Davephoric Recall

To understand the Dave Matthews Band phenomenon, we must first begin with the concept of euphoric recall. Per WikiAnswers, euphoric recall is “when an addict remembers all the positive experiences associated with their addiction rather than the negative experiences.”

I am not inferring that listening to DMB is an addiction, but rather introducing a concept that I believe is helpful in understanding why people who’s musical judgement is otherwise pretty solid find a way to still listen to and enjoy the petulant sounds of Dave and his wayward troupe of talented (albeit misguided) musicos.

The DMB fan population consists of three main groups: the Deadhead/Phishface/dirty hippie clique, the 20 and 30 somethings who were musical conformists in their middle school and high school years, and people who listen to a variety of decent music but inexplicably enjoy “Dave” a lot. The discussion today is mostly focused on the third group, but can likely b applied to the other groups in some manner, as well.

At a meeting a month or so ago, I encountered a “Dave Matthews Band Caravan Tour” mug in front of a coworker that I respect(ed) and know doesn’t have wholly awful tastes in music and pop culture. I also presume this coworker not to be a pothead, due in most part to her job role and the fact that we work in a field where we can be drug tested at any time. That said, I began honing a theory that she and 3 or 4 others that same day validated… I’ll call this theory Davephoric Recall.

Every one of the people (other than one, whom I know to be a liar) admitted that during the time of their life that they got into “Dave” they did dabble in a relationship with Miss Maryjane. This toking obviously lends itself to the communal nature of a “Dave” show and the predisposition towards jam music, as well as the ability to tolerate otherwise annoying sounds and events. As these people grew up, their occasional smoking habits waned, eventually disappearing entirely. However, the connection of “Dave” with the euphoric feeling of getting high stayed.

Now, as these folks no longer use illicit substances to get high, they instead listen to DMB to get that contact high that they’ve missed. Unlike the true addict, this behavior is not one that leads to relapse, but instead the act of listening itself is the relapse, as their ability to know the difference between actually decent music and “Crash into Me” disappears. Their sensibilities are so dulled that they themselves become of of the “ants” who are “marching” as they begin to feel the euphoria and drift off to the concert in their head.

I try not to hold the love of DMB against people because to some extent I now recognize that “Dave” has a hold on them, much like heroin does on a junkie. But, then again, I still urge everyone reading this to “Just Say No!”


~ by thepaintedman on August 18, 2012.

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