“One Shot Juanita” – Gold

From the crackle of the vinyl at the beginning, this song had my heart. Much like I spent Side A of this album waiting for “You’re Mean” to play, I spent Side B waiting for Juanita. If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m a sucker for sf59 slow jams and this one stands among the best of them.

This song drips confidence in its composition. It breaks so many rules of conventional songwriting wisdom. From the whispery vocals, the subtlety of the drums, to the chiming, interwoven guitars, this song is ironically bold. This songs is as smooth as a ball bearing when songs are supposed to have more texture. Conventional wisdom says that you need to give the listener more to keep their attention – a little more grit in the vocals, more of an edge in the lead guitar and, by God, more drum fills. You definitely don’t give them 3 minutes of slow instrumental meandering and you most certainly don’t do all of this as an album closer. In its way, this song is more punk than your high school Green Day phase because it challenges the conventional wisdom.

I always appreciated One Shot Juanita as a character. I felt like she could be my first cousin. My aunt’s nickname is “One Blow Wanda”. She earned this nickname at a young age because it didn’t matter who you were: man, woman or child – she could take you down in one blow. I experienced this myself on multiple occasions. I always marveled at her skill at taking a deep curve in her Pontiac towncar with the heel of one hand on the steering wheel while smacking all of us kids in the backseat (there were usually at least three of us) with the other hand when we were acting up. She would get us all with one swipe without looking back, regardless of our height differences. One blow. And we would settle down after that. Her skills weren’t limited to just driving and dealing punishment multitasking. Oh no. She could throw a shoe at a cascading line of children running down a hall and somehow manage to hit all of us. The shoe would hit the first kid and bounce off him to hit the second. It would then bounce off the second, ricochet off the wall and hit the third. One blow. You didn’t mess with this woman and expect to make it out unscathed.

I suppose I also see myself in Juanita too. Her name is so close to my own. I also have a reputation for being someone you don’t mess with. My brother has always referred to me as “Dirty Harry” because someone could come up to me with the worst bully threat and I would dare them to carry it out. It’s not that I get in fights on a regular basis and I doubt that I have the physical process and shoe throwing skills of my aunt. My prowess is mostly in the debate arena. If you want to argue with me about anything, from politics to religion or Star Wars lore, you better bring your A game.

One thing I know about being a woman living in the one blow/one shot dynamic is that you shake men to their core whether you intend to or not. I think that men in general don’t know what to do with feminine strength. It baffles them. There are some men (#notallmen) who can’t get over it , much like the singer still thinks about One Shot Juanita. Maybe it’s the refusal of submission that perplexes them so. Maybe they don’t know what to do with a woman they can’t control. They think about you when you aren’t around. They get drunk and call you up, telling you that you were the only one, you hung the moon and stars – now why don’t you just behave the way you are expected to?

I find it interesting that my brother refers to me as Dirty Harry. It is as if he can only think of strength in masculine terms. This reminds me of something I read about Mario Puzo’s concept of Don Corleone, the Godfather. The Godfather was the pinnacle of masculine strength. He could order the death of men with a quiet nod and fix the results of the World Series or the US Senate based on his whims. He did not have to shout, brandish guns or pound his fists to get what he wanted. Everyone knew what he was capable of and he didn’t need to engage in saber-rattling to bend people to his will. The character was based on Puzo’s grandmother, a strong, Italian woman who ruled over a massive family with unquestioned authority. Puzo said that whenever he wrote Don Corleone’s dialogue, he always heard it in his grandmother’s voice.

I think the thing that is different about feminine strength is that is is simultaneously resolute and gentle. One Blow Wanda could take us kids down without effort but she also made us homemade chocolate pudding, cared for us and watched over us. If you pick a fight with me you might, in the words of Missy Elliott, get burnt like toast, but I’ll still love you. I’ll still talk with you and laugh with you as soon as you stop acting like an ass as if nothing happened at all. It is the same kind of quality we find in this song. On an album closer, where you would expect them to go balls to the wall, we find a contemplative, gentle ballad that is bolder than anything else on this album. God bless Juanita.

