Darrell Vickers: Rock ‘n’ Roll Dumbnation

darrell-vickersI don’t think anyone who has been graced at birth with two properly functioning ocular orbs and even the most unimpressive measure of cognitive facility could fail to notice that this world of ours is majorly fuckoed.   To bear witness to this once mighty civilization caught in an uncontrollable tailspin of death; one needs only to cast one’s gaze over to the shocking state of rock-and-roll.  No, I’m not talking about how bad music has gotten or how Jay-Z is the devil’s most cunning disciple bent on dragging our youth down into the fiery sulphurous pits of damnation with his piquant lyrical-stylings.  What I am bone-chillingly referring to is the ever-swelling tidal wave of do-gooders in the rock and rap community.  How bad have things gotten when we have fucking former punk rockers out raising money to save the rain forests!!???

farm aidThere are now thousands of these pathetic, fallen bastions of selfish hedonism and drunken stupidity forming musical collectives to combat world hunger, save family farms and speak out for human rights in despotic torture states like the U.S.A.

What the hell happened to this once proudly bibulous and self-destructive art form?  Elvis Presley didn’t organize concerts to fight Apartheid in South Africa for Christsakes!  Bill Haley didn’t devote his every waking moment to leading the charge to wipe-out Spina Bifida.  You joan baez protesting vietmancould argue that Joan Baez nobly dedicated herself to trying to stop the Vietnam War but she’s a fucking folk singer!  Every song those lefty folksters write is about coal mining bosses setting fire to union organizers at Christmas parties and unjust hangin’s in the Old West.   It’s why they become folksingers.  But you just don’t expect Rob Halpert, fresh from belting out “Fetch the scream eagles. Unleash the wild cats. Set loose the king cobras. And blood sucking bats.” to be raising money to eradicate famine in goddamn Africa.

Finally getting to my point: 

sebastian bach - part of Aid shirtBack in the early 90’s Sebastian Bach wore a t-shirt that read “Aids Kills Fags Dead.”  Everyone was suitably outraged about how non-PC this was.  Yes, it was a very odious choice of attire and Sebastian Bach is a perpetually shit-faced, mindless, offensive little creep…but that’s his job description!   Rock stars are supposed to spend their time terrifying and infuriating decent God-fearing people and wrapping their just-purchased sports cars around telephone poles.  Curing world hunger, protecting the rain forest and saving the Earth from global warming is the job of politicians and scientists and serious-minded folk.  ozzy osbourne eating a batThis is like handing over the running of Mayberry from Andy Taylor to Otis the Drunk.  Next, we’re going to find out that Ozzy Osbourne was only biting the heads off bats to help fight an outbreak of rabies.  Stooooppppp!!!!  Marc Bolan, Jim Morrison and Brian Jones must be spinning in their early graves.  Mark my words.  Unless we can get real, bona fide adults to rise up off their fucking indolent and indifferent posteriors and do their part so our overly-pampered, underly-intelligent musicians can go back to destroying hotel rooms and vomiting on schoolchildren, mankind is as dead as Emo.

And Speaking of the Signs of the Coming Apocalypse…

swamp peopleOnly in the good old U.S. of A. can you turn on the History Channel and see present day gap-toothed hillbillies shooting alligators from a flatboat.  Is this what we’ve become?  Has the dumbing down of America progressed to the point where anything that smacks of the highfalutin (History) is condemned to be beaten to death by the savage, avenging hammer of fatuity (gap-toothed hillbillies with shotguns)?  Perhaps I’m being way too fussy about the definition of words.  Perhaps Pawn Stars actually qualifies as “History” because people bring unwanted junk into the store that they purchased five years earlier.   And perhaps the Titanic will bob back to the surface and the band will still be playing.  Now, I know it’s been an age since I trod the hallowed halls of academe but I don’t recall many classes being offered in Ice Road Trucking, Gods, Guns & Automobiles, or Alien Hunting.  And while we’re on the subject of Cable storage-warsTelevision, wouldn’t you think that The Arts & Entertainment Channel would feature at least one of those two elements in its programming?  I wonder which show Baryshnikov or Dame Margot Fonteyn would have chosen to perform on: Storage Wars?  Intervention? or Duck Dynasty?  Jesus Christ!   I know that this kind of ludicrous “rebranding” is all about ratings and selling commercials but just how much disposable income could the average duck dynastyviewer of Swamp People or Ax Men have to spend on dishwashing liquid and Adbomizers?  We seem to be devolving from sentient beings, right back into amoebas before our very television sets.  Oh sure, margot fonteynthe world has had its fair share of staggeringly dim-witted simpletons in the past, but way back then, they were ashamed of it.  Now, they joyously wave their banners from our upper-tier cable channels, blissfully proclaiming to the all and sundry, “Hey look at me, I’m a congenital dullard!”

