Something I spotted on the train on the way to work this morning: graffiti. Now, this is, in and of itself, not anything unusual; I pass through South Central L.A. on my way to work, and there’s no shortage of buildings on which individuals or groups have found an outlet for their art. The graffiti in question, however, was seen on the side of a freight train car parked on the tracks next to the tracks my commuter train takes. And what, pray tell, could make it so interesting?
It said "Detroit Rock City" in somewhat sloppy, single swipe spray letters. Yep, gotta lose your mind in it, the whole nine yards.
My first thought was, Well, clearly that wasn’t spray painted while the train was in this area. However, then it occurred to me that it was short-sighted of me, and that I shouldn’t be so dismissive of the fan base of those rockers in the heavily black and Latino economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. It could certainly be construed as racist to assume that this part of town would be bereft of members of the KISS Army because of the ethnic population, and that is certainly not the kind of thinking that's going to move us forward as a society.
However, I suppose years of passing by the much more creative graffiti had led me to believe the gangs—er, alternative youth organizations—in those areas were, well, more talented, with composition and layering of colors in their pieces. Thus, it was a roundabout compliment to the local artists to assume the unimpressive three words were not their handiwork. They're better than that—no, really.
Besides, everyone knows that the favorite KISS track amongst the kids in South Central is "Strutter '78" (they're old school like that). They also have a soft spot for "Beth", but on the side of a train it just looks like a girl's name, not the proper tribute to the Peter Criss classic.
You probably thought I was going to say their favorite was "Cold Gin", didn’t you? Tsk, tsk. Clearly we all have a lot of growing to do.
Okay, here you go: Clearly, we also have a lot of rocking and rolling all nite to do. (Really, that’s how the song title spells it.) Never let it be said I don’t give the people what they want.
Oh wait, that’s the Kinks…
[And there's no shame in looking up the songs you didn't know so you get the jokes.]