“Do You Ever Feel That Way?” – Gold

I had to take some time off before writing this one. It came up on me like a ninja the first time I sat down to write about this song and took me down for awhile. Let me explain. The melody and of this song is all light and fun, a complete Ward and June Cleaver picture of the perfect home and perfect family where there’s never any issues except when the well meaning Beaver stumbles into a life lesson or that rascally Eddie Haskell shows up. As the lyrics questioned if I ever felt that way, I realized that I did not, in fact, feel that way, nor had I ever. I had to re-evaluate my concept on home and that took some time. But considering that I like to chew on weighty concepts for a good decade or so before making a decision, I think this is a relatively fast turn around time. You will be glad to know that I will spare you most of my ruminations on this topic.

I think JM carries those ideas of the idyllic family home and the difference between the ideal and actual experience is the source of much of the tension in his music. This song is JM at his most idyllic. But there is still tension and isolation here. After all, he is repeatedly asking if others feel the same as he does. If he’s having to ask, it means it’s not real in any kind of substantial way in front of him. Maybe the difference between me and JM is that I never had the ideal of the perfect family home to begin with. That’s what happens when you are born into a family built like a landslide.

I remember at a very young age, I had a fascination with drawing pictures of homes. The homes did not have the obligatory stick figure family standing in a row like ducks on a horizon line of grass. Thinking back on this now, I find this detail to be odd. It is as if I thought that if you had the ideal house, the family part of it would fall in line automatically. After my mom got a subscription to Southern Living magazine, my drawings advanced to architectural blueprints of how I wanted to build my house when I grew up. But I didn’t just think about the future, oh no. I also drew out plans for ambitious tree houses and forts I intended to build with old scraps of wood and metal my dad left at various places on the property.

I remember when I was in college, two of the three concrete steps leading up to the front door of my parent’s house had broken into the pieces and there were holes where one’s foot should go. I asked my mom why they did not get new steps because it was such a death trap and she said that they couldn’t afford it and they just learned how to step at weird angles to avoid the gaps. This complacency didn’t sit well with me. I drew up plans for a wooden porch bought the supplies with tips I had earned delivering pizza on nights and weekends. I remember I bought 12′ planks and sawed them to smaller sizes because it was cheaper to do it that way and it was all I could afford. After I finished the project, my mom stared at the porch and then at me in amazement and asked how I knew how to do such things. I replied, “I don’t know how to do it. I just did it.” She still ponders my response to this day.

After moving out of the parent’s house and in with various partners and friends, I spent the years trying to hammer out a home with those people. There were times when I felt like I’d found it – the home I was yearning for, but it was always fleeting. I’ve spent the last year living alone for the first time in my life and I think I am closer to having the home I always wanted. Part of that is not having to deal with other peoples’ shit all the time. I have my own space. The other part of it taking with whatever I can afford or whatever scraps I find along the way, designing something with it and hammering it together to make a space that is mine. I don’t know how to make a home. I just did it.

Still though, I yearn for something that’s not here. C.S. Lewis frequently talked about how those who yearn for the love of God will always long for something, someplace that they can not find in this mortal realm. His most beautiful expression of this is in Till We Have Faces when the young princess Psyche tells stories of how she will one day have a husband who will build her a castle made of gold and amber on a mountain. When she finally finds what she is yearning for, the reality of it is so much greater than anything she could have imagined.

And so it is that even though I am more at home in my space and with myself than ever before, I am still always yearning for someone or someplace that’s not here. I suspect I always will be and I’m mostly ok with that. Do you ever feel that way?

“Indiana” – Gold

This song has a gentleness to it that is unique in the early sf59 era. There is some distortion in parts and there is that scorching lead guitar tone but there are moments that are almost quiet by sf59 standards. Probably my favorite part of the song are those measures just before the outro where the guitars are reduced to that almost shapeless guitar with the chorus pedal and a rhythm guitar with the clean tone that softly hits the highlights of the melody.

The lyrics also offer some gentleness that is unique for the songs written in this time. As we have seen in several previous songs, the singer has a preoccupation with the other guy who takes the woman he loves away from him. There was bitterness about this other guy and certainly some bile for the woman who goes to him. It has been a fixation, really, with as many songs that have played out this dynamic thus far. This song is different. Instead of bile, we get this:

I don’t care about the boy
Throw your head up, hit the road
I won’t feel the wedding mourn
If you stay the same

She is leaving and getting married. What would have been the worst case scenario to the singer on Silver has become reality. But things are different here because the singer accepts it. He has let go of his animosity for the other guy. He has stopped trying to keep the girl, to hold her in place where she is his possession. He tells her to throw her head up and go much like a filly will throw her head up and kick her heels before running across a field. He has released her. He is content that she will remain who she is, the person he loved even if he cannot hold on to her anymore.

