Bad Moments In Classic Rock

Everyone has an opinion and naturally this is just my opinion on a couple of bad instances in classic rock.

For starters, I don’t do well with lip syncing, and I’m a huge fan of live music. If a performer does a live performance and is lip syncing, they are useless to me. If I wanted to listen to the album version of their song, I wouldn’t be seeing them live. That’s one reason I don’t get into the “boy bands” and music of the like.

Back in the day bands used to lip sync all the time when they’d perform live on certain TV shows. My favorite band of all time, AC/DC, lip synced on TV shows when they were getting started. It depressed me to find this out, but I have to accept it because hey, they all did it apparently. And I can sort of understand it too. They were young, trying to get their name and sound out there and they did what they had to do to get that done. Fine. At least I can rest easy knowing they’ve been