Monday, February 23, 2015
Monday Morning Rant #14
Something has been stuck in my craw.
Over the years, the debate over aging rock stars, reunion tours, as well artists losing their mojo, has taken up a solid amount of space on these pages. Should the Rolling Stones hang it up? "The Who really isn't The Who without Keith Moon and John Entwistle." "Bruce Springsteen hasn't made a good record since 1978."
I have strong opinions about all of the above and more. I'll get to them soon.
Last week, I saw more than a fair share of positive comments regarding Miley Cyrus's SNL performance of "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover," as well as a number of negative remarks regarding Paul McCartney's performance of "Maybe I'm Amazed."
Cyrus and company delivered an acceptable arrangement of the Paul Simon hit, while McCartney's performance seemed to highlight his aging, tired voice. In regards to Miley, even a broken clock is right twice a day, yet the vitriol on social media--at least in my circles--over Sir Paul, seemed to hone in on his inability to hit the notes at 73 years old he once hit at 33 years old.
Regarding SNL, why is there more patience and acceptance of a character like Miley Cyrus than there is for a legendary artist like Paul McCartney? In general, I see this practice often. What makes it so easy to slam Bruce Springsteen's "Wrecking Ball," a record that is a shadow of the E-Street sound of past glories, yes, but by today's standards, a pretty smart and remarkable collection of music, yet we throw high praise at the mediocrity that is so many current artists just because they are new. Or more accurately, not old.
Miley Cyrus is a spectacle with a voice like a gremlin, and even as pop idols go, is unlistenable. Her Paul Simon cover was fine. That's it! Fine. It wasn't great. It just wasn't horrible. And Macca's voice? Yeah, it's beginning to crack and sadly sound frail. But he has been on tour for years. Maybe he's just tired.
And if you're going to hold your head high while giving Bob Dylan's new Sinatra project a 5-star review as well as your time, and then trash the last 20 years of output from Bruce, McCartney and David Bowie, we need to have a serious chinwag.
Should the Stones hang it up? I think they should, but only because they sound bad and charge too much for tickets. (Mick and Keith could work this out. I know it.) As for The Who not really being The Who, Roger and Pete plus the son of rock royalty who was taught to play drums by Keith Moon, is good enough for me, plus they still sound great. Was the last great Bruce album "Darkness On The Edge Of Town?" Of course it wasn't, so get over it.