I Hate Your Favorite Band

by Fred Osuna

He (after learning of my former occupation as a record store owner): So, what is your favorite band of all time?

Me: You mean, I have to pick just one?

He: Yes.

Me (trying to get some wiggle room): Can it be a single person or does it have to be a band?

He: Either one.

Me (not using the wiggle room): Well, if it's just one artist, then I'd have to go with The Beatles.

He: I hate The Beatles! The Beatles suck! Why the hell does everyone always say "The Beatles?" What's so great about The Beatles, anyway? (God, I can't stand The Beatles.)

Me: I guess they wouldn't be your pick, huh?

He: Auggh! Give me The Stones any day.

Me (acknowledging the inane age-old debate arguing the relative merits of The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones): Well, it's possible to like both The Beatles and The Stones, you know.

He: Yeah? Name one album by The Stones that you like.

Me: Okay. How about Let It Bleed?

He: Mm, I suppose that's okay. It's not as good as that album they recorded at a drug party in Barbados, though.

Me: I bet you're thinking of Exile on Main Street. Those were some crazy sessions, but they were recorded in France. That's a great album, too.

He: I hate Exile. No, I'm pretty sure the album I'm talking about was made in Barbados.

Me (grabbing at straws): Voodoo Lounge?

He: Yeah, that's it.

Me (after a dumbfounded pregnant pause): So. Who's your one favorite artist?

He (no hesitation): Primus! Dude, they RAWK!!

Me (not wanting to reveal my Primus deficiency and be immediately eviscerated by cliches, simultaneously thanking providence for a recent brief discussion of Primus with a friend during which I gathered a small handful of talking points): That dude plays a mean bass.

He: Damn straight.

[stillness, leading to an awkward silence]

He (now only half-interested): So, who would be your second favorite band of all time?

Me (cringing a little inside): And it can be a solo artist, right?

He: Yup.

Me: Bob Dylan.

He: Oh, man. He can't sing worth shit.