By Michael Christophe
Columnist on the rock music menu
Welcome to this year’s edition of Rock Music Menu’s “New Year’s Resolutions for Rockers in Need”, where we help often busy musicians set goals for the next 12 months. It is not an easy job, but it must be done.
Just like you and I, there are rockers, rollers, and other assorted musical disbelievers who need help keeping their stated promises to make the coming weeks better than the previous 52. When it comes to music, 2021 was only slightly better than the year before, but at least a good number of bands hit the road again, even for nothing as a positive Covid test in the camp resulted in postponements or entire tours being canceled.
Even in the midst of a pandemic, this space has had some success rate in making recommendations over the past year, whether it’s urging headliners or music festivals to wait until in 2022, most of the advice was followed. Obviously, some have gone ahead, with varying degrees of success, and so much the better for them.
This time around, there is less trepidation, although the Omicron variant is raging and a level of uncertainty for 2022 can be held even by the most positive individuals. Here at Rock Music Menu, we were each optimistic as the next, so let’s go ahead and start giving some tips to our favorite musicians in the spotlight.
WHO: ÉRIC CLAPTON
RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: GO RIGHT
Talk about someone who seems to intend to destroy their heritage. Good ol ‘Slowhand has been outspoken against Covid vaccinations, releasing a series of songs against inoculation proof during live performances and in a particular collaboration with Irish singer / songwriter Van Morrison, where he compared the blockages to slavery. That’s not exactly a good look for Clapton, who infamously disparaged foreigners in his home country of England during a mid-1970s stage rant that he punctuated with a “Keep Britain White!” “
Then there was the recent outcome of a court case where the guitarist sued a German woman for selling her late husband’s Eric Clapton live compact disc on eBay for $ 11. The show turned out to be a bootleg, and she was convicted and ordered to pay almost $ 4,000 in costs, including those for Clapton’s legal fees. Lawyers tried to explain the logic behind the ruling, but the Public Opinion Tribunal failed to hear it, calling the musician behind massive hits like “Layla” and “Wonderful Tonight” a bitter grumpy old man.
A statement from the guitarist’s camp last week said he was not going to pursue further actions against the woman, including attempts to raise money. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done.
WHO: WOLFGANG VAN HALEN
RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: KEEP BLOWING ON Trolls
Being the offspring of a famous musician is never easy, and in the age of social media it can be a real minefield. That said, Wolfgang Van Halen – son of the late guitar icon Edward – spent a good chunk of 2021 giving a clinic on how to deal with trolls with the intention of telling him how he should be doing. before with his band Mammoth WVH.
Wolfgang’s debut, where he himself played all instruments and wielded vocals, was one of the rock music highlights of the year, making it into the top 10 by many critics. Still, fans of the Van Halen group had other ideas, whether it was telling him that he was enjoying his father’s legacy, that they should sift through the coffers of the 5150 studios for VH material. new instead of focusing on his solo career or playing songs. from the legendary rock band.
Not only has he handled everyone coming to social media with amazing poise and wit, but he’s also effectively shown that trolling trolls is a lot more fun than anything else. Take for example when he took to Twitter before a show at Wrigley Field in Chicago where Mammoth WVH was opening act for Guns N ‘Roses where Wolfgang shared a setlist for the night’s performance. “Wrigley Field with GnR tonight! ” he read. “You are all going to have a special set too!” See you soon!”
It had registered the Van Halen hit “Panama” nine times and nothing else. Epic.
WHO: ’90s ROCK GROUPS
RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: TIME TO RETURN
Has anyone really seen the return of Limp Bizkit as a thing, like, ever? Even late psychic Miss Cleo wouldn’t have seen this one coming. Still, there were the rap rockers, performing on this year’s Lollapalooza main stage in Chicago, with frontman Fred Durst swapping his once ubiquitous New York Yankees red cap for a gray wig and rose-tinted sunglasses. , showing that he was really into the joke. They even named their first album in a decade “Still Sucks”.
It might just be a joke, but it can still be fun. You remember the start to the middle of the year when hair metal bands like Poison, Warrant, Ratt, and the like organized package tours and saw middle-aged audiences flock to shows to relive a bit of it. their youth? The same can happen here. Where are you at POD? Zebra head? Incubate? Quarashi? Crazy city?
And yes, here at Rock Music Menu we are well aware that a lot of these are still active musical units, but wouldn’t it be more fun to see them all on the same stage for one night?
WHO: BRITNEY SPEARS
RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: SERVE A LITTLE VENGEANCE
Speaking of the ’90s, Britney Spears wasn’t exactly hitting the homers over the past decade and more, but that was for a completely different reason than the people who had passed her; she was under the total control of a terribly insane tutelage that restricted her every move, professionally and personally. Now that the 13-year-old nightmare has ended what amounted to a true Rapunzel nightmare, it’s time to go after those who keep her under its control.
Of course, she could do that by putting everyone – the lawyers, her family, and the blind or corrupt judges – who kept her in the wardship’s control, but first why not come back bigger and better than never coming back to the music, the road and the top of the charts. Then publish the documentary showing all this success.
WHO: GROUPS WITH A SINGLE ORIGINAL MEMBER
RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: CALL IT A DAY OR CALL IT A TRIBUTE
There are far too many musical outfits that pick up fans’ pockets on their name alone when there is only one original member of their classic lineup left to join the charade on stage – and sometimes that’s not even the one. first. Quiet Riot, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Yardbirds, Thin Lizzy, etc. are all guilty of such blasphemy.
This is not an invitation to put something obscure in front of your name – we are watching you “The Legendary Drifters” without anyone remotely associated with the original or classic scales. Take inspiration from Jeff Lynne, who, even as the mastermind behind Electric Light Orchestra, has the class to call the current version “Jeff Lynne’s ELO” on albums and tours. Put “revisited” or “presentation” or some other sort of quantifier in the name and at least make it clear enough to the audience.
The vinyl of the week returns next week.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, email [email protected] Also check out his blog at www.thechroniclesofmc.com