Saturday, 29 July 2017

"Tell Me Why?" "I Don't Like Mondays"

This article was on the Daily Mail Blog:

The 64-year-old told the Sunday Independent: 'I’d make lists and keep working at the writing of those lists until the upside overwhelmed the downside.
'In my case I wrote down "what’s the upside of being alive?" And "what’s the downside of it?"
'Was it ever very serious? Overall, no. In that moment though, perhaps it was.'  

The comments come five months after Geldof said he found the tragic incident, which saw Peaches overdose on heroin, 'unbearable'. 
He revealed he 'half-expected' her death, adding to RTE Radio 1: 'The way she was carrying on, there's nothing you can do about it.'
The musician has also previously described how he goes ‘over and over’ the incident, wondering if he could have saved her.

'You go back, you go over, you go over. What could you have done? You do as much as you can.' 
Peaches left behind her two children - Astala, three, and Phaedra, two - and husband Thomas Cohen. 
Mr Cohen, a musician, is now raising the children and has been pictured on a number of occasions with Geldof and his extended family.
Peaches' death was a haunting reflection of that of her own mother Paula, who died from a heroin overdose in 2000 at the age of 41.
An inconsolable father, Bob was contemplating killing himself. I hope that his pain lessons a little soon.

Peaches with her mother, who had a painful addiction 

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

The Gen X Musicians Suicide Club

                                         Downward Spiralling 

Such overwhelming pain
You all hid it very well.
And as your lives circled the drain
You died in your own fiery hell.

Depression's a monster, a horrible beast
It often seems to feed on its young.
And even if all of your agony ceased
It was far too late--the bell had already rung.

I know your talent will outlive us all
Even though happy music will never be found
Perhaps in the next life you won't take such a fall

And maybe, just maybe, you'd still be around.

----Lonelyheroine 2017       
Scott Weiland as a badass complete with megaphone and showing the genius that he would continue to be, had drugs not silenced him
Kurt Cobain as a small child. Even then, he  was looking for all the world what get him a recording contract..


Chris and Scott Weiland
a musical phenomenon often unceremoniously  credited for lighting the fuse that Seattle-based acts,like Pearl Jam and Nine Inch Nails which exploded and resulted in the angry grunge genre (Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana, sported  greasy hair, old man-like ratty cardigans and personifying the "slacker" label). In a spectacular cover of the David Bowie song, The Man Who Sold the World on the Unplugged show. But a heavy addiction to heroin and suicidal ideation stemming from his Bipolar disorder resulted in a gruesome taking of his life by putting a rifle into his month and firing it. He became the newest member of the 27 club (musical geniuses who died at that age).  It was a dubious club that most people are hesitant to join.
Kurt, despite his turbulent demons, was captivating in concert (even when he'd toss instruments and the like offstage) Bipolar disorder sucks and I know how he felt. Self-medicating is something sufferers to have little snippets of well being to piece one's life together.

They all thought their lives would be great.
And for a short while they were.                        
But as the thrill of success began to abate        
Those deadly drugs made everything blur.

Drugs are pervasive, they tear you apart.
The rock industry's not for the weak.
They worm their way into a once-healthy heart.
And the end result's not what you'd once seek.

I'm not here to cast any aspersions,
My life's not exactly been free from despair
Yes, I've crawled away from perversions
But the craving will always be there.

----lonelyheroine 2017.

This is the "Bee girl" (what a cutie) and was featured in Blind Melon's only hit song, "No Rain." I wonder what she's up to these days.

This is a photo of Shannon Hoon, who fronted the grunge band, Blind Melon. He died and was preceded by Janis Joplin. (They look amazingly alike---maybe they were separated at birth.) 
Joplin was one of those extremely talented artists who burst on the scene with an incredibly unique voice. Sadly, drugs took her life and she became yet another member of the 27 club.
Chris and Eddie looking sad, almost as though they knew what tragedy would lie in wait for Chris.


The end was always coming for you.
But at first, you just couldn't see it.
Such torment and pain  have to live through.
No wonder you let yourself slide into the pit.

I'm not here to preach; nor to make you feel bad
I know neither methods will tone down your pain
This whole mess is overwhelming and sad
I can see why you couldn't withstand falling again.