And who’s to blame for this televisual travesty?  They say that in the valley of the blindly stupid, the One I-Qed man is king and a confused squirrelnowhere is that truer than with the anonymous, revolving-door-of-suits that roam the soulless boardrooms of our major entertainment conglomerates.  On their empty heads be it!  Squirrels, in the middle of busy highways make better decisions than these network executives and we, the public, bear the brunt of their persistent pinhead pandering.

Now, I’m not advocating that we turn this country’s airwaves into the 24-Hour Masterpiece Theatre Channel and I realize that no one expects FOX News to have any actual news on it but this has become the template instead of the exception.  Is it asking too much of MTV to go back to playing the odd music video once in a while?  Would it be too, too unreasonable of me to expect BBC America to show something that was actually produced in star trek the next generationBritain instead of say, Star Trek the Next Gerneration!!!!?   Will the incessant thirst for a larger audience at any cost have us tuning into the Trinity Broadcasting Network the catch the season premier of “When Fat Guys Shit”?   I give it two years.

But what if some programming provider did stick to its artistic guns regardless of viewership and broadcast culturally important, quality entertainment?  Ratings and the inventors of slap chopthe Slap Chop be damned!  And if these courageous cable crusaders fell on desperate times, having their revenue stream turn dryer than a charlie sheen with bottleHigh-Ball glass next to Charlie Sheen by an unresponsive, nose-picking public?  They need not fear penury or having to take up dumpster-diving for sustenance.   Not by a long shot.  If their cause is just, the original Guns and Roses will reunite to throw them a benefit concert with Flea and Ace Frehley manning to donation lines.  Because that’s just the way the world fucking works, today.

And Now Some Music!

Whilst pumping out my daily music mailer (which you can receive by writing to me at radiovickers1@gmail.com , I come across some pretty choice tuneage.  Below are a few this month’s fine examples.

Andrew Stockdale – Long way to Go – This is from Andrew’s new solo album.  If you like his band Wolfmother, then you’re going to like this.  He reminds me of a modern day Michael Fennelly.  A really good, rockin’ tune.

Jenny O. – Automechanic – One of those girlie-voiced popsters.  I really like her new album.

Girl in a Coma – Static Mind – Fans of Echobelly might cotton to these rockin’ girls.  Their new album is power-pop heaven.

Pokey LaFarge – La La Blues – Pokey is sort of the Pee Wee Herman of the blues.  This guy is a wonderful throwback to a day that may never have existed.

Jude Johnstone – On That Train – This is just a beautiful song.  It will remind you of Tom Waits in one of his sadder moods.

Della Mae – Empire – Della and the girls whip up a bluegrass treat.

Alex Bleeker and the Freaks (might remind you a little of Dinosaur Jr.) – Don’t Look Down


Darrell Vickers appears here every 4th Monday 

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.co

DBAWIS ButtonDarrell Vickers started out as one half of Toronto area band, Nobby Clegg.  CFNY fans may remember the cheery song “Me Dad” which still gets airplay.  From there, he valiantly ventured to L.A. and eventually became head writer for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  Since then, he’s created numerous sitcoms and animation shows in Canada and the U.S.  He still writes music and has an internet band called Death of the Author Brigade (members in Croatia, Canada and the U.S.)   Mr. Vickers also had a private music mailing-list where he features new and pre-loved music.  Anyone who would like to be added to his daily mailing list, just write him at Radiovickers1@gmail.com .

One Response to “Darrell Vickers: Rock ‘n’ Roll Dumbnation”

  1. Fucking. Brilliant. i’m humbled and inspired at the same time. And kind of happy my cable got cut off.

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