sat next to me and asked if she want­ed to car­ry my gui­tar to band prac­tice. She texted back u r the most fas­tid­i­ous boy!!!!.

ROB PATTERSON: I could be wrong, but I don’t be­lieve that tex­ting ex­ist­ed in 1981.

DAVE NAVARRO: You were al­ways such a lit­er­al­ist, Rob.

ROB PATTERSON: Where is Den­nis, by the way?

DAVE NAVARRO: Re­hab, I think.

ROB PATTERSON: It feels in­com­plete with­out Den­nis. What Den­nis lacks in fas­tid­i­ous­ness, he makes up for in eclecticism.

DAVE NAVARRO: Speak­ing of eclec­ti­cism, what in your opin­ion was Prince’s great­est accomplishment?

ROB PATTERSON: Dude, this feels like a trick ques­tion, but I’ll go with the al­chemic trans­for­ma­tion of the or­di­nary Amer­i­can giv­en name Tara Leigh Patrick in­to an arch­ly clever meld­ing of ref­er­ences to a Gyp­sy who se­duces a sol­dier who be­comes in­sane, and a Myce­naean princess who per­suades her broth­er to com­mit a mur­der in con­se­quence of which he be­comes insane.

DAVE NAVARRO: I al­ways thought his great­est ac­com­plish­ment was Lovesexy.

ROB PATTERSON: True, that was one fas­tid­i­ous album.

DAVE NAVARRO: The horn work is es­pe­cial­ly fas­tid­i­ous, in my opinion.

ROB PATTERSON: Speak­ing of fas­tid­i­ous, per­haps now would be a good time to dis­cuss the busi­ness about the A‑sharp.

DAVE NAVARRO: Killer segue, Rob, giv­en the ex­tend­ed A‑sharp that Prince hits in the mid­dle of the gui­tar so­lo in “Glam Slam.”

ROB PATTERSON: Here are the is­sues as I see them. As you well know, the A‑sharp is the first or left­most sharp on a full size key­board. Thus in one stan­dard method of key­board nomen­cla­ture, the A‑sharp is des­ig­nat­ed as “2,” cor­re­spond­ing to its se­r­i­al po­si­tion in the se­quence of 88 keys. Thus the A‑sharp nu­mer­i­cal­ly is first among the 36 sharps. Yet in an­oth­er stan­dard method, the des­ig­na­tion of sharps fol­lows the po­si­tion of keys in the con­ven­tion­al oc­tave that be­gins with C. Thus in this method, in strik­ing con­trast to the first method, the A‑sharp is nu­mer­i­cal­ly the fifth, or last, among the sharps.

DAVE NAVARRO: You just used the word “thus” three times, Rob. Still, I don’t be­lieve I’ve ever heard the dilem­ma stat­ed quite so fastidiously.

ROB PATTERSON: I’m glad to hear that, Dave, be­cause as you know, in gen­er­al terms, the fail­ure to de­fine a prob­lem fas­tid­i­ous­ly is a ma­jor rea­son for per­son­al ten­sions, dif­fer­ent out­looks, and a ten­den­cy to want to fo­cus on so­lo projects.

DAVE NAVARRO: Speak­ing of per­son­al ten­sions, what in your opin­ion was Tara Leigh’s great­est accomplishment?

ROB PATTERSON: Hard to choose, but if I had to pick two I’d say Bay­watch: Hawai­ian Wed­ding and The Mat­ing Habits of the Earth­bound Human.

DAVE NAVARRO: I al­ways thought it was her strat­e­gy for or­ga­niz­ing her col­lec­tion of doc­u­men­ta­tion around the sug­ges­tion that she and Joan Jett are ro­man­ti­cal­ly in­volved. As you well know, in such a col­lec­tion there is an in­her­ent ten­sion be­tween chrono­log­i­cal or­ga­ni­za­tion and top­i­cal or­ga­ni­za­tion. An ar­ti­cle that may have claims to promi­nence based on chrono­log­i­cal pri­ma­cy may be not be among the most top­i­cal­ly salient. I was im­pressed by her analy­sis of the ten­sion and her im­ple­men­ta­tion of a so­lu­tion that could be de­fend­ed on both the­o­ret­i­cal and prac­ti­cal grounds.

ROB PATTERSON: True, that was one fas­tid­i­ous collection.

DAVE NAVARRO: The so­lu­tion to the di­ary en­tries from when she was eight years old was es­pe­cial­ly fas­tid­i­ous, in my opin­ion. You know, the way those en­tries are the very an­tithe­sis of top­i­cal, and yet chrono­log­i­cal­ly first in line.

ROB PATTERSON: Dude…you know…it oc­curs to me that the iso­mor­phism of the two problems…

DAVE NAVARRO: Den­nis! (En­ter Den­nis Rodman.)

ROB PATTERSON: Den­nis! Thought you were in re­hab again, dude.

DENNIS RODMAN: It’s a kind of free­wheel­ing pro­gram, day pass, that kind of thing. Dave, Rob! The gang’s all here. What’s the occasion?

ROB PATTERSON: We’ve gath­ered to take an­oth­er shot at pon­der­ing the place­ment the of the A sharp.

DENNIS RODMAN: Damn, that’s touchy shit. Kind of shit that leads to cre­ative dif­fer­ences, vast­ly dif­fer­ent out­looks on life, and the kind of cre­ative re­la­tion­ships that are com­bustible and not meant to last forever.

ROB PATTERSON: I would add “per­son­al fallings-outs” to that list.

DENNIS RODMAN: Fact is, Dave and Rob, and I hope this kind of prod­uct place­ment does­n’t vi­o­late the ad­mit­ted­ly gen­er­ous terms of my re­hab, I’ve al­ways used a 61-key Ca­sio, where the left­most sharp is the C‑sharp, so that the sharp that is first in terms of se­r­i­al po­si­tion is one and the same as the sharp that is first in terms of the con­ven­tion­al se­quence of keys in the octave.

DAVE NAVARRO: Den­nis, you al­ways had a knack for see­ing through to the heart of a problem.

ROB PATTERSON: Den­nis, you al­ways were such a peace­mak­er, and you’re look­ing pos­i­tive­ly ra­di­ant. Just like the sun that dried up all the rain, af­ter the rain came down and washed the spi­der out, af­ter the inky-dinky spi­der went up the wa­ter spout.

DENNIS RODMAN: Rob, I al­ways said you were one fas­tid­i­ous motherfucker.

Filed under Fiction on July 29th, 2008

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