Adam Lovejoy writes from London: As that annoying bird who calls herself ‘Madonna’ is forced to offer VIP tickets to fans, failing to sell out the best seats at her gig at Hyde Park, and those two legends of rock, Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney, are cut in mid song after straying over the 22.30 curfew during an improvised double act at a concert in that same open air venue, hopes are growing that more ageing pop stars will be finding it harder to plug their outdated songs and gradually fade into oblivion where many them belonged right from the start. (That’s some pretty long opening sentence, eh? Not to mention the punchy conclusion at the end.)
As the London Olympics draw menacingly closer, with athletes involved in obscure sports from all over the world descending on London in their thousands and herds of tourists following suit, big names in rock are cashing in on the stampede, doing gigs in Hyde Park, upsetting the local residents who have to endure the bad vibes well into the night. (Pop music generates terrible vibes, especially rap.) And it would have been fine if some bright new young talents were at it, making some money for themselves to carry on leading a celebrity lifestyle for lack of any other interests; but to see and hear those dinosaurs who are milking the paying public on the strength of the back catalogue, having not produced a single decent hit in the past couple of decades at least, is becoming embarrassing and irritating at the same time.
Take that Bruce Springsteen gig in Hyde Park that had been stopped in mid song, with 70-year-old Paul McCartney joining the ‘the boss’ (why the hell is he called ‘the boss’? What the hell is he in charge of?) To listen to some music critics, it constituted a near blasphemy, a barbaric attack on high culture. The two have-beens were belting out Twist And Shout, for God’s sake! It was not like Macca climbed up on stage to surprise everyone with some great new tune that he had penned, now that he’s quit smoking dope – or so he says.
This dominance of old aged rockers has to stop. Just look at those wrinkled pensioners, the Stones, who don’t really have a single decent album to their credit, apart from an occasional good tune that was usually spoiled by awful vocals and primitive guitar playing: they celebrated 50 years in the business recently. Excuse me, but how can a rock band celebrate 50 years in the business? It just goes against the whole concept of rock. You know, live fast and die young. The Stones have overstayed their welcome by about twenty years at least. They look stupid. They are way too old to stay on. But stay on they do and another appalling tour is on the cards. (Who goes to watch the Stones perform these days?)
And there’s a whole army of other oldies who decide that their ‘talent’ is ageless and go back to the studios and on the road. It doesn’t work, of course, and it all looks pathetic. And it even damages their past track record, because most people start to wonder: how the hell did we ever like that sort of crap? And if you think about it, pop music on the whole is crap. Amateurish, primitive rubbish that should only appeal to rebellious youths who are too thick to listen to anything worthwhile.