There’s been a long history, as long as the history of rock & roll (as bratty as it thankfully is) itself, of bands/artist having their “comeback moments”, “career revivals” and second, third, shots at the gold ring. But in the last few years (decade plus?) there’s been an odd phenomenon of bands capturing the collective minds of the music public (not known for their discriminating taste) which gives rebirth to that which should have been scraped from the tubes and forgotten about for the greater good of Humankind.
A prime example and a clear exception to this phenomenon is Johnny Cash. Now, this thing we are dealing with is not the tired old “hey, they’re dead now, so I want all their records” thing (see: Michael Jackson to Elliot Smith). JR spent a good 15 years making pretty dreadful records before being revived by Rick Rubin and producing some honest to goodness great albums; zeitgeist weathermen be dammed. It’s a shame his legacy seems bound for, if it’s not already squarely plated there, in the “Hendrix File” – i.e. a “new” record every year of less and less appealing scraps thrown together for market. No, this phenomenon is a stranger one, one that depends on things like movie soundtracks, satellite radio, and the instant romanticism of that which has not steeped long enough to produce this suspicious potion.
As the kids now decide (for the moment) to have themselves a record collection, they are often left with the hackneyed that forever litter the bins of stores across the country. Some are just good to great records that just happen to sell a bajillion copies; Van Halen debut anybody? Many more, like 98%, are well, less than essential let’s say. But when that’s your pickings, you make them cool. Used YES records, $15 dollars & up in major cities across the U.S.? What the hell is going on? This illness knows no decade; it can be spotted right up to yesterday. Sorry Anvil, you sucked then, you suck now, endearing & heartwarming documentary or not. Same goes for the Smashing Pumpkins, go away and leave us in peace. Maybe there’s an Internet station devoted to Zwan? Wait, what do I mean “maybe”, duh. And sure, I saw my fair share of Suicidal Tendencies shows. But what, are you the fucking the Steve Miller Band now or something? (Hold it, Miller makes a fortune, bad example, but I digress.) Scour the remaining dignity off your guitar case and just settle in at the Home Depot break room. That way you can retain a bit of nobility and make your child support payments. So let it out people. Who’s doing it and should stop? Who do you know is planning it and should stop? Who is being wooed by outside forces, should ignore them and stop? Consider this a preemptive measure to save us all. For haven’t we suffered enough? Because trust me, there’s a “new” Faith No More album on the way (probably?). And well, we just can’t have that. If so, it will mark the first time I google the term “dirty bomb”.