Obviously as a record storeowner, music is an undeniable element of the character.One of the most extreme examples of music defining the character in the film is when Rob says to his girlfriend, Laura, that “liking both Marvin Gaye and Art Garfunkel is like supporting both the Israelis and the Palestinians.” Frears uses music to explore Rob Gordon in a different way than Hornby’s novel does; a way that is unique to the world of movies.One example of music being used beyond its obvious narrative purpose is the first song of the film, “You’re Gonna Miss me” by The 13th Floor Elevators.The song plays as the film’s title appears onscreen and the camera provides a close-up of Rob listening to the song on his headphones as he considers the relationship between music and misery as he waxes philosophic about the nature of popular music.To reduce music to a casual interest is to do a great disservice to the emotional impact of music.
One film that is representative of the complex dynamic of love and popular music is the 2000 Steaphen Frears directed film, High Fidelity.
The song itself is interrupted when Laura pulls the plug on his headphones and the music goes quiet.
She then explains that she has to leave or it will hurt too much.
While a direct correlation between Roky Erickson and Rob Gordon may be a little drastic, the movie indicates that Rob is headed down the path of isolation and misery that Roky himself experienced.
These types of layered readings, where Frears creates a surface meaning, but also suggests a more elaborate reading for music aficianados, are a staple of High Fidelity.It is clear that this is a breakup, but at this point, the audience is in the dark as to why Laura is breaking up with Rob.