I try to stay positive on this blog, but tonight I feel like ranting. This is a list of things in/around popular music that I can no longer tolerate. I’d like these things or people to vanish from sight for just awhile.
John & Yoko’s wedding and bed-ins — I’m about as big of a Beatles fan as you’ll meet, but I’m sick to death of all this stuff celebrating the 40th anniversary of John & Yoko’s marriage and their bed-ins for peace. The bed-ins were a funny idea, but the fact that we’re talking about them 40 years later baffles me. These weren’t marches like civil rights supporters held in the south in the 50’s and 60’s. The marches actually changed things. The bed-ins were a gimmick that attracted a lot of media attention for a positive subject (world peace is a good goal, I agree) but, in the end, accomplished nothing. I’m frankly sick to death of seeing those old photos of John and Yoko laying in bed together. I saw Imagine: John Lennon when it came out in theaters 20 years ago. It had all one would ever need to know about their wedding in Gibraltar and the bed-ins. Let’s move on, ok?
Phil Spector’s reputation as a genius — I can’t say all about this subject that I would like to, at least not in this post. Suffice it to say that I think his “wall of sound” sucked on albums like George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass. Spector ruined that brilliant album. McCartney was wise to “de-Spectorize” Let it Be a few years back. He sees (hears) what many others are unwilling to recognize: that Spector could be a hack and he overproduced stuff. More about this some other time perhaps.
Beatles Rock Band video game — I’m not going to blast Paul, Ringo, Yoko and Olivia for allowing this video game to come out. It will introduce younger kids to the Beatles just as I was introduced to them the better part of a decade after they split. That said, I’m sick to death of reading and hearing about it. Instead of playing video games, kiddies, get a damned bass or guitar and learn to play music yourselves! Parents can get starter guitars, with amps, cords, the whole bit, for $200. XBox or wii or whatever systems kids play on these days (I sound old, don’t I?) cost as much or more than that. Make your own music. Stop living in the fantasy world of playing someone else’s music on a computer. Either that or stop telling me that Rock Band comes out in September. Stop posting ab0ut it. I’ve read it at least 100 times already. I get it.
Disney actors cutting albums — I fully support a lot of what Disney does. But I’m disgusted that they keep pumping out CDs by child actors that can’t sing a lick. That Emily Osment has her own album is proof positive that the music business these days is just plain awful. It’s a joke. I like Disney’s TV shows for kids, but how about we get kids listening to good music instead of garbage like the Jonas Brothers. To balance out the sonic assault on my daughter’s ears that she gets from Disney channel and Radio Disney, I play the Beatles, Oasis, Marvin Gaye, Hank Williams, Sr., Paul McCartney, Sinead O’Connor, and other artists that actually have (or had) lots of talent. She knows what a good singer should sound like and she knows that the crap Disney is trying to sell her isn’t good.
Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — I was recently happy to learn that George Harrison was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Besides being a Beatle and a pretty darned good solo artist, George was into film and his company, Handmade Films, put out some pretty cool stuff in the 80’s. My happiness for one of my favorites being honored was diminished when I learned that guys like John Stamos also have stars on the walk. John Stamos? Really? C’mon. It seems anyone that’s ever been on a bad sitcom gets a star on the walk. It’s the equivalent of every kid in little league soccer getting a trophy. Ugh.
Coldplay — I’m not going to attack them. They seem to be a pretty decent band. They’re not my cup of tea but, hey, I think I have an idea why others like them. My beef, though, is that it has been put ’round that Coldplay are the “Beatles of their generation.” I hate declarations like that! Coldplay might be one of the most popular bands around these days, and for the last several years, but this generation has no Beatles. Since the height of Beatlemania, there has been nothing even close to the Beatles. Michael Jackson in 1983-85, U2 in the late 80’s and again in the early 90’s, and Oasis (mostly in Britain) in 1994-97 came about as close as anyone ever will, but were still light years behind the overall popularity and madness surrounding the Beatles from 1964-66. The world will never see a band as popular and influential as the Beatles. Never! So the comparison is ludicrous. Can’t we call Coldplay the “U2 of their generation” or the “Michael Jackson of their generation”? Those labels work better.
I think I have more rants in me, but I’ve run out of steam.