May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will leave the world a little better for your having been here. -- Ronald Reagan

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Thoughts From a Rock Concert

Last night I went to a triple rock concert, Ted Nugent, Styx and REO Speedwagon. The primary reason I went is my brother is REO’s Lighting and Stage Designer, so I get to see his designs and spend some time with him. Very cool.

I only caught the last three songs of Nugent’s set. These aren’t 3 minute radio play songs, these have long drum and guitar solos. Blast from the past, every musician on stage gets an extended solo. He’s still the fast fingered power guitarist. He may be the last of the true anti-establishment rockers. He’s political for sure, not the limousine liberal that other rockers are now and claim to be anti-establishment. Remember, the Left has ruled culture; books, movies, and music for well over half a century, and been in political power (with the exception of a couple years here and there) since the 1930’s. They are the establishment, and I’m not aware of any entertainer out there ranting against it. The entertainment stars are making their $millions, living in mansions in gated communities. They’re anti-second amendment yet have guns. They’re anti-free speech, except for their own. They’re pro high taxes yet have legions of tax accountants and lawyers finding deductions and hiding places for their funds received from mediocre performances, but won’t hesitate to blast Romney for being rich. He’s had jobs that he’s done well. Entertainers bring us pleasure, allegedly. Many don’t because they’re mediocre in comparison to so many that have gone before.

My brother Paul and I took a brief walk out on the Strip (I live in Las Vegas) and it was just a freak show! Even the people “dressed up” looked horrid. We’ve all seen the WalMart people photos. People “dress up” and show no more clothing sense going out to concerts and fine restaurants than that.  I've been to fine restaurants with a casual business attire dress code, and people show up in flip flops, shorts and T's. They unfortunately are let in. Listening to bits and pieces of conversation, I could barely tell what was being said with all the “like” being more than peppered into the conversation, it was like ya know like, ya know what I mean? like um, like ya know? Good grief.

We go back to the auditorium and Nugent is rockin’ hard. Screamin’ guitar! I listen to guitarists now, and they’re mediocre by comparison. I don’t hear anyone the equivalent to Hendrix, Clapton, Page, Nugent, Satriani, Santana, or Dick Dale. One could tell the women there weren’t enthralled with it. They consented to this with their significant other is my guess, and when Styx and REO were on, they were up and dancing. It’s well performed music, with melody, stories and declarations of love. Most lyrics now are babble about sex and repetitively repetitive.

The CD player in my car is broken, so I’ve been tuning into the “rock” stations. Scare quotes. That’ because a noticeable amount of it is rap music backed with loud fast guitar. Loud fast guitar with someone beating the crap out of drums with a rhyming talking lead “singer”, does not rock music make. Rap is rap; don’t care how it’s formatted. I don’t know whether to blame the Beastie Boys or Aerosmith\Run DMC. Kid Rock hasn't helped. It’s mundane, mindless and mediocre.

Civilization goes on, it just changes; it doesn't end. Lots of philosophers and the political class have bemoaned the end of their specific civilization while doing their best to contribute to it. Mostly civilizations reject what made them top dog, become decadent, and some bad totalitarians move in. Notice the lack of creativity the past half century? Nothing new, just adjustments or what we can generously call improvements. That’s because what were once cultural rebels are just going along with groupthink and say they are. What were once creators can make a mint just rearranging what already exists. We’re at that crossroads, and can change direction from a centralized communist state and start moving back toward a constitutional republic. This coming November will tell. That liberty would open the flow of creative juices in arts and entertainment, religion, and business and technology. If we do, I’d like to see Nugent play Hendrix’s Star Spangled Banner at one of the inaugural concerts.

Just some thoughts on a concert.

Clapton "Crossroads"

1 comment:

Evelynne said...

I'm sure that was a GREAT concert. We are so lucky that many of the greats are still with us. We lived through a Golden Age of music, and there ARE some good stations out there. It takes some looking, but you'll find some. CD is great for backup for me, but I'm a big radio fan. Good luck!