Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Rock & roll may not be dead, but it's pretty damn stupid.

Liz Phair's take on this whole business, in re: a dumbass story about Alanais Morrisette's Jagged Little Pill album in a recent edition of "Jezebel".

One of the reasons I got out of music criticism was that the gulf between what fans thought was important about music & what the musicians themselves thought was important was just too much & I didn't have enough cache to get everyone to just shut up. When you're in a position to need to pay attention to both, it can give you a perspective.

Story time. Years ago I interviewed Lemmy from Motorhead. The band was playing Atlanta, & because a previous interview had to be canceled, his PR people - who liked me 'cause I did 'em good - got me a backstage, two-hour interview with the man himself. I'm a big 'Head fan & bigger admirer of Mr. Kilmister, so that was cool anyway.

Plus, Lemmy was a pretty sharp dude & had a fascinating career once you looked past the leather jackets & weird thing on his face. So, I did the interview with him, my friend/photographer Jeff, & two of Lemmy's "friends from Atlanta", & we had a blast talking about rock & roll, Napster & the 2000 election. After the show - which was killer - I use my backstage pass to say bye to the opening act, Nashville Pussy, some of who were friends of mine. I'm saying goodnight & Lemmy says to me, "You're coming to the after party, yeh?"

Very cool. Now, I'm not a big partier - plus I was driving - but Lemmy asked, so I went. It was at a place in the Little 5 Points area in Atlanta - a place to go if you're looking for music snobs & hipsters - called 9 Lives Saloon. Few years later, a band I was in would play there regularly. Anyhow, if you know anything about Motorhead fans or rock & roll Atlanta, you can imagine how obnoxious this party was. It was more obnoxious than that & I left by 3 a.m.

But while I was there, I enjoyed myself. I spent time talking to Ron Heathman from the Supersuckers (another favorite), Mikky Dee & Phil Campbell from Motorhead, some of my Atlanta rock & roll buddies, & sat in on a group chat with Lemmy. Him, a bunch of Atlanta thumbs-down-your-pants butt rock posers & my dumb country ass.

Being a music journalist, I asked a music journalist question when I got a chance to speak. "John & Paul," he graveled, without hesitation. "No one wrote better rock & roll songs. Everyone else since then is just an imitation" And like dominoes, you'd could see the metalheads' faces fall.

It didn't matter if it made perfect sense or was a perfectly reasonable conclusion for someone in Lemmy's particularly crusty boots to make, it didn't fit the narrative. Like Johnny Rotten digging disco, fans can't grasp that musicians like music, & the rest is merchandising.

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