And now, for a very special public service announcement. This one goes out to all you rockers and popular music outfits from the last 50 years. Have you lost any critical membership and had any portion of your career deemed “important” or celebrated as “legacy?” If so, please stop. I mean it. Right now. You’re embarrassing yourselves.
There’s hope for you artistic savants with obsessive-compulsive disorders, writer’s block, short term memory loss, self-centeredness, greed, depression, drug and alcohol addiction, college savings questions and lack of financial planning in their backgrounds. And yes, even those of you who lack of angst and originality these days.
Yes, this one goes out to every New Cars, Foreigner, Journey, Styx, Guns N’ Roses and INXS who will listen. And hey, if we manage to snag a 10,000 Maniacs, Pogues, [Talking] Heads or quote-unquote Queen who will listen, then even better.
Of course, I’m referring to bands who continue to exist (and often tour) as a shell of their former glory. Some have only one or two original members remaining. Others have lost the person(s) associated as key to their sound through death, dismemberment, bad blood, poor management, drugs, breakdowns, bizarre gardening accidents and spontaneous human combustion.
Nearly all have fallen victim (slave) to cash-ins for nostalgia and are surrounded by bloodthirsty vampires – as we can only assume director George Lucas must be – who won’t tell them no. Honesty goes out the window. They’re not to be told of the umpteenth coming of the Emperor’s New Clothes because a jackpot is imminent.
Before you corner me with the "the other folks deserve to make a living" argument... just think about it for a minute. This is more than just a trend now. It has been going on for a long while, but in the last 10 years or so, really seems to be ramping up. Are all artists inevitably ready to take heed of Jane’s Addiction’s call (”Cash in now, honey… ”) these days? Have all the stock portfolios tanked, addictions raged, alimony checks come due, managers squandered and the general malaise, greed and lack of creativity gone so amok that artists are willing to compromise the very things that once made them great?
Even if it was only a respectably steady career to begin with? And, perhaps most importantly, why can't the fans and these remaining band members let go of the past? You know, try to explore something new instead of clinging to the frivolity of their youth? It’s only a partially rhetorical question. Artists wouldn’t bother if there wasn’t a demand. And yet, some of the decisions these rock stars have made (not even to mention the fans who have supported them) for the love of the almighty buck are just downright sad.