Monday, August 17, 2015

It's Okay, He's With The Band

I have always enjoyed Joe Walsh's take on the mercurial nature of the Eagles. He figures he's the only real member, since he's the only one who never quit. Or got fired or shunned or excommunicated. He, compared to some of the other birds of a feather, has worked and played well with others. Even if that working and playing sometimes came at the expense of a hotel room or two, Joe Walsh was a team player.
That's kind of unusual for rock and roll. Take, for example, the guys in Creedence Clearwater Revival. Tom and John Fogerty were brothers when they signed with Fantasy records back in 1964. Eight years later, they weren't in a band together anymore, and they never mannaged to reconcile their differences before Tom died of AIDS in 1990. A reunion of the original lineup cannot be revived or revisited. CCR belings to a gaggle of groups in that category: Beatles, Beach Boys, NWA. The noises that John Lennon, Dennis Wilson, and Easy-E made can't be made again. Recreated? Maybe, but not reunited.
That's probably why Robert Plant passed up eight hundred million dollars for a Led Zeppelin reunion. That's nearly a billion dollars for getting together with some old friends and playing some old songs. The last time the group got together as a group was thrity-five years ago. In 1980, drummer John Bonham died and took his sticks up that Stairway to Heaven. Since then, there have been big wads of cash thrown in the surviving members' general direction to get some of that monsters of rock guitar herro meetalhead music. Live. With Bonzo's son filling in on skins. Three shows: London, Berlin, and New Jersey. Most of a billion dollars. Come on guys. You all just put aside your differences a couple of years ago for "Celebration Day." Of course, they're still selling records, so why bother to tour? 
It's been twenty-one years since Pink Floyd put a new album out, and it will probably be a little longer, like forever before there is another one. "I'm done with it. I've had forty-eight years in Pink Floyd -- quite a few of those years at the beginning, with Roger," says guitarist David Gilmor referencing bandmate Roger Waters. "And those years in what is now considered to be our heyday were ninety-five per cent musically fulfilling and joyous and full of fun and laughter. And I certainly don't want to let the other five per cent color my view of what was a long and fantastic time together. But it has run its course, we are done - and it would be fakery to go back and do it again." Fakery. Ouch.
And maybe, aside from Syd Barret's absence, it might be worth pointing out that rock and roll used to be for the young, not just the young at heart. Oh, and good seats are still available for the "Who's Left: Fifty Years of the Who" tour. With Ringo on drums?

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