This is maturity in part. The other part, I think, is forgiveness, although the lyrics do not state that explicitly. When we are hurt by another and we hold on to that hurt and do not forgive, we are chained to the acts that hurt us. As long as we fixate on our expectations for who the person who hurt us should be and how they should act, we remain chained to those unmet expectations and we are stuck in the mess created there.

The way out of this is to find compassion and forgiveness. Through compassion we find a way to see beyond the hurt to the person we love, the person who may have loved us, no matter how flawed that love may have been in practice. Even if what the person did to you was super fucked up, you can see those fucked up actions occurring within the context of all of who that person is, all that person has experienced which may have lead them to make the decisions they did, flawed as they are.

Love has a timeless quality to it. When you can get back to love, you find a way to transcend the temporal reality of pain and rejection. And it is in this that you not only release those who have hurt you, you break the chains that bind you to that hurt. That is why there is gentleness here. The defenses, all the ways that we try to protect ourselves from being hurt, aren’t needed anymore. The singer has found his way back to something that is greater than any pain.

“Somewhere When Your Heart Glowed the Hope” – Gold

This song is a nice reprieve from the last three heavy songs we have discussed. The tempo is upbeat and the spirit is light. The muted guitar chords in line with the bass in the verse allow the lead guitar to grab your attention and it gives the wall of sound guitars that come in on the chorus more impact. You can tell that JM is becoming more confident in his songwriting. I think part of the intent of the overload of sound that is characteristic of Silver is that it allows the songwriter plenty of places to hide. There is no hiding here. You can hear this particularly in the extended outro. There is an idea in pop music circles that music without lyrics to prop it up is gratuitous and should be avoided unless stoners are your customer base. The outro defies this logic and makes no attempts to justify itself with lyrics or flashy guitar tricks. It’s a solid, contemplative, repetitive melody that doesn’t have to prove itself to you, dammit.

The lyrics make me think that this might be the reply of the person the singer addressed in “When You Feel the Mess”; you know, the one that just couldn’t understand the singer because they didn’t feel “the mess” too. In this song, the singer is compassionate, patient and reminds us that there is more to life than “the mess”. There is hope. Maybe it is JM singing to soothe himself. No one understands hope quite as well as someone who struggles with darkness. Yet another option is that it is the voice of the Holy Spirit, calming you (as she always is) and coaxing you out of the small deaths you have chosen for yourself.

This reminds me of my outfit for church yesterday. It was Pentecost Sunday and I wanted to wear something appropriately thematic. I chose a bright red t-shirt which has a line drawing of the face of the Christian theologian Kierkegaard and above his head it says “DREAD”. The picture of Kierkegaard looks like Hans Christian Anderson as played by Danny Kaye in the Disney movie. I keep hoping that someone will think that’s who it is and will ask me why “DREAD” is above his head so that I can describe to them the inherent dread in The Little Mermaid story, which he wrote (if you do not know what the elements of dread are in that story, just ask your local LGBT person).

But back to the matter at hand. I chose that shirt first of all because the bright red was, I thought, symbolic of the fire of the Holy Spirit. It occurred to me as I was standing in front of the church serving communion that the people coming up to be served might feel a bit of cognitive dissonance that they were faced with a message of dread as they took their Pentecost communion. But it was too late for a wardrobe change at that point.

I stood there contemplating why that had not occurred to me before I showed up at church. I think it is this. I cannot be aware of the light of the Holy Spirit unless I am aware of the darkness within me. I cannot be aware of the darkness within me without the light of the Holy Spirit which comes in so many forms both within and without me. Both elements are required for me to perceive and make sense of either. For me, there is no dissonance in recognizing that the darkness and the light coexist.

I feel it is the same with sf59 songs. For every three songs about mopey, sad boy stuff, there is a song like this that cuts through all the muck and reminds you that there is more than the loneliness and pain. There is hope. That’s what the fire of the Holy Spirit is about. Fire not only consumes, it also purifies. It burns out what is old so that new may grow in its place.

Back in the day, I know that some Christian music listeners had issues with sf59 because the songs weren’t all “woohoo Jesus!” all the time. They dove into the darkness and allowed the shadow to be heard and known. And for that, sf59’s way of writing Christian music is more impacting to me than anything the CCM music industry ever pushed out into the market.

