Tuesday, April 6, 2010

OK ... I Take It ALL Back!!!


While I agree that Mike Love should hang it up, keep in mind that Mike and every other rock star in their 60s, 70s and, in the case of Chuck Berry, B.B. King and others, in their 80s ... and Pete Seeger is over 90 and still makes a rare appearance now and then, these guys know of no other life, but the road. Back in the 50s and 60s, no one thought anyone past their 30s would be playing rock and roll, nor would anyone past their 20s listen to it. It was common belief that rock and roll was a fad and would go away. Indeed, well into the 70s, the music industry was still governed by those who were convinced that moon, June and spoon would be the standard again. Mick Jagger has been quoted more than once that he couldn't see himself singing Satisfaction when he's 40, yet if the Stones go back on tour, he will sing it for the umpteenth time. The Beatles thought being able to get a six pack of beer and a color TV was big time in the early 60s. Macca doesn't need the money, the fame or anything else at his age. But he's out there touring because what else is he gonna do?
We touched briefly on the subject of singers whose voices were gone when we talked about the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony. I know at age 60, my voice isn't what it was when I was 30. Neither is my guitar playing, but that's another subject. Each year that passes brings new revelations on how we perceive the music we call rock and roll. Our heroes are dying or the aging process has caught up with them. So let us not be too hard on Mike. If he wants to give us Fun Fun Fun, let him, What else is he gonna do?
Jack (Rock And Roll Never Forgets)

Regarding The Beach Boys' appearance on "Dancing With The Stars" ... the word on the message board is that Mike Love had bronchitis or some illness that compromised his singing. Plenty of BB fans say they have heard the band recently and that his singing was certainly better than that! If that was what happened, I can't understand why they did not shadow him on his leads. Most listeners do not have a clue as to which original sang what leads - they just love the songs!
With as much vocal support as The Beach Boys have always had on stage (let's face it, it's virtually IMPOSSIBLE to recreate the sound of their records without AT LEAST half a dozen top-notch singers), it certainly would seem that they could have lent Mike a little more support, especially live on national television. And I also mentioned that when my daughter saw The Beach Boys perform at Ravinia this past summer, she said they were EXCELLENT ... and let's face it, ANYBODY can have an "off" night ... but if Mike Love had bronchitis, then he must have had it for a while ... I've seen about half a dozen performances these past few years and in virtually all of them he can barely muster up a whisper while singing lead. (kk)


OK ... maybe I was just a little bit too hard on Mike Love the other day ... honestly, I don't think so ... part of my "job" here is calling 'em as I see 'em ... and their performance on "Dancing With The Stars" was disappointing to say the least ... but then I heard Neil Diamond "singing" "Sweet Caroline" at the Boston Red Sox / New York Yankees Fenway Park season opener and I was reminded once again about Neil's questionable "style of singing" ... in fact, I don't think I've actually heard Neil SING one of his hit songs in about three decades now!!! Instead, he seems to prefer narrating them with some COMPLETELY over-the-top theatrical booming voice, leaving the singing to his legion of fans out in the audience night after night after night. And, incredibly his fans allow him this pleasure ... they turn out in DROVES and treat this guys like some sort of a Demi-God or something!!! Have you seen or heard this performance?!?!?
Click here: YouTube - Neil Diamond sings "Sweet Caroline" at Yankees @ Red Sox 2010 Opening Day

As one who has heavily campaigned for Neil's rightful place in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, I cannot help but wonder if these past 30 years of lackluster performances has in some way diminished (or perhaps even cancelled out) all of the great music he gave us as a singer / songwriter in the late '60's and early '70's. I mean he's ALWAYS come across as pompous and arrogant but at least back then he had the vocal and writing chops to back it up ... now he's pretty much just become a caricature of himself, with each new performance offering less satisfaction than the last. Guys who "narrate" their songs don't belong in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, do they??? I dunno ... guess we should ask Leonard Cohen about that! (kk)