Money (That's What I Want)
Ok the Stones and Bon Jovi were never exactly the 'alternative face of music', their ambition and optimizing of earnings are not the best kept secrets in the world, but I don't recall so many 'fleece the public' packages on offer for tickets as at this years shows! The 80's was the age of merchandise, the 2010's the gig ticket. I don't know if it is a symptom of the desperation that corporate music is slipping to, but tickets for their Hyde Park gigs (a gig that for the Stones in '69 was free) are now selling for anything from £200 to £10,000. For Bon Jovi you can get suitably named Diamond Circle VIP, Rock-Star Red Carpet VIP, Hot Seat VIP tickets, whilst the Stones are doing something similar to optimise earnings in their final few years. The options include Dinner Packages, General Admission (nothing new in either of those) - but Tier's 1 - 3, then the 'Rock Garden' (also tiered!) and if the 'Unwind Backstage' package doesn't tempt you - perhaps live the dream with the 'Kings of Rock' package! And only this week you could have seen the Stones for about £10 at their usual intimate warm up show, this year at the LA Echoplex nightclub (what i wouldn't have given for was a chance to see that!). But having seen them before on Arena tours I certainly won't be rushing to go. The set is pretty standard and formulaic with almost the same generic moves. Miss You will feature part way through, Keith will do a 2 song interlude which will probably feature Connection, and Jumpin Jack Flash, Brown Sugar and Satisfaction will close the show. It is still a great experience - and anyone who hasn't seen them i would say pay - but as with lot's of things in life - once is enough.
Ode to Tulisa Gentry
What a celeb driven world we live in. Tulisa - the cheryl cole clone - has been voted sexiest woman by FHM or someone! Firstly this must be a typo - secondly if she is not a poor man's Cheryl - then she is an EXACT copy of Bobbie Gentry of Ode To Billie Joe fame!
2012 - to reform and beyond!
I have whinged about 'reformed' (re constitued!) bands and anniversary tours before - but ..... with Metallica doing Master of Puppets Anniversary, The Pixies, Public Enemy, The Levellers and many more in the last 12 months, surely the music world is regressing? Sometimes the band even play the album on stage following the same track listing?! I really can't decide where i stand. Do i hate that the album is reduced to a commodity that they can then reissue with bonuses as well? and follow that with a 'generate a pension' tour? Or do i begrudge the fact that they are cashing in on older items when they should be trying to push new boundaries? Or do i begrudge going to see these bands and knowing i won't see tracks from other albums that i love? I really don't know. Where do i draw the line. I am certain that by the time of the 20th Anniversary tour of 'Oooopppps' I did it again Britney certainly won't be as hot!
I'm back, from outer space, finally doing another blog after another 6 week absence! Talk about mr clockwork! (ha ha).
Is it really true that Neil Diamond has released 37 ! Greatest hits since he began his career? (30daysout.wordpress.com/.../review-the-very-best-of-neil-diamond-by-neil-diamond/) how can the money men justify this! Are there really that many bored housewives out there? I must admit i an a big fan of Neils (and own a double cd greatest hits from the 90s) but how can the record labels justify fleecing the public? Especially as you really need more than just a greatest hits by a man who is such a great songwriter! Though you could live without some of his movie work!
How many do you need? Take what you need and leave the rest (But they should never have taken the very best!)
We are now in the dawning of a new age which was unthinkable over ten years ago really. You can now download 333 copies of The House Of The Rising Sun (http://bitsnoop.com/333-houses-of-the-rising-sun-q3903820.html) or if that doesn’t take your fancy someone else has collected 500 covers of Yesterday of, as he put it ‘varying quality’ Such amazing consolidation of music, whilst illegal, would have been inconceivable years ago – and also prohibitively expensive! The wonders of modern technology!
Not only is there a conspiracy to get people to believe that Bob Marley performed a version of red red wine (discussed elsewhere on this site) – but not I see someone is trying to pass off that the Rolling Stones have done a cover of The House of the Rising Sun. http://www.metrolyrics.com/house-of-the-rising-sun-lyrics-rolling-stones.html (there are more links – I won’t paste them as well! It will on continue the problem. But the to compound the problem – some idiot on the net is spreading that it was a song originally done by the Doors!!
It's scary what may enter into 'fact'!
I Listen to EVERYTHING!
I am amazed, stunned and not a little bit disappointed. Reading the paper today some randomer (who I probably should know – as they are clearly a celebrity of some kind) was asked what music they listened to. A reasonable and interesting question. The answer to which I always read even if I skim the rest of a feature or soundbite. They answered (as most people would) ‘Oh I listen to everything’. Which is a fine answer – and perhaps I am being too train spotty here - but then by way of example felt the need to say “…… JLS, One Direction and Mary Byrne.” as if this covered everything !! Wonderful. Absolutely fucking wonderful. There are millions of albums available out there – and thousands of new ones released every week. They range from the heaviest hardcore metal to the most minimalist classic music (that is not really the full range, but you get the idea) and instead we have been reduced to X factor pop wannabes capturing everything in the whole spectrum of music! What am I up against!