“When You Feel the Mess” – Gold

Now we are closing out the Mess trilogy. I call it thus because, obviously, the word “mess” is used liberally in these songs and they are played in order. The less obvious reason is something I’m curious about. As one of the readers pointed out earlier, we can just assume that the entire Gold album is about JM breaking up with Leigh Nash of Sixpence None the Richer. It is interesting to note that their This Beautiful Mess LP was released the same year as Gold – 1995. This gets my X-Files loving, “everything is connected” brain working and I wonder if these songs were a sort of coded message that’s out in the open for all to see but for few to comprehend.

Speaking of not comprehending, I’m mostly at a loss with these lyrics. I can usually find at least one line in a song that I can hang my hat on and work with but not so much with this one. We have a singer who is well acquainted with feeling “the mess” and someone else who doesn’t understand that way of being and, therefore, doesn’t know the singer well. We are told that “it’s easy when you know”. What’s easy? Is it understanding who the singer is? Do we have to share the same “mess” states to be able to understand and know each other? I hope that’s not true.

Maybe I’m seeing things this way because I have just returned home from a family reunion. It was with a branch of the family I don’t know that well. There were only a handful of people there that I knew. I did see a guy in his early 60’s sporting a very particular and epic type of mullet called “The Kentucky Waterfall” (that’s were the top is feathered back and the back is permed in tight curls and at least shoulder length). I was acutely aware that no one there would understand me because they do not encounter any of the mess I deal with on a daily basis. It occurs to me that I cannot understand their mess either. For real, what kind of mess is mullet guy dealing with that lead him to the hair styling option he chose? I can’t even begin to know.

The music on this one is slow with a 50’s vibe. The distortion on the outro solo reminds me of distortion that blues players like Memphis Minnie were using in the early 50’s. The slide solo in the middle reminds me a bit of slide guitars that you would hear on Patsy Cline’s excessively produced, sad songs from the early 50’s. I wonder if JM ever heard “Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray”? It could have been his theme song for the relationships he was dealing with in the Silver and Gold eras. The more I listen to this, the more I think this is just a country tune with shoegaze sensibilities.

“Messed Up Over You” – Gold

Here we are at the second act of the Mess trilogy that makes up the center of this album. The tempo is slow, plodding and heavy. Each measure could last an age. The song goes into a higher emotional gear after the lyrics have ended. The entrance of the organ at the outro just slays me and I wish it had been mixed higher (maybe they did so in the remaster?). Those tortured, dueling guitars at the end do indeed say what the lyrics cannot.

As for the lyrics, it is the story of ruminating over someone lost and being stuck in all the despair that rumination brings. I feel like I’ve written this story already. Let’s find something different to talk about. One lyric really stood out to me today as I was listening:

You bind me
Completely beat me

Time and the passage of it are frequent themes in JM’s later work. This is the first song chronologically that I can think of that mentions time so directly and takes the next step of revealing its nature. Time binds him to his memories and emotions felt for this person. Ultimately, time beats him and defeats him.

I’ve been contemplating the myth of Saturn recently. This may seem off topic but bear with me. Saturn was the ruler of the Golden Age. But he feared the future because of a prophecy that his children would someday overcome him. Saturn devours his children after their birth to prevent the future, and his eventual defeat, from coming. What a dick, right? His wife tricks him and keeps their son Zeus alive. When Zeus is grown, he returns to his father and forces him to vomit up the children he had eaten. These children become the pantheon of gods: rulers of war, love, hearth and home.

The myth of Saturn is no small thing when we look at our history. It is the subject of several classic paintings. A planet was named after him. His name is the root of Saturday (our own weekly, mini golden ages). That’s a lot of reverence for a story of epic daddy cannibalism. We get a better idea of what is going on here if we look to the Roman Saturn’s precursor: the Greek Titan Chronos. The Romans where shameless in taking Greek concepts and slapping new names on them. This is no different. The name Chronos reveals to us that this cannibal father figure is time itself.

Time devours everything it touches. It beats us. It binds us to a past that is gone and to a future we cannot predict. The slow tempo of this song is a hint that it is time that holds him captive more so than the person who is already gone. And time never devours so quickly as when we try to hold onto the past. Social psychological research has shown that each time you recall a memory, you degrade that memory. The memory itself is reshaped, restructured in the brain. If you ruminate over memories, you can degrade that memory to the point that it is no longer like the actual experience you had, that you are trying to re-experience in the act of remembering. Again, time never devours so quickly as when we try to hold on to the past.

