JAIMIE VERNON – CODGER WARS
It was touch and go in the early part of 2016 for Classic Rock. Half the people that have ever made music in my lifetime died in the first 6 months. That’s an exaggeration, of course, but it looked like it was going to be up to The Rolling Stones to save the planet. Well, since the release of The Beatles documentary “Eight Days A Week” the geezers are rallying.
Then the Stones hopped aboard a brand new Codger, er, Desert Trip Festival near Joshua Tree with the likes of Paul McCartney, Neil Young, Roger Waters (who turned his stage show into an anti-Trump war cry), The Who and Bob Dylan who put their differences aside to kick the snot out of Coachella and all the other travelling Hipster Fests this year. Not since the Rock Elite’s Secret Policeman’s Ball and The Prince’s Trust gigs has there been such a line-up.
And speaking of Bob Dylan. That fucker won the Nobel Prize in Literature this week. Seriously. Whether you’re a fan or not the recognition of Dylan has done one thing that Rock and Roll has never been able to do for itself – legitimize it. I know. I know. Dylan isn’t Rock and Roll. Nor were his lyrics. But the people that rode the wake of his influence – The Band, The Beatles, Springsteen, et al – are.
Now, like the Rock and Roll Hall of Shame, the Nobel committee’s going to be stuck with a list of additional poets-turned-pop-stars every year just because they bothered to open the can of worms. You just know that John Lennon’s on the short list already. This might be the first time McCartney was wishing he’d written something more thought provoking than “Silly Love Songs” and his need to re-record another contemptible version of it with members of Toto in 1984.
What’s going to happen when the last of these soldiers fall? Everyone’s in their 70s now (and KISS is pulling in right behind them). Chuck Berry turned 90 yesterday so there’s still some wiggle room before the wheelchairs get accessorized. That means, if we’re lucky, Paul and Ringo can reunite in 2034 for the 70th anniversary of their invasion of America. Maybe Fallon or Kimmel will still have talk shows to feature them on. Maybe Ringo will have gotten over his hatred of Ebay by then.
It’s not looking promising. AC/DC continues to have wheels fall off their bus. The latest casualty is bass player Cliff Williams who announced his retirement. And what of Aerosmith? Steven Tyler’s touring as a faux country artist. He’s only fooling the people who think New Country is Old Rock. Isn’t it time for a reunion tour and digital re-master cash grab? C’mon Steven, don’t let Joe Perry die of cardiac arrest trying to play second banana to Johnny Depp in the Hollywood Vampires.
Speaking of which, singer Alice Cooper launched his run for President of the United States by re-issuing his hit “Elected” to remind us all how much better it was when the horror show was a musical revue and not some guy named Dorito Mussolini.
Sloan’s out touring a great album they released 20 years ago called “One Chord To Another”. While it’s good for them, it’s a sad statement that what we have left to cheer for is the echo of a greater era. Sloan was survivors of a 1990s musical upheaval rather than innovators of new pop culture re-alignment. It’s not their fault. They were influenced by music from a better time.
Similarly, Coldplay are back out on tour to promote an album that’s already a year stale called “A Head Full of Dreams”. It’s an album title I had to look up because it’s so ambiguously generic as to be totally meaningless – and therefore forgettable. Is this what the future holds for pop based Rock and Roll? Hope I die before they get old.
Send your CDs for review to this NEW address: Jaimie Vernon, 4003 Ellesmere Road, Toronto, ON M1C 1J3 CANADA
Jaimie’s column appears every Saturday
Contact us at email@example.com
Jaimie “Captain CanCon” Vernon has been president of the on again/off-again Bullseye Records of Canada since 1985. He wrote and published Great White Noise magazine in the ‘90s, has been a musician for 33 years, and recently discovered he’s been happily married for 16 years. He is also the author of the recently released Canadian Pop Music Encyclopedia and a collection of his most popular ‘Don’t Believe A Word I Say’ columns called ‘Life’s A Canadian…BLOG’ is now available at Amazon.com http://gwntertainment.wix.com/jaimievernon