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Are You Ready to Rock?…..No….Then is Next Thursday Good For You? August 28, 2006

Posted by doctorolove in Music.
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The Rolling Stones are getting old.

I know, that’s shocking to here since it automatically ages all of us. We thought they looked like over ripened raisins in the “Waiting on a Friend” video, so one can only imagine the mangled shar-peis they have now become. But this is not a post to honor them or call for their retirement. With the advances in computer graphics, they can morph themselves into a young looking 60 every time they take the stage. But they are beginning to show signs of breakdown. Hip replacements. Drug rehab stints. And the fact that Mick Jagger only has relations with women between the ages of 25 and 30 now, a large uptick from his skirt chasing heyday. The Rolling Stones will not be with us forever. And it is important that we prepare.

While their music skills are long debated, you can’t argue with the facts that wherever venue, whatever country and whatever schlock album they’re promoting, people come to see them. Sure, a good one third of the people on this planet share chromosomes and some sort of DNA with Mick (That boy got around), but there are actually people not related to any of them who pay money to watch them flail around on stage and sing songs no longer associated with them but with Nike commercials and computer software. They are the arena rock band of all time and with their final set already being sung, there is about to be a serious drop in commerce. What band will take up the mantle and be that band to fill stadiums? And I’m not talking about selling out the local civic center that doubles as the base of operations for your local Arena league team or the old high school football field where you can swear you tackled Joe Montana once (That name can be exchanged as per your own generation…just make sure you have done the research of where the NFL star of your choice played his high school ball. Nothing ruins a grandiose lie like lack of investigation.) No I’m talking about the band that fills the Rose Bowl, Giants Stadium and the Big Houses that claim to be “the third biggest city in Wherever” when they fill up for Saturday football games. The Stones can do that on longevity, reputation and umpteen million relatives and friends. But when they’re gone, who will keep the security guards, the beer swillers and the scary guys on parole who clean up the bathroom employed on days other than game day? Who will be the next arena rock band that will long outlive their popularity?

U2-

They seem like the logical choice. Already with a long catalog of songs that everybody hates to admit they know the words to, the band has moved from music genre to music genre with relative ease. They seem to have all the ingredients: a catalog that provides 50,,000 screaming people the ability to sing along with, a mesmerizing front man who goes by one name and, most of all, talent. Plus they’re from Ireland, and all things in the British Isles are always a hit in America, since we all have this inherent deep seeded guilt over the War of 1812 catalogued in our chromosomes. Their arena show track record is great so far and their shows are events, filled with video screens, characters and the occasional fire eater. And we all know, nothing plays better on a big screen than a man consuming deadly elements to the beat of “Desire.”

The only negative for them might be Bono. He has always scared me. At any time, he might find himself so consumed with an unsolvable problem or unfixable world event, that he could implode at any minute. Or convert to some weird religion. Either scenario will leave the band hung out to dry. Hall couldn’t succeed without Oates, so the other members of U2 would be lost without him. And if he wins a Nobel Peace Prize, then lookout. Because the record of Peace Prize Winners rocking out is not a good one (save the infamous Gorby-Palooza of 1997, where Gorbachev and his spot dueted on a kick ass version of “All Along the Watchtower”—look for it on LimeWire.)

ODDS ON SUCCEEDING THE STONES: 2:1

COLDPLAY

The newest band to challenge for the greatest band in the world. Again, they have the songs that sound great when chanted by the masses and they too have the whole British thing going. They trump U2 in age, meaning they have a far longer future ahead of them. While that will provide more songs for us to some day get misty over, it also provides a far longer chance for them to fail miserably. Not every band can change as musical tastes do. If klezmer music gets really big (Hey, it could happen), would the band be able to release an album that embraces the accordion? The knock against them has always been that all their songs sound the same, which makes it great for their creative selves, but unopen to mastering new forms. Would “Yellow” have the same resonance with a recorder, harmonica and that “Ooompa” thing?

Another negative that may affect them in the long run is Gwyneth Paltrow. Her track record with men has not been the greatest. Look at what happened to Ben Affleck after her. And that whole faux British accent thing scares me. If a girl is so suggestible to adapting the voice of those around, who’s to say she won’t have that effect on her husband? And the masses probably won’t respond well to a salsa version of Coldplay if Gwyneth takes a role in a Brazilian based film.

ODDS: 6:1

METALLICA

A few short years ago, this band would never have even thought of this concept. They were a slash and burn rock band, more concerned with turning the world of metal on it’s ear than with selling out stadiums. Then something happened. The pimply faced, jean jacket wearing fanbase they had turned into pimply faced people with disposable incomes. And a market like that can’t be denied. So they cut their hair and started recording fan friendly anthems that got them airplay on stations other than the one run out of my cousin’s basement. Their tours suddenly galvanized their supporters. Finally, they too could see their idols in a large open space with plenty of room to sneak in beer (The tiny venues are so constricting.)

Their music translates well and they already have the song list to fill up a three hour set. While most of their listeners after 1994 don’t know of their older stuff, it may work in their favor. A good arena band never plays their old stuff until the end of the show and their fans who go back with them that far are so burnt out that they will have to stay for the whole set, because their motor skills are on par with the seventy year old ticket takers. Their only negative is the sudden whining and infighting within the band. Inner turmoil often inspires a band to create amazing work. It doesn’t however mean we should be forced to watch their therapy. Their movie may have a long standing effect on their marketability. Because who wants to see a band when you know just what they’re “feeling” or how their “overbearing mother” affected the dynamic of their songwriting ability? Leave the touchy-feely stuff to Journey and just rock our asses off. Oh, and Lars. Yeah, he’s crazy. Not Cat-Lady, Shopping Cart Guy crazy, but storm off stage and never play again and join a strange cult Bono crazy. The lead singer can be crazy (it adds to mystique) but the drummer has to be uncrazy. Or at least a few notches below the lead singer.

ODDS: 10:1

There are so many more bands who will try to follow in the footsteps of Mick and the Boys. But they need to hurry because the void will be created soon. And if we’re not careful and quick to anoint their successors, a new, unqualified band may take its’ place. And if that happens and you find yourself at the Superdome for Weird Al’s “Keeping it Wacky” 2020 tour, you have only yourselves to blame. Well, you can blame Weird Al too, but he won’t hear you. His afro absorbs all sound.

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Comments»

1. Scooter McGavin - August 28, 2006

Metallica? C’mon, if there was a jump the shark moment for muscians, they would have done it with the therapy scene in their documentary.

2. doctorolove - August 28, 2006

True…that’s why they’re the long shot right now…But having seen them in concert, they still have a shot. I would buy tickets for the “On the Couch” tour sponsored by Paxil and Xanax..

Yami Vizzini - May 17, 2010

Weird Al hasn’t had an afro in years.


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