Of all the celebrity deaths in 2016 that might have provoked me to write a few words, it feels somehow incongruous that it should be Rick Parfitt from Status Quo.
Items tagged music
For a long time, I’ve been intrigued by the phenomenon whereby a certain kind of music fan (myself included) professes disdain for the mainstream, and doesn’t want to be seen to like anything too popular. Once upon a time Oasis were a thrilling new band. Is it a coincidence that the point where I went off them is around the time that they became the biggest band in the country? For many people, a similar story could be told about Coldplay. When something is too popular, it must be rubbish, in the eyes and ears of the contrarian.
Somehow, the penny has never dropped for me with The Boss. Plenty of people whose musical taste I respect rave about what a genius he is, so I feel like I should like him too. I’ve tried to like him, but for some reason, things have never quite clicked, and it feels like somehow I’m failing in my duties as a middle-aged music fan. I know that some music is an acquired taste - maybe I need to get used to it, the same way that people need to get used to the taste of beer or wine. But he’s hardly difficult listening, so why doesn’t he do it for me?
In the last year or so, I've started getting into running, and while I definitely wouldn't call myself a proper runner, I'm improving.
I’ve always been suspicious of people who can afford to be bohemian. In light of the recent spat between Chris Bryant and James Blunt about people in the arts from privileged backgrounds, I was reminded of this suspicion.
I’ve never understood why people think Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On is a masterpiece. It’s reached the sacred cow status of an all-time classic, sitting up there with Sgt Pepper, Citizen Kane, and War and Peace. It has been established as one of the greatest records of of all time - an album that only a contrarian could dislike.
I like cover versions. At least I do when they're doing something interesting with the song. I don't really see the point of recording straight copies of songs - it would be like a tribute band making an album. I could lose days on a site like Second Hand Songs, and I'm not alone in this - I've just found out that the BBC have put a list together as well.
A conversation the other day reminded me about when my old band was big in Japan. Well, medium-sized in Japan, anyway. We'd released our album in the UK on our own label, and it had been critically acclaimed. We signed a deal with Sony to release it in Japan, and we were all very excited about the prospect.
I went to a blues gig recently, and I'm not sure why, but the whole thing just felt wrong. The thing about white men playing the blues has been done to death, but it is odd that an evening of music from poor black America should be full of pale home counties faces. Maybe it's the virtuosity that riles me - too many notes being played just for the sake of showing off.
It's Sunday evening and I've just come home and turned on the TV to see Beyoncé's set at Glastonbury. The band are tight, Crazy In Love sounds fantastic, and I'm sure it would be a great gig to watch. So why does the whole thing make me glad that I didn't bother?