For the second time this week, I’d like to hand the YHT keys over to someone else. This time’s a little different, though, because the designated driver isn’t a friend of mine and doesn’t actually know he’s a guest poster. He’s Ben Haggerty, aka Macklemore, of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis fame.
I’ve been a big supporter of his since October of last year. “Thrift Shop” quickly became one of my favorite songs, in part because it offered a rare fusion of fun — “Smells like R. Kelly’s sheets” — and seriousness — “I call that getting tricked by a business” — all while exhibiting an acerbic intelligence and a refreshing message of anti-consumerism. In the past week, he’s had to defend that message because of his participation in the intro to last Saturday night’s NBA All-Star festivities (posted above).
I have to admit — as I watched last weekend, I was a little surprised at the intro’s song choice, but I want to let Haggerty tell you the story himself for two reasons.
[Editor’s Note: I’m excited and honored to welcome my good friend Brian Gorman back to the blog. Gormie works for an accounting firm, but he’s also one of my favorite writers on the entire planet (his letters to customer service are the stuff of legend). If you’ve been reading for a while, you might have caught his touching piece about listening to B.B. King while getting an MRI. If you didn’t, be sure to check it out here.]
By BRIAN GORMAN
If YHT fans were going to the movies at all back in 1994, they will probably remember a certain iconic film with a floating feather and a moral lesson about a box of chocolates. And if you were like me, you may have been too busy watching your favorite shrimp boat captain bounce his way through the decades with his heart-warming mix of dopey antics and life-affirming optimism to realize that you were also simultaneously listening to one of the great compilation soundtracks of the 1990’s. Think about it, that flick had everything: Elvis, Hank Williams, twang master Duane Eddy — then Forrest grows up and he’s jamming out to Creedence and Jefferson Airplane. But it was more than just a “Greatest Hits” collection for nostalgic Baby Boomers and aging hippies. The music gave that flick a sense of time flow and defined whole periods and settings of American civilization as they passed by. Add to that The Supremes, a very healthy dose of The Doors, and as a final topping, the very memorable original score by composer Alan Silvestri. Memorable is the right word. For the rest of your life you will never see a feather glide to and fro upon the breeze without hearing the title theme come streaming into your head via an invisible piano. All in all, Forrest Gump was almost as good for the ears as it was for the heart.
Almost 20 years later (I know! can you believe it’s been that long?), Silvestri and filmmaker Robert Zemeckis have teamed up again on another great compilation soundtrack.