There is some hope in the myth of Saturn/Chronos. The king of gods forces him to release all that he has devoured. All that was thought lost is restored in fullness. I believe in this. The God I love is no slave to time and he reminds me that I should be not be held captive by it either.

“Stop Wasting Your Whole Life/Messed Up and Down” – Gold

Musically, this song is most like Silver of any of the songs on this album. Which means I don’t have a lot to say about it. It has moments of aggression, it has moments of wallowing in sadness, then, strangely, it switches to a major key and has vocal harmonies. JM was trying to fit a lot into this song but the changes are subtle and can be easy to miss.

Let’s talk about this song title. For a man who must think brevity is the soul of lyric writing, this is a long song title for JM. This is almost approaching the song title length of your average Sufjan Stevens ditty. Again, it’s like he is packing a lot in here but it is not clear at first glance what the distinctions are and why so many words are needed to express this. For a writer who loves the economy of words, this seems significant.

As for the story the lyrics tell, at first glance it appears to be another song about the singer turning away from or leaving an unhealthy situation, or, more specifically, an unhealthy person. This is a person who is wasting his life and is messed up to bilateral proportions. However, there are two lines that stood out to me today that make me think there is more going on in this song:

I’m leaving tonight, I’m leaving tonight
Instead of wasting your whole life

These two lines together show that the singer thinks he is a cause for the unhealthy person to waste their life. The wasting of life is not independent of the singer. The singer is a part of the dynamic and he is leaving to force a break in the pattern.

This is some powerful stuff. Let’s unpack this some more. If you have ever known a toxic person, you know how they hold on to their bitter grievances about those who have, in their view, done them wrong. They hold it as dear as the air they breathe and it is nearly as essential for them. It is essential because it is at the foundation of their own self-concept.

Toxic people are generally people who are incapable of achieving or living out their own autonomy. They tend to see themselves as failures even if they do not admit this openly (in fact, the face that they present to the world will most likely be rattling off all their achievements and skills in an attempt to keep anyone from realizing the substantial self-hatred that they have). They cannot except that the failures might have something to do with them so there has to be external reasons for why they fail. This is why they need people to blame. All the perceived grievances and perpetual blame that they repeat over and over in their heads is what poisons them; it is what makes them toxic.

If you are a person in relationship with a toxic person, whether it is romantic, platonic or familial, you will become a source of grievance eventually. Once this happens, the toxic person will come back to it over and over like a dog that eats its own shit just to vomit it up and then eat the vomit. Once you get enough discernment to see that this is a pattern and no amount of defending yourself would ever be sufficient to address the grievance, you have to decide what you will do.

If you stay in the situation, either to defend yourself or to try to heal the breach with the toxic person, the toxic person will draw your energy out of you perpetually to keep this cycle going. Ever tried debating a narcissist? It is an exercise in futility. Ultimately, they only way you can help yourself or the toxic person is to withdraw your energy from the situation. It frees you to move towards your own growth and it frees the toxic person to find a way to break their pattern or, at the very least, find another person who wants to play that role in their life. Withdrawing your energy from the situation is really an act of kindness and grace. Maybe that’s why this song ends in harmonies and a major key.

This is a more nuanced story than just the surface reading of the singer turning away from an unhealthy person. Much like the structure of the musical components of the song, there are different things going on here that can be easily missed without discernment. If you find yourself stuck in this pattern with someone, I pray that you can find discernment and I hope that you can find a way to leave it. Leaving it tonight would be best.

“You’re Mean” – Gold

Now I love the first three songs on Gold, but, honestly, when the album starts I’m really just waiting for “You’re Mean” to play. The pop hooks on this thing, the layered guitars, all of it just sends a dopamine rush to my head. This was the first song that really showed JM’s love of New Wave and I loves me some New Wave. It was also a sign of things to come with JM’s stylistic changes in the future. And I was hooked and ready for the things which had not yet come to pass. And maybe that is the mark of a near perfect song.

