With this question Rob Gordon starts telling us his story of music and love failures.
I hadn’t watched High Fidelity in at least 5 years, I can’t believe it took me so much time to recover this jewel. Yep, I like it. I’m not much into romantic comedies, in fact I try to avoid most of them, but this one’s got something special which make it irresistible. At least to me.
Rob Gordon is a music freak who owns an impressive vinyl collection at home, and a super cool record store in some kinky neighborhood. He’s such a wreck in terms of love relationships he can even elaborate a top 5 list of the hardest break ups he’s gone through. Rob used to dj at a club and would love living with a musician.
Not that I’m as immature as him (I’m not such a cunt either), and thank God not so many people has broken my heart throughout these years (oh shit! Yes, I can write my own list!), but there are quite evident similarities between him and me which make me feel kind of reflected on this character.
When I read Nick Hornby’s novel I was in London, and Championship Vinyl was located where my ex used to rehearse, in the north. I don’t know if it happens to you, but I love knowing the locations in films and books because they help me to get into the story even better. Anyway, I loved Rob and the story, and I started feeling quite related to the main character, even though I was still in the earlier stages of the development of my passion for music. My vinyl collection is still ridiculous comparing to others’ because I’ve been investing in CDs most of these years (I didn’t have a tuner for 15 years), and at the end of 1990s I had less than 100 CDs. Guess it’s quality rather than quantity what really matters in this case.
15 years after I read the book and about 5-6 years since the last time I watched the film this afternoon seemed to be the perfect time to bring Rob Gordon Cusack (what an adorable man!) to The Hellhouse, and I’ve enjoyed the viewing a lot.
And of course I still love Rob and the resemblances between us are more evident now, as I’ve grown up and music’s been my loyal companion all these years and I’m positive it will be till the end of my days. I particularly love the way he relates everything to music, and the constant top 5 lists for every occasion. I love top 5’ing and writing lists all the time. and I still believe in the power of a compilation tape/CD or a playlist for impressing someone, or at least calling his attention. It’s been ages since I don’t receive any, and nowadays personalized playlists I do, living aside the dj’n sessions, have to do with bands “best ofs” for friends.
Compilations whose consignee is someone you like are to be taken seriously and imply an extra effort as you don’t have to fail. That person must like 100% of its content, and at the same time you have to add a subtle message, but still noticeable, but avoiding something too obvious like “I love you” or “I’m gonna fuck you like animal” kind of songs. The story changes when you deal with a playlist for a friend or someone you have to impress in order to get a night at a club booked or your knowledge is put into a test.
I reckon it’s hard living with a guy like Rob, or even with me nowadays. I’m turning into a loner and most of the activities I perform are accompanied by music: cooking, reading, writing, cleaning, having a shower…and it doesn’t matter if I went out the night before and hangover is unbearable. I will play some record for breakfast. My best friend was both surprised and terrified when he discovered this. I used to hate when my ex was playing music all the time, but now I understand the reason why I was so upset was because I never had the chance to choose the music. I don’t think there are many people capable of bearing this lifestyle, and the older we get the harder is to surrender and change.
But hey! High Fidelity is a love story and Laura gets back to Rob, which means there might be someone out there who will understand my concern and stress when writing my top 5 or top 10 albums of the year and won’t mind I play a record when I wake up every morning. There’s still hope! And yes, we must admit sometimes we need happy endings to recover some illusion, don’t you think?
I will leave my top 5 break ups for later, if you allow me 😉