Bye Bye, Miss American Pie…
“All the best songs have been written” – Rich Doherty
followed by – “You’re an asshole” – Thomas Hoban
Last night, the VMA’s were held… in Brooklyn. My hometown.
20 years ago, this would have been a cause for great excitement, but 20 years ago, MTV would have never gone anywhere near Kings County. I wish they stayed away.
Truth be told, I didn’t actually watch the VMA’s last night. I worked.
Instead, I watched clips of the performances on Youtube this morning. This is the era that we live in. Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed.
In fact, I was depressed. What the hell happened to music when I wasn’t looking? Doesn’t anyone know how to rock? Doesn’t anyone have any balls at all?
I remember back when I was a kid coming up in the world, I lived through the Disco vs Rock wars. Every media outlet in the world declared that Rock was dead. Even Townsend and Daltrey acknowledged the idea in Long Live Rock.
But then The Who released a movie, Coppola introduced a new generation to Morrison, Lennon got killed, and Heavy Metal took over the world. Rock certainly wasn’t dead.
MTV has been irrelevant to music for a long time. I haven’t seen a video in years. MTV is the station for Snookie and the Real World, and yet they still produce a high ratings awards show every year.
In 1984, at the first VMA’s, Madonna performed Like a Virgin in a wedding dress, rolling around on the floor in an erotic display of faux masturbation. (At least I think it was faux.) Female performers have been trying to outdo her ever since. They haven’t come close.
In 1992, the VMA’s had the Black Crowes, U2, Clapton, En Vogue, Def Lepard and Nirvana. Pearl Jam played Jeremy, followed by the Chilli Peppers and then GnR closed the show with Elton playing November Rain.
Man, I’m getting chills just thinking about it.
Last night, Lady GooGoo opened the show with three wigs, four dresses, 20 dancers and a lot of bad lip-syncing. People tell me that she’s talented, but she’s go no business in that clam-shell outfit. Go back to the meat dress.
Miley Cyrus did a spot-on impersonation of a white girl with Daddy issues, and Katy Perry closed the show by lip-syncing under the Brooklyn Bridge.
God help us all.
I realize that music goes through cycles, but this seems a little more permanent.
I don’t really listen to much modern radio and the only records that I purchase nowadays are whatever Pink and Pearl Jam get around to releasing.
Aside from that, it’s just deep tracks on XM radio and the singer-songwriter channel on Spotify.
Maybe it’s just the nature of the world we live in. Maybe no one cares enough about music to inspire new artists.
Even rap is lame and has been for a while. Most of today’s hip-hop rappers are indistinguishable except for their tattoos, and no one besides Mary J has any right to call themselves an RnB artist. Bruno Mars is pretty talented, but everyone that he emulates did it better, for a lot longer…
Even Pearl Jam, who I consider to be the best band of the last 2 decades, is about to release their 10th album in their 23rd year of existence.
The Beatles released 12 albums in 7.
I’m not expecting anyone to be The Beatles, but would it be asking to much to have someone try?
For my money, everything changed on April 5, 1994 when Kurt decided to take himself out. At the time, I was flippant about it. Another dead rock-and-roller. No biggie. Someone else will come along.
But no one ever did. April 5th was truly the day that music died.
Every year, some radio station has a top 500 song countdown on the 4th of July. Every year the top 20 in the same. Stairway is #1. Layla is #2. Imagine is #3. Let it Be is #4. You can fill in the rest. Pretty much all of those songs were released before I was old enough to spit. Except Teen Spirit.
Maybe Richie was right. Maybe all the best songs have been written.
Maybe Rock IS dead.
Nah… It’s just sleeping.
I’ll just have to keep listening to Quadrophenia until it wakes up.