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Friday, December 16, 2016

Rocked Out

Looking back over the year of celebrity deaths it doesn’t take a philosopher to show us the price we pay for completely over-valuing the talents of a handful of performers. Most of the celebrated deaths over the course of 2016 were premature and attributable to bad life choices such as drugs, booze, cigarettes, sexual promiscuity, et cetera but it was mostly fame that put them into an early grave and we are to blame for that.

Eventually—and I hope that day is very, very far in the future—legends like Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger will no longer be with us—I’m not so sure about Keith Richards as he just may find a way to morph into an eternal life force. When this day of reckoning comes I can only imagine the outpouring of grief and gratitude that will overwhelm the world’s media. I will say the same thing regarding this eventuality as I said when the Nobel Prize in literature was awarded to Bob Dylan: haven’t we compensated these people enough—both financially and with wild adulation—over the course of the last 60 years without falling to our knees once again?

I’m done with rock music and ready to move one. I said this a couple of decades ago so it isn’t news to anyone who knows me. Rock and roll had a very good run but ran out of new ideas around 1990 and then just started repeating itself. That was 26 years ago. If I never hear another note of a rock song for the rest of my life I would be OK with that. I could listen to nothing but Bach solo piano pieces and I’d be happy as a clam and I definitely don’t need to hear Stairway to Heaven ever again.

Rock music has been the most over-valued aspect of popular culture for all of my life. We have made billionaires out of a lot of fairly mediocre musicians and songwriters. I find much more brilliance in a single mazurka by Chopin than in the entire pantheon of rock, but that’s just me and by “me” I mean one of the worst piano players to ever touch the instrument.

...and you absolutely can't dance to rock and roll so what good is it?

This piece always kills me.

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