Neverwednesday Nights

>> Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Okay, so I was lining up a bunch of Neverwednesday Nights entries, and I thought, "Hey--I should totally put up the Sex Pistols!" So I did a YouTube search for one of my favorite Pistols songs, and the first one I find is a recent performance on Craig Ferguson's Late Late Show, and....


I mean, there were these old dudes on stage and, and... okay, I mean the guy with the microphone looked kinda like and sounded kinda like an older, raspier version of John Lydon, but... but....

I don't know. It was kind of sad.

I mean, the audio was great, and they sounded good, and they all looked like they were probably clean and sober, and--let's face facts--the late Sid Vicious was a really shitty bass player and the band didn't lose a whole lot musically when he died.

And I've never been a believer that a band should quit when they get old. I kind of hate that Grace Slick has retired from music, apparently because she feels rockers look silly when they're old. And I love the fact that people like Plant or Dylan or Bowie are still playing out--and if they're not as new or vital as they were forty years ago, they're playing wiser than they did then--they have experience and gravitas and all that shit. And nobody expects jazz musicians or classical performers to quit before fifty, so why should a rocker?

But still... The Pistols....

There's something about The Pistols that ties them to their original context; not just the '70s, but that they were snotty nosed brats when rock needed a good kick in the crotch to remind it that, yes, most songs are better at 2:44 than they are when they cover the whole side of a record (and yes, I'm a Pink Floyd fan, and yes, I appreciate the irony of this sentence, then). Except that's not quite right either, because The Pistols still sound better cranked now than a lot of shit that was released this morning. And Never Mind The Bollocks is, mysteriously, an album that gets better with age. Seriously. Put it on and crank it if you don't believe me.

So what is it about The Pistols growing up and old that doesn't work?

Well, whatever, I've gone on forever just to get to the following three minutes and twenty-one seconds: one of my favorite Sex Pistols tunes, "Pretty Vacant," live in Dallas in 1978, with all the shitty audio and bile and swagger the song is meant to have. Enjoy.


vince Wednesday, April 8, 2009 at 9:17:00 AM EDT  

Sometimes it's also because a band or artist just doesn't change. Artists like Dylan and Neil Young and Robert Plant have made changes in their music and careers that reflect that they aren't 20 any more, and have done so successfully.

Certain artists and bands are iconic representatives of the era and times at which they were at their peak. When the times change, they are either unable to change with them, or perhaps because of who and what they were, shouldn't or don't change with them. I think the Sex Pistols fall into the latter category.

You can get older and still have anger and passion and something to say. But age changes you, and as an artist you need to accept and embrace that change while retaining and being true the core of who and what you were. If you're unwilling and/or unable to do so, then let it go, and let your past work stand on its own.

As Rick Nelson sang so long ago "But if memories were all I sang, I rather drive a truck."

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting! Because of the evils of spam, comments on posts that are more than ten days old will go into a moderation queue, but I do check the queue and your comment will (most likely) be posted if it isn't spam.

Another proud member of the UCF...

Another proud member of the UCF...
UCF logo ©2008 Michelle Klishis international gang of... international gang of...
смерть шпионам!

...Frank Gorshin-obsessed bikers.

...Frank Gorshin-obsessed bikers.
GorshOn! ©2009 Jeff Hentosz

  © Blogger template Werd by 2009

Back to TOP