It’s a strange thing to find something to write about a song everyday. Even with a band you love, you are going to run into songs that just measure up to “meh” on your internal meter. Still though, you have to find something to write about. When a “meh” song is what is queued for the day, I find that these tend to be my longer posts. I put more of my own story in to fill the gaps, I suppose. Now faced with a song that I love beyond all measure, I don’t have a lot to say. I could talk about the lyrics. Lord knows I’ve known mean people and I’ve been mean myself but I just can’t focus on those stories with all these feel good vibes pounding in my ears.

I actually tried to construct a story to tell for this song which involved me doing an automatic grocery pickup. Have you done those things yet where you make your order online and all you have to do is show up at the store and they put all your shit in the car for you? I love it, particularly as it relates to Wal-Mart because 1) walking through Wal-Mart strains my introvert soul and 2) I know Wal-Mart will actually have to keep employees to fill these orders.

The downside to this is substitutions for items they don’t have in stock. And what are the items that they never seem to have in stock, you may ask? Just what every gay girl needs: iced coffee and cat litter deodorizer. These things are constantly out of stock. Knowing this and knowing that “You’re Mean” was my song for the day, I set up a grocery order. My thinking was that when they showed up to my car door to tell me that they had no iced coffee or cat litter deodorizer, I could respond in song with:

You’re mean
So it seems
You’ve got everything
But the one I need

I could then report the results in my post. But dammit, I had a perfect order. No substitutions. The one time I needed them to fail me, they came through. Bastards. They’re mean.

“When You Feel Miserable” – Gold

I love the guitar riffs in this song. They have this sort of inevitable feel to them that just pulls you along. Sometimes smooth, sometimes gritty, they show the complexity of a relationship where not all is as it seems to be.

This songs makes me remember such a relationship. I once took a walk with a sweet girl, so sweet, I knew it was true. Except when it wasn’t true. Despite everything that seemed on paper to be a perfect pairing, something was missing at the core. I knew it in my gut right away but I tamped down my intuition so that I could continue to believe that what was ultimately illusion was real, true and would stay with me.

Of course, it all eventually fell apart. I was as invisible to her as she was to me. Left in the rubble, I had to decide what I was going to do. Was I going to continue to chase after a mirage? Was I going to find a new person or a new thing to distract me? Was I going to apply my considerable brain power and energy into fixing what was broken? These are my usual patterns. Keep my hands busy and my brain occupied at all costs.

I did something different this time. I accepted my pain. Instead of trying to explain it away or fix it, I just let it be. I let the pain of so many situations, not just the broken relationship but ancient childhood pains, be acknowledged and accepted. The pain moved through my body and was released. Paradoxically, allowing the pain to be was when I stopped feeling miserable.

We can put so much energy into avoiding accepting what has happened in the past and the pain that comes with that reality that there is scarcely any energy left for living. We fear looking at the pain like it is the Medusa living in a darkened cave; should we lay our eyes upon it, it might turn us to stone. I’ve spent years being miserable just to avoid accepting the very real pain in my heart and the situations that caused that pain. Once I accepted it and allowed it to be, it was done and over with in a matter of minutes. It was the most significant pivot point in the history of my life.

So when you feel miserable, try accepting your pain and allow it to move through you. Stop resisting it. Stop trying to run from it or distract yourself from it with things or people. Stop trying to fix it. Just let it be.

“Duel Overhead Cam” – Gold

“Duel Overhead Cam” is the first song on Gold which demonstrates the reason why this album is a step up from Silver – nuance. Those palm muted rhythm chords right in sync with the bass drive the song forward with a swagger that nothing on Silver can touch. “Nuanced” is perhaps not a description you would expect of a song that has a screeching guitar that can drill right through your head just before the song’s cathartic release, but compared to the monotony of Silver, it is nuanced.

I’ve been debating on whether the lyrics are about a motorcycle or about boobs. I’m tempted to make the song about boobs as I have more hands on experience with them (See what I did there? heehee, yeah, I thought you would like that). But we will go with it being a love song to an engine. I did some research on DOHC systems in preparation of writing this. In addition to being a coal miner’s daughter, I am a also a mechanic’s daughter (my dad is a redneck Renaissance man). I’m not completely unversed in such things. Turns out DHOC systems were used on Triumph cycles up until the 80’s. Well, there you go.

When he sings “she’s got a hold on me”, I can feel that motorcycle holding me on a deep curve. DHOC engines allowed for faster speeds, more efficiency and higher power output. The downside is that they require more maintenance and have to be re-timed on occasion. But aren’t the DHOC pro’s and con’s true of any relationship that’s worth having?