Why It Is Imperative Jim Croce Remain Dead


Many people harbor irrational and seemingly arbitrary prejudices and dislikes. You know, pet peeves like hairless cats or people who pick their teeth in public. I, however, have a blinding hatred for one thing in particular. I cannot stand the music of the late Jim Croce.

I realize that “hating” a deceased 1970s singer-songwriter is wrong. I’m also aware that the man may have been a wonderful human being and my passionate dislike for this mustachioed hack might seem unfair and actually hurtful to his many fans, friends and to the family that, I’m sure, loved him. I don’t care. The fucker wrote and sang, “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and for that, there is no excuse.

Let me try and explain the reasons behind my derision. Back in the early and mid ’70s there were a slew of musicians flooding the music scene that wrote the songs they themselves sang and played. This was a relatively new development in the pop industry. It had barely been ten years since The Beatles and Bob Dylan made it de riguer for artists to write their own stuff. The influx of performers like James Taylor, Carole King, Cat Stevens, Randy Newman, Laura Nyro, Leonard Cohen, John Prine and Loudon Wainwright III were lumped in with guys like Croce, Harry Chapin and John Denver and dubbed, “Singer-Songwriters.” Even worse was being tagged “The New Bob Dylan,” an albatross hung on real talents in their own right like Ellott Murphy and Bruce Springsteen. But it was the denim-shirted Croce that really frosted my hairy orbs.

Let me further explain, I have many, many faults and foibles – I accept that I’m as imperfect as a Jackson Pollack diagram of an electro-magnetic motor, not the least of these imperfections is that I’m a horrible “music snob.” Remember those geeks who worked in record stores or music distributor’s warehouses and believed that as part of “The Music Industry” their opinions counted for far more than the poor shlub’s who came in and plunked down his $4.95 + tax for the new Foghat 8-Track? Well, I’m one of those. To those of us in the rarified air of our own self-importance there was a natural cool-factor that marked the difference between being a fan of, say, Bruce Springsteen (very cool) and Bob Seger (not so much). Though both artists mined basically the same musical terrain and both sold a ton of records, The Boss was considered a genius while Seger was summarily dismissed as some kind of AM Radio Hack (there was nothing less cool that having an AM Radio hit unless you were The Beatles, Stones or Dylan). Unfair? Fuck you… it’s just the way it is. There are thousands of examples of these arbitrary distinctions… The Move (cool) and ELO (crass commercial drivel), Genesis (cool costumes and makeup) and KISS (stupid costumes and makeup).I mean, it’s self-evident, right? Well, that’s how I felt about Jim Croce. Sure, he was a Folk-based, guitar-toting, denim-clad, truck-driver Everyman – but, his crap was catchy and radio-friendly (heathen!) while a Folk-based,guitar-toting, denim-clad kid who wrote catchy tunes like, Steve Forbert, was far cooler.

But, honestly, it goes much deeper than that. My distaste for Croce is a deep-seated hostility bred by the fact that he’s where I draw the line when it comes to “acceptable” listening material. I’ve taken a stand. The guy just irritates me beyond what even I can consider rationality. The cheesy porno-mustache, the “working man’s clothing” and the stupid George Burns cigar just make me wanna slap him. His music is pointless. Paeans to fictional characters churned out for Community College drop-outs (do I have to explain why Ray Davies’ paeans to fictional characters are sublimely cool while Jimbo’s suck scrote? I didn’t think so). I not only want to tug on Superman’s cape, I want to wind it like a jailhouse noose around the Welcome Back Kotter Extra’s freaking neck. I know, I know, he’s already dead and we shouldn’t speak ill of the dead, but DAMN, I hate his stuff!

Karma being what it is, I will no doubt be met in the Afterlife by a disgruntled, curly-headed, Mario Bros.-looking folkie with a guitar and a bone to pick. I just hope I’m not wearing my cape when we face-off. He’d probably kick my ass and write one of his horrible fucking songs about it.

Explore posts in the same categories: Thoughts & Musings

3 Comments on “Why It Is Imperative Jim Croce Remain Dead”

  1. BoDangles Says:

    Okay everyone, sing along. “You don’t tug on …”

    I’ve never seen someone so articulately dismembered.

  2. ianbalentine Says:

    I never thought of him as a Mario Bros., but you’re spot on! Here’s some stone cold facts about Jim you neglected to mention:
    Did you know…

    …that Jim’s famous ‘fro was actually a wig? It’s true! His hair was burned off at age 6 in an unfortunate smelting accident.

    …that his hit “I Fell In Love With A Roller Derby Queen” was originally entitled “I Fell In Love With A Whore From Dairy Queen”?

    …that he subsisted on nothing but pine needles and guacamole for the last 6 years of his existence? It was a ‘new age’ diet recommended to him by former roommate Arlo Guthrie.

    …that for the entire 30 years that he was alive he never once cut his toenails? Look closely at his concert footage and you’ll notice that he always kept his feet wrapped in velvet “Crown Royal” bags.

    …that he once swam over 2938 km down the Mississippi River just to retrieve his autographed Jerry Garcia balsa wood hookah?

    …that he would only wear blue jeans that contained a unique purple dye found only in a rare form of sea urchin?

    …that he once sneaked into Ed McMahon’s house and lived undetected in his closet for a full year?

    …that he and 6 others still hold the record to this day for “Most People To Fit Inside A Single Soap Bubble”?

    …that his mustache actually housed three generations of trained circus fleas, a Croce heirloom and tradition passed down by his father, Hercules Croce?

    …that before Stanley Kubrick took over, Jim Croce was considered to play Alex, the lead “droog” in A Clockwork Orange?

  3. Sue Says:

    It’s ok to hate his music. Hell, I fricken HATE the Eagles! Everyone always gets mad at me for that, but it’s the truth. Me and the Dude hate the Eagles!

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