LARGER THAN LIFE

frank zappa

In the States, music is a fashion statement

I like the fat rockstars… It’s the same as it ever was, and then…….it’s not.
You practice and practice and you do it because you’re fanatical about it. You fight off the melodies in your head to give way to some sleep……maybe a nap. You may lose your appetite, or get fat. At some point you’ll need to “dumb down” your mind…..maybe watch some terrible TV, nothing that stimulates you. You see some images and figures of people who talk of things meaningless. We work hard at art. We hope people like it. Some don’t care whether people like it or not. To “paraphrase” a quote by Frank Zappa – “Its just as good and pivotal to clear a house as it is to pack a house.”

Listen to Frank tell the story of discovering Alice Cooper.

In the States, which is where I live, music is much more a fashion statement. I think back to the days of Elton John (and the fantastically unique costume and garb he would exhibit ),The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper… The list goes on.

When Clapton was making his comeback after getting sober, his friends, Keith Richards, Pete Townsend, and others where on the stage with him, supporting him. Clapton was fearful that because he had no elements of the fashionable “stage antics, costume and sensationalism” of the times, that it wouldn’t arose the audience like before. His friends assured him it would be just fine. I believe they opened the show with Layla… the crowd went wild.

And so it is……the times they are a changing. The music back in that period had things you won’t find on today’s popular stages, arenas and auditoriums.

Today many artists are molded from the scalpels of “pop” surgeons and witches brews of money sucking suits and armchair warriors. I always loved Goldie Hawn… still do.

It was tough seeing the massacre on her face at the last oscars. The fear of mortality and vanity wash over like some dark cloud dressed up as a beautiful spring day while you’re taking in and bombarded by what the world of today tells you is important. That you need to look a certain way to be ok ,to be attractive, love able. You try to manage the inside of you while you drag along the outside of you.

But really you are managing the outside of you while you drag along the inside of you. Working the job of how you appear to the world. You want your selfie to be….. well you know. And oh…by the way, I think many of us are enervated and burned out by  ”voice correction” .

You may not know what that is, but I’d bet you’ve heard it. Like this blog title suggests, people are becoming larger than life. We’ll get into “Robot Culture” another time.

Christopher Cross and Leslie West, a few of many “large sized” rock-stars. Ok, there’s Meatloaf and Jerry Garcia, Mama Cass!,

One of my favorites John Belushi, Pavarotti, BB King and Chubby Checkers, Lowell George and the list goes on. When music and art are at their best they reflect what the world is today, in the here and now. Music grounds us, gets us back to the real,the dream, the true passions and what’s important, yet so easily lost and misunderstood.

And when not so beautiful, overweight ,frumpy people take the stage and deliver this to us it’s no better or worse than thin beauties and striking troubadours doing the same…..except when we go to extremes to build up superhuman beings…..how does one relate to machines?

The real thing, striped down to the truth opens our hearts and touches our souls. Sometimes to our amazement, sometime to our horror….we get a jolt. We don’t have to be a slave to the Bling bling and we don’t have follow the bouncing ball.

Technology can be disruptive and destructive, well of course beneficial and convenient too…. Hell, I’m writing this blog from my iPhone on Miami beach!!




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