And did I say this already? That music is the best theeater? That it's so ridiculous it doesn't even make any sense? That there should be these people onstage, standing there, wiggling little strings on blocks of wood slung around their necks? Jumping up and down and wiggling the strings? Jumping up and down and hopping back and forth and dancing on tippy-toes, wiggling strings? And how if you were deaf and just saw them doing that, you would think, what the hell? What is that? And if you were never on earth before and someone had to explain it to you they would have to say there's this thing called music, and it's invisible. And if floats around in the air and it fills up whole rooms, and more than rooms, whole homes, whole football fields, whole stadiums. And we know it's there, because we can hear it through these little holes on either sides of our heads. And if we turn it up really loud we can feel it, we can feel it in our bodies, vibrating. But we can't see it. The only thing we can see it people jumping and wiggling.
And that's the thing right there, that makes me believe in everything that makes no sense. When Angus Young plays the opening chords to "Hell's Bells," we know that something is here in the Garden that wasn't here before, something huge and irresponsible, and it is not the giant, papier-mache bell that drops from the ceiling. It is a presence, and even though it seems to be associated with Angus Young, it is not Angus Young.
And it is like a joke, almost, that we only have Angus Young to look at, Angus Young who is forty-five now, for god's sake, in his schoolboy outfit and his wedding ring, when we hear this gargantuan thing arriving, this giant presence, this god. It is a joke that we can't see it, that we see only this shadow, this Angus Young fidgeting in his red velvet shorts, when we know as sure are standing here that a freaking king has come.
The Pharmacist's Mate is available from McSweeney's for the very low price of $10 [McSweeney's Purchasing Harangue]. Though not exactly about electrical engineering on boats, the slim volume is remarkable and well worth your time and money.