Monday, January 3, 2011

Requiem for a Squealy Fangirl

Tom recently shared this article with me, analyzing the death of rock and roll. It was sad and, while I tried to find a point with which I could argue, I just couldn't. Time to move on or become antiquated.

I sort of knew it in the summer of 2001. Tom and I won general admission tickets to an 80's nostalgia show: Quiet Riot, Warrant and Poison. We found a spot on the lawn, bought an overpriced bucket of warmish beer, and settled in to enjoy the show. Quiet Riot was good. They were still very tight. Kevin Dubrow was surprisingly humble and the show was a lot of fun. The crowd was still rather thin, as it tends to be for the first of three acts. Warrant was up next and it was starting to get dark. More people were trickling in. When they broke into their rock anthem Heaven, Jani Lane held the mic out to the audience, encouraging us to sing the chorus:

Heaven isn't too far away
Closer to it every day
No matter what your friends might say
We'll find a way


We did, of course, swaying back and forth appropriately. Those with lighters held them high. A few drunk rock chicks may have wept a little. Jani stopped the band and sat on the edge of the stage, becoming a little verklempt himself. He put his head in his hands, unable to continue. "You guys remember us. You really remember us."

Rock and roll coughed softly. We couldn't see it at the time, but there was blood in the hanky.

By the time Poison came on, it was dark and the crowd was thick. And drunk. That wasn't weird. Younger kids started to show up and that wasn't weird, either. But they were wearing shredded T-shirts and fright wigs. It was a hot summer evening. Tom and I struggled - trying to figure out why these kids would be wearing what had to be hot, itchy wigs on such a warm night. Then we saw one with a thickly folded bandanna holding his wig in place. It was a clear homage to Bret Michaels. (Loooooooong before Rock of Love) I mean, surely it was an homage, right? I mean, imitation is the highest form of flattery, right? But it wasn't an homage, I realized, as Rock and Roll coughed again, a little more violently this time. He was - they were - making fun of us. Making sport of a whole generation. I wanted to spank them, and not just for fun. I wanted to cry like Jani Lane.

Fast forward to 2011. Steven Tyler. An icon. A rock god. The man who wrote Mama Kin - the song I loved so much I named my blog after it. Steven Tyler is really really doing this American Idol thing.

Rock and Roll clutched its heart and collapsed. Its hand fell open upon impact. The mic rolled slowly across the floor, silent, until it was picked up by P. Puffy Puff Diddy Daddy who turned it over in his hands once or twice in wonder, then hit the auto tune.

9 comments:

blueviolet said...

I just don't know about him on AI. I love that man, but is he that hard up for a gig?

5thsister said...

Say it ain't so! I didn't know that. Tragic endings are difficult to fathom. It used to be that Rock 'n Roll "hurt so good" but now aging rockers are keeping some pretty "bad company". Sigh.

Hello Jodi said...

Wow, that article was depressing. But I can't argue with it either.

scrappysue said...

ugh - i'm so OVER all the songs playing on commercial radio that have auto tune. doesn't anyone sing properly anymore!! happy new year!

Eva Gallant said...

I think my interest died before rock and roll did.

Cheryl said...

I will never say die. Tyler may have gone over to the dark side. No one says we have to follow, right? RIGHT?

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I don't watch AI. Therefore it never happened. Rock 'n Roll lives on in my heart and keeps me feeling young (sometimes, anyway).

sitting on the mood swing at the playground said...

When I first read that Steven Tyler was doing American Idol I thought it was a joke...something a tabloid made up because I couldn't imagine it would really happen.

Joanna Jenkins said...

I was shocked when Steven Tyler was named on American Idol.... and I'm still shaking my head in disbelief. Maybe AI is mocking us too.

Sheesh.

Happy New Year Tammy. xo jj