Satellite radio is a luxury that I’ve found I can not live without. I was hooked during a free preview when I purchased my current car, but it wasn’t until someone donated a Sirius radio to the non-profit where I currently work that solidified my obsession. Today on my current favorite channel -The Loft- they played Romeo and Juliet by the Dire Straits.
I have a bit of a complicated relationship with the Dire Straits. My first exposure to their music was ‘Money For Nothing’ which became the second song ever, in the history of Beth that I ever actively hated. (The first was Joan Jett’s ‘I love Rock & Roll’- ironic) (The rest of the list includes Old Time Rock & Roll, Walking in Memphis and Life is a Highway). I’ve come around on I Love Rock & Roll and I suppose my intense dislike is because I associate it with an emotional event at a roller skating rink, because, you know….the eighties….
So today I was thinking while Romeo and Juliet played just how fucking perfect it is. You know the expression ‘bad artists imitate, great artists steal’? He stole one of the most famous titles in all of literature (although you can’t copyright titles, bee-tee-dubs) and made something his own story. And not only that- borrows from OTHER bits of music and theatre and creates this incredible, unique narrative. A snippet of West Side Story -which admittedly isn’t a stretch from R&J but Mark Knopfler’s light hand using all these borrowed elements doesn’t feel schlocky. It feels fresh and painful and wonderful and not unlike falling in and out of love itself.