How I wish we could turn back the clock
And start over --wouldn't that be just great
But no matter how much you were able to talk
About your self-loathing it was just way too late.

lonelyheroine 2017.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Requiem For Quality Music: You Know What I Mean

Lets bring back the music that is so, so much better than the swill that passes for it these days. We cannot stomach another faux era where talent is sadly taken a nose dive. So-called performers like Mylie Cyrus, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black. Mylie goes for the raunchy image and seems to feel that she must thrust out her Gene Simmons like tongue, wear as little clothing she can get away with and make a real fool of herself. She has to do something that will surely have more longevity than any of her songs. She sounds good in the studio but God-awful live. She sang "The Climb" on American Idol and it was so cringeworthy I felt embarrassed.  Without the use of autotune, none of these Disney kids can carry many notes and, as I had said, some of them
rely on shock value antics.

And Justin Bieber (whose family home is frighteningly and perilously close to mine) actually has some raw talent and can sing. But like all the Disney graduates, they invariably make headlines as out of control brats. I cut Bieber some slack because his parents pushed him into the dark world of celebrity and seem to enjoy spending his money.

Lindsay Lohan is perhaps the saddest of the bunch, with her many mug shots, car accidents and shovelling the white lady up her nose for eleven years now.which has hurt her career, perhaps permanently  Her parents are lost causes. Dina (I party with my daughter so I can keep an eye on her.) What a load of crap. Her father's even worse and has a rather disturbing drug habit. It's never a good whore out your children. Lindsay put out a couple of records and has a lot talent under the smoggy bad behaviour.

I think you have the idea, that the kids are seemingly mucking up the music landscape and running it into the ground. We need to take a stand. I know that a lot of you reading this agree with me and if we pool our resources, surely we can do something to stand up and show the Disney brats what talent and hard work can do. Give them a taste of songs of the 1980's and  1990's  and see their reaction. I'm hoping it will lift the veil from their drug-addled haze.

I'm not posting any pictures of these delightful urchins, because their faces are ubiquitous--
everywhere you go and I want to carve out a community that is Disney kiddies free.

I've been watching the decline and gradual fall that is the music business for two decades now. It ain't pretty, let me tell you. Cracks in the wall began to grow ever deeper and threaten to crumble into dust. Sure, there are some exceptions, but the bad stuff so overwhelms them until one never really knows where cringingly God-awful material begins and the brilliant artistic singer/songwriter  ends. So it does actually have an expiration date? Is a brave new world gutsy enough to trample over the sewage and the cobwebs, the blood and the spilled stale bilge and produce some new, exciting and original artistry and groundbreaking, sensational talent? Well, we're waiting, just as we've done since alternative rock took a swan dive into oblivion and irrelevance.  Grunge didn't last very long, did it? And in its wake we've seen Disney brats like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and the spate of so-called "boy bands" ( The backstreet Boys and InCinq had some fairly good material, but fizzled out as a number of the bands' performers got into drugs and rode the rahab train to obscurity.) To be fair, these children were under a near-unbearable stress---often exploited by greedy parents who seem to feel that it's their right to push naive offspring into the cut-throat world of the music business.

Moving back some more, the music  of the 1980's, much of it seeming to tumble into a manhole cover (Keep it clean, folks) disappearing as the hot tar paralyses them and sets them on the road to nowhere--to hell on a handcart or words to that effect. I mean, I really immersed myself in the pulsating beats, pretty boys like Duran Duran, the exciting period that became known as "New Wave" era.  Peter Gabriel, Eurythmics, Daryl Hall and John Oates (more of a pop/rock band) Culture Club, New Order, Wham and Thompson Twins, to name a few. But there's one phenomenal couple of guys known as Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe of the Pet Shop Boys. Now, writing intelligent lyrics with a disco beat had morphed from "nerd material" (complete with the glasses, which may or may not have had tape on them) to terrific music and lyrics equalling excellence beyond earlier disco darlings, ABBA  I just LOVED them and still do). Now, there are those who, for some very strange reason, appear to rate their music as "gay as gay can be gay". I do not understand what someone's sex lives had to do with their incredible talent and just as I thought homophobes couldn't get any shallower, they somehow manage to drain a little more out of the pool.

