I love you.
I once briefly dated a girl who asked me what my favorite albums are, and somewhere near the end of the long list that rattled off, Pinkerton had made the cut. Upon hearing the album’s title, her expression went from interested to visibly disgusted, so I asked her why she had the look on her face. “Weezer is like the touch-stone band of every single insecure dude who’s had broken hearts ever since middle school.” she replied. An argument ensued, and somewhere in the fury of me trying to defend the album —not because I was offended she was calling me an insecure dude with heartbreak issues, mind you — but rather a call to arms in the defense of Weezer, the thought there might actually be a large amount of truth to the statement eventually crossed my mind.
For those that don’t know the myth and legend that fuels the lyrical content of Pinkerton here’s the SparkNotes version. Weezer’s debut album made them an overnight sensation. They went from playing tiny clubs to filling out arenas. Suddenly the nerdiest kids were leading rock and roll life styles, having heinous amounts of sex, partying every single night and so on and so forth. Front man and chief songwriter Rivers Cuomo became so disillusioned with all of the above he decided to put the band on hiatus and go back to school at Harvard University. But not before he decided to finally have corrective surgery (he was born with one leg shorter than the other), the recovery from which forced him to walk with a cane and grow a beard. OK. He wasn’t forced to grow a beard, but you get the picture.
If that sounds pathetic, it’s because it is. Rivers went from being run on MTV every hour to being an awkward gimp that was too afraid to go talk to the Japanese girl in his writing class (see El Scorcho and Pink Triangle). But somewhere deep into his ascetic hibernation his heart “exploded” and he realized he just wanted to rock again. Suffering from paranoia that the bands success was due to studio tricks and witty music videos instead of the songs themselves though, Cuomo booted Cars’ songwriter Ric Ocasek from the producer’s seat and instead decided to produce the album that would become Pinkerton himself.
Painful, and painfully great