Monday, May 19, 2008

Let’s do the time warp again

It’s astounding, time is fleeting,
Madness takes its toll.
But listen closely, not for very much longer.
I’ve got to keep control.

I remember doing the Time Warp;
Drinking those moments when
The blackness would hit me and the void would be calling;
Let’s do the time warp again ...
Let’s do the time warp again!
Rocky Horror Picture Show - 1975
So there I was, reading the Guide section of the Dallas Morning News on a Friday morning, looking to see what concerts would invade the DFW region this summer and something extraordinary dawned on me: We’ve never left the 1980s!!!
At least not when it comes to music.
Oh, sure, you’ve got your rap and hip-hop and country music that sounds an awful lot like “American Idol” too many times (in the immortal words of Marty Stuart, “And I don’t wear no hat …”).
But when it comes to rock and roll, the more things change, the more they stay the same; at least they do on stage, live in front of an audience. The map is populated by groups who are longer in the tooth than any saber tooth tiger and who haven’t seen the top 40 in years. Heck, more of their audience will consist of the parents and … grandparents of today’s youth, who listened to the radio during a time when you could actually understand the words and dance to the tunes.
As evidence I give you the names of the groups/performers coming to Dallas-Fort Worth this summer (some will already have arrived by the time you read this) – Jack Bruce (of Cream fame), Eric Burdon and the Animals, The Turtles, Badfinger, Melanie, Three Dog Night, The Beach Boys, The Police, Elvis Costello, Cyndi Lauper, B-52’s, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Steve Miller Band, Joe Cocker, Chicago, The Doobie Brothers, Rick Springfield, The Tubes, Boston, Styx, George Michael, Foreigner, Bryan Adams, Journey, Heart, Cheap Trick, Boy George, Squeeze, Earth, Wind and Fire.
Three Dog Night, for God's sake!!!!!!!!!
Just to name a few. It sounds like the overall playlist of any classic rock station, even though there are fewer of those actually on the air because advertisers think that only tweeners, teenagers and 2-somethings comprise people with disposable cash for products.
But unless it is to see Hannah Montana or some other Disney Channel wannabe, these youngsters aren’t shelling out the big bucks to go to concert venues. If you check out the prices for a decent concert seat, “big” doesn’t begin to describe the cost. I was shocked to see that a ticket to see The Police, the biggest concert tour of 2007 (on its final legs of its tour) actually cost TWO tanks of gasoline in my Ford Explorer.
Oh, the horror!
There must be an answer to this anomaly in popular culture, and the answer is this: “rock and roll will never die” (Danny and the Juniors, 1958). At least the audience for good music by these level of performers will never go away as long as they choose to hit the stage.
My only objection comes with authenticity. Boston isn’t really Boston without lead singer Brad Delp, who passed away earlier this year. So the songs might sound similar, but it isn’t the SAME thing. Steve Perry doesn’t sing with Journey anymore so those expecting the real “Sopranos” moment when the band plays “Don’t Stop Believing” will have to imagine the real thing in their heads – not in their ears.
But when people complain about seeing The Rolling Stones in concert, about their age, I retort with MY complaint.
Where’s MY seat?
Because I know … it’s only rock and roll … but I … and many, MANY others, like it! After all, the whole world’s (on) stage.
“Time meant nothing, never would again;
Let’s do the Time Warp again!”

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