A dirty pool drained dry
No description needed here

Shattered hopes and dreams.
Frantic hands trying to find their way out of 2017 and back to 1981-1998. Won't ever happen, though.

Neil Tennant singing It's A Sin in a 2009 live show in London, England  
Angels and a group of people that seem to be surrounded by a dead or dying Jesus.
Scene from the Losing My Religion video, believed to be Michael Stipe's "coming out" work.
Personally, there are many, many much better songs than the band's so-called "signature" efforts, in my opinion.

I realise that I have featured only a few influencing acts of the 1980's and 1990's but this blog would go on and on for pages if I were to highlight more musicians from the disco boom and aggressive 90's. grunge. And as anyone hanging around You Tube will attest, my posts are often the length of 400-page novels. 

Friday, 7 July 2017

The Pet Shop Boys' Song & Video, "Together" Should Be Changed To "Flashdance Meets Thelma & Louise"

There's nowhere to go but down
Here are several dancers running through a routine and having the time of their lives. Later on, many other performers join them.

I suppose I should let you know why I have changed the title of the boys' Together for a reason.  For all I know, the lyrics of "Together" aren't about suicide, even though it likely has something to do with it. I'm brazenly coming forth with my own
interpretation. I dont't think Neil and Chris like that, however, but it's always been my experience that songs have more than one meaning and it's up to the listener to use their collective versions. 

Ah, the 80's smash movie about a young woman who works as a welder by day and uses her unique dancing style known as "Flashdancing." The pub is full of noisy patrons telling crude jokes and acting out (the alcohol sold at Mawby's Bar likely played a significant part in it).  Alex Owens was trying to get accepted to Juilliard's dance school----an extremely difficult place to get into.

Fast forward to the wildly successful "Thelma and Louise" film that came out in 1991 and became a classic.  Moving forward, the women are forced to go on the lam when they tussled with a nasty drunkard in the parking lot of the pub they had partied in. They were driving with the police in hot pursuit. A sympathetic detective was trying to get Thelma and Louise to stop running and turn themselves in. Finally, as the women approached the Grand Canyon, Thelma tells Louise that she didn't want to get caught and asks her friend if she wanted to "Just keep going?" So they held hands and their Thunderbird sailed away over the Canyon.  So was it a suicide or was it the two woman taking full control? Some agree  with me and some don't.  

Doesn't Anybody Care Anymore?

 My published Letter To the Editor Of Our Newspaper (The London Free Press)

When I was downtown Thursday, there was a man lying on the sidewalk. He was filthy and obviously ill. I crouched down and asked him if he was OK. He replied in the positive, but I could see he wasn’t. I gave him some money and he smiled weakly and thanked me.

At the corner of Richmond and Dundas streets, there was a stream of people, most of whom looked pretty well off and likely very healthy and every single one of them just walked right on by and averted their eyes. It was just deplorable that an ill and homeless man who wasn’t even asking for anything was ignored and probably deemed too lazy to get a job.

What has become of kindness, compassion and helping one another when people are down on their luck and likely had once had jobs, families and homes? This is cruel, selfish and judgmental and it makes me ashamed to be living here in London.

Jane Wanklin

The Theatre

It's another world here
The streets are gleaming
I was even dreaming
that they're paved with gold
Seventeen at half past ten
All the crowds are surging past
An electric display

There's another world here
below shop windows
upon the pavement
where you wave good-bye
Boys and girls
come to roost
from Northern parts
and Scottish towns
Will we catch your eye?

While you pretend not to notice
all the years we've been here
We're the bums you step over
as you leave the theatre

It's another world here
Somebody's singing
I was only wishing
for a bit of cash
from a patron of the arts
or at least The Phantom of the Opera
Will I catch your eye?

While you pretend not to notice
all the years we've been here
We're the bums you step over
as you leave the theatre

(Everybody Everybody Everybody Everybody
Everybody Everybody Everybody Everybody) 

Pavarotti in the park
and then you walked back up the Strand
Did you catch my eye?

And then pretend not to notice
all the years we've been here
We're the bums you step over
as you leave the theatre

In the end, you pretend
'cause it's so much easier
We're the bums you step over
as you leave the theatre
We're the bums you step over
as you leave the theatre
-------Pet Shop Boys (From the Very Relentless Album)