Well, well, well! I’m finally back. I don’t know what to say. 2019 has sucked so far. I have gone from my stupid new pain pump working too well to Mom dying to contracting influenza to my favorite high school basketball coach passing away unexpectedly, that I just needed a break from writing. Plus, it’s March Madness here in the States, which is like a national holiday weekend of watching 12 hours of college basketball for four days straight. Which, by the way, finally helped me rediscover just what I always loved about basketball. Of course, this conspired to get the competitive juices flowing through my body, only to get up off the couch and realize that the chronic pain from my back will always be greater than my desire to get back to coaching. And, it’s such a shame because I can only dwell on how poor basketball coaching is today when NOBODY can beat a bloody 2-3 zone. But, once again, I digress.
This morning, I watched that biopic on Netflix about Eighties hair metal band Mötley Crüe called The Dirt, the very same title as their autobiographical tell-all book from a decade or so ago. So, what did I think? The movie was okay. The screenplay seemed interesting as the “band” members would break down the fourth wall to tell you what was about to happen or give the viewer some important information. But, I’m sorry, but these guys should have been left in the Eighties. Now, would have I done similar things if I had become successful as they did at their age? Probably. But, I still am embarrassed by members of my generation being so self-centered and playing such derivative music as the whole hair metal scene was. Then again, I always preferred alternative music because those musicians were actually speaking to what I was seeing all around me. Hair metal was just my generation jumping on the Ronald Reagan bandwagon, following the Gipper in an Alfred E. Neuman-type of “What? Me Worry!” way of thinking that continues to permeate into the divisive, yet uneducated political dialogue.
So, who was I listening to? Well, you know that R.E.M. was at the top of my list. Wouldn’t be terrific if they were still together to led rock music into a bitch session about the Trump administration? Likewise, my other musical heroes of the era, such as the Replacements, Hüsker Dü, Dead Kennedys, The Smiths, The Cure, Depeche Mode, New Order or Midnight Oil would do. These people stood up for the oppressed. The only artist doing that today seems to be Kendrick Lamar, and he doesn’t reach the masses like artists of the past used to. He is as vital today as, let’s say, Rage Against the Machine or Eminem was nearly twenty or thirty years ago, but only sells a fraction of the music that those artists sold. Music just isn’t that important to the youngsters of today. Society is too fractured, and the communal experience that album listening has been replaced by iPhones with ear buds. I think, like all musical genres, rock music is dying, to be replaced by the next phase, and, to me, that is sad. Rock music gave this kid a voice that was lacking in his life until he heard Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” on the radio.
So, I am an old guy saying that things were better back in his day. Yeah, reluctantly, you’re probably correct. But, one thing is for certain, I do NOT want to go back to the days of hair metal! I just never got into it and constantly felt insulted by it. I even listened to a playlist of hair metal yesterday that I couldn’t force myself to finish. Why is that? These guys were all playing some form of diluted Cheap Trick, whom I love, but without the wink, wink, nudge, nudge that makes Rockford, Illinois’ finest so good.
Okay, enough of this crappy writing! I simply needed to get this whole thing off my chest. That movie just really pissed me off! Where Bohemian Rhapsody was inspiring and uplifting, The Dirt just felt exploitative. We get enough of that crap on a daily basis while watching the news. You know what? I can’t wait for the upcoming Rocketman, the Elton John biopic.
So, Eric Carmen, when is the Raspberries biopic coming out? Now, that’s one I really want to see!