Despite lazy (and mostly inaccurate) generalisations like ‘drummers are always a bit crazy’ (illustrated by guess who…yes, Keith Moon of course and erm, not really anybody else) and ‘singers always have massive egos’ and all that sort of tosh I’ve quite enjoyed the bits of the telly programme ‘I’m in a Rock ‘n’ Roll band’ that I’ve seen over the past few weeks. Evan that bloke with the hat (Slash?, or is he Axel, I dunno who cares – metal is fantasy nonsense for 13 year old American boys anyway…) standing in a big field miming in screaming Spinal Tap fashion at least made me laugh.
This week though, I realised that they were having some kind of vote – the kind of competition that asks is pizza ’better’ than roast beef or are cars ‘better’ than helicopters or is green ‘better’ than blue. Pointless comparing of people from different genres of music I mean. Anyway, leaving that aside, I chanced across a bit of the final programme this week - hosted by Jonathan Ross (for fuxxsakes) and a load of people some of whom should know better (come on Mark Radcliffe – I’m sure he at least looked rather embarrassed to be there) were on some sort of panel arguing the case for their favourite – ‘Hendrix is jazz, vote for Page’, that kind of thing.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing in theory against pointless comparisons – WSM for example argued for hours about which decade of music was ‘best’ (it was clearly the 60s followed by the 70s, and the 80s - with the 90s and 50s in a poor 4th place) and there’s much fun to be had. But there were 2 things that pushed me over the edge and literally made me turn off before I became any more sullied through having to watch any more.
1 – Loyd fucking Grossman came on to go on about how great Keith Moon was – Mr fucking Masterchef pasta sauce ‘who cares who would live in a house like this’ tossing Grossman. I mean fair enough if it had been Liam Gallagher or someone at least a leedle tiny bit rock and roll but no, Loyd Grossman’s agent had bagged the gig. Alan Titchmarsh was clearly busy or his agent wasn’t quick enough on the draw. But that wasn’t the really offensive bit. The really offensive bit was when they introduced a Led Zeppelin TRIBUTE BAND. A TRIBUTE BAND! How more un rock and roll can you get than a tribute band? The answer is NO MORE. Paul McCartney singing about having a cup of English Tea or Mary had a Little Lamb is a million times more rock and roll than any tribute band. Tribute bands are less rock and roll than any crooner, wedding DJ or clown at a kid’s party – at least kiddies entertainers don’t pretend to be rock and roll.
I know it’s not worth getting annoyed about this. Tribute bands surely have their own circle of rock and roll hell where they will be pitied by Chuckles the Clown as he jams with Kurt and Jimi and the rest. Don’t hate them, PITY them. £20 a night each and a couple of beers and they're happy to put their bollocks in a blender and have their sense of shame removed or left to gnaw away in their conscience until death claims them (or they get booked to play at the New Roscoe in Leeds I suppose).
Some bright spark at the BBC with a degree is TOTALLY MISSING THE FUCKING POINT and some PhD in NOT HAVING ANY SENSE OF IRONY clearly decided that a Led Zep TRIBUTE BAND had something to contribute. Probably the same one that got Paul McCartney on to the X-Factor – where our Paul sang 2 great great songs thereby illustrating the crushingly obvious point that not one of the bastards was anything other than a shit karaoke turn with an 18 month career at Butlins and 6 weeks in panto at Skegness as their best shot at contributing to the musical landscape.
This incidentally reminds me of Gareth Gates (or one of the other ones?) singing a version of ‘Light My Fire’ – to be honest another contender in the all time all comers contest for spectacularly missing the point.
It's tiring being angry and even more tiring to check for a high neat phrase count and low bad grammar count so that'll do.
I emailed Mark Radcliffe asking what on earth was he thinking. I signed it 'John from Whole Sky Monitor - an actual rock and roll band' - and I wasn't kidding
I'm off to give Simon Cowell his special award for contribution to whatever it was - the death of irony?