Was listening to Anais Mitchell’s Hadestown today – do yourself a favour. That is not really pushing the boat out – but it is better than the three mentioned above!!
Fuck’s sake. Is there no band who won’t jump on the lets get back together or we never split band wagon? At least the Pistols in 1996 were absolutely honest. 'We’re only after your filthy lucre' I think the tour was called!
In roughly the last 12 - 18 months just off the top of my head (any others let me know! )
Bush, the Pixies, Soundgarden, Faith No More, Rage Against the Machine, The Police, Led Zeppelin, and Fleetwood Mac.
Possibly even the Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block (Do they count? And to add insult to injury in the same year as we lost REM and the White Stripes...)
Now The Stone Roses, Garbage, Suede and everyone else seem to be happy to pitch up, overlook old differences and let bygones be pay cheques. A lot of these are Late 80s Early 90s revivals – Surely the now officially not racist Morrissey can put his differences with Johnny Marr behind him? That would please a few flower waving wish washey anti Maggie liberals!
But then maybe I am a hypocrite. Not only was I at that filthy lucre gig at Finsbury (I swear I was there!), but I also had the honour of shaking the Mozza’s hand and thanking him for making another reunion possible. One I never thought I’d see. The New York Dolls back in 2004. So perhaps in spite of my overwhelming apathy for the Smiths and Pink Floyd I should bite my lip and let the diminutive surly Glaswegian gadgie her day in the sun – oh sorry her rain in the sun!
I am really not one for the fashion police. I used to be fashion conscious (ha ha), but now i am just grateful to be conscious. But really - why oh why do bands issue T Shirts anymore? The result is that most big bands have become corporate entities rather than purveyors of quality music! Perhaps this is more of a rant than a social oservation - but I was in a pub recently after a gig. (Michelle Shocked as it happens - cracking gig). Before deciding on whether to go though - I had been torn, because that Friday night Iron Maiden were playing Dublin as well. But - i had already seen Maiden a few times, so the decision was actually quite easy. Anyway - retiring to an unfortunately all too trendy pub in Dublin to discuss the gig. In walked a girl wearing an Iron Maiden 'Killers' T shirt if my memory serves me well. So - I wandered over (against the advice of my wife) - and asked her how the gig was. Thinking she must have jumped in a taxi to make it across town for a drink. So i went across and asked how the gig was. The look i got bordered on her thinking i had two heads. "What?" she said looking at this middle aged over weight balding guy as if he was some freak! "How was the gig?" I said - Again another blank look. I continued "The Maiden gig at the O2 tonight - I assume you were at it?" Pointing at her 'aged' T Shirt. "Oh, no" she said and turned away as if i was some kind of paedo! That was the end of that riveting eloquent conversation!
"Boring conversation anyway" I mumbled to myself as I was preparing to shout to my wife “we’re gonna have company!” – Perhaps that obscure reference would be lost on T Shirt Girl as well – but anyway – at that point it dawned on my … historically I had always had a slight admiration for teenagers who wore classic bands on their chests. MC5, The Sex Pistols, The Damned, and perhaps most of all the New York Dolls. (there are others - I am just ranting about Punk and Metal at the moment!)
However I realise, increasingly, this is no longer a statement of musical taste but more a fashion statement! Vivienne Westwood beat Malcolm in the end!
No longer is the T Shirt a badge of honour for the foot soldiers of oft exploited rock n roll bands. It could say Nike or Swoosh or Tommy Golddigger on it – the nearest these kids get to the music is when Justin Bieber or Michael Bubble cover a song! Actually that I would love to hear – Justin Bieber singing a song about abortion “Fuck This, Fuck that, fuck it all and fuck the brat, she don’t want a baby that looks like that” Or ‘Next up Buble with his signature tune ‘Smash It Up’'. 'Everybodies smashing things down.....' Although i had better not joke - Paul Anka and a whole host of others have done similar things.
Anyway - I could go on (I generally do). I accost poor people wearing Stax or CBGBs T shirts all the time. Sometimes I even scare them! But hopefully they will go away and find out about these important pieces of musical history!
The Stones lips is another one – where the wearer generally doesn’t know anything beyond a greatest hits – but maybe, just maybe I am becoming a bit to dictatorial there – do they really need to be made to listen to the 4 minute version of Wild Horses featuring Gram Parsons, or Voodoo Stew’s residue sessions? Perhaps I need to take a step back!
An Alien, A legal Alien. An Englishman in Dublin.