Circus Giganticus

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Achtung Baby, U2 Sucks, Sabbath Rules

November 3rd, 2009 · No Comments · Center Ring, Music

So, the 25 year anniversary of the rock and roll Hall of Fame took place over two nights at Madison Square Garden with an all-star rock and roll lineup. That’s what we’re led to believe. I know that’s horseshit because of the horse’s asses that were there.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: Sorry, I don’t get the Boss thing and never have. I can’t tell if the whole Bruce thing is a schtick, a New Jersey hoodoo of some kind, or maybe just a calculated musical persona that can tell tales and earn the loyalty of some demographic. Any way you cut it, I never liquored up to Bruce all night and blew off my job the next morning.

U2: I was walking downtown the other day thinking I might have a drink and out of one the bars I passed U2 was blaring. This band is so calculated and so phony I blew off the idea of entering that particular pub because it would be too depressing to nurse a beer and listen to that music-as-ambience-shit. U2 is the musical equivalent of a Marshall McLuhan nightmare-they ARE the message and they won’t shut up about it. But Bono has important things to say…ssshhh…let’s listen…sheeeit!

Crosby, Stills, & Nash: Not long ago I read an article about Steven Stills where he talks about his health. The guy is deaf, can hardly walk, and feels like general shit. David Crosby is David Crosby and Graham Nash wrote Marrakech Express which should have consigned him to polka  hell right at that point.

James Taylor and Jackson Browne: HAMMER OF THE GODS? Ye gods! James and Jackson between them don’t have enough cock in their rock to fill a midget’s condom.

Jerry Lee Lewis could’ve been cool as a living diorama of rock performance and Mick Jagger…well he’ll do supermarket openings if the money’s right and the people show up.

No, this Hall of Fame circle jerk was more 60’s generation self-reverence, advertisements for themselves, and a commercial for safe rock…Hall of Fame safe rock. It’s like this: The rock and roll Hall of Fame should be at a dive bar and you have to do shots of tequila and gun down beers right after you’re admitted and you can’t get in unless you’ve been fired from at least three jobs, wrecked two cars, dropped acid and you should be made to tell a story about why Black Sabbath Volume 4 was such a brilliant fucking album and if you can’t do anything like that go to Branson fucking Missouri. Rock and roll is to be lived not recreated by corporate millionaire sixty-somethings (Jeff Beck excluded-Beck is a mature musician).

No, here’s how the 25th Rock and Roll Hall of Fame celebration should have played out.

Everyone in attendance is someone with a day job who was pulled in off the street last minute and told to party at the open bar and everyone would party at the open bar because it’s fucking free and let’s get as hammered as we can on free booze before the bands start. The bands should have been local rockers who were called up only hours before and told to play their asses off because this is a tribute to all your idols…all the guys whose music made you NOT want to get a shit job, not conform, not eat shit, but live like a rocker. Late nights, iffy income streams, booze, practice, practice, practice and more practice. Spend hours listening to the great ones and imitating them. Going way back to the original bluesmen, those who influenced your idols and learning from them so you know how the music climbed up from Mississippi, to Chicago, back down to Texas, and back up again to Tennessee. 

Because above all else rock is a passing fancy, a transitory dream that is at the service and behest of the young and crazy. Rock is the Holden Caulfield sonic refusal to join mindlessly the hypocrisy and dreadfulness that is adult life in America. Rock is that cultural outburst that says “Fuck you, man! Take this job and stuff it up your ass!” Rock is meant to be lived not enshrined by cheesy hucksters who can’t do it, don’t live it, and only commodify it. I don’t need Bono and Bruce to do their practiced routines to remind me that rock is great and that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exists to make sure I don’t forget this. I don’t need a rock and roll theme park because I was never a rock and roll tourist and never will ever fucking be one. I don’t need that shit because my rock and roll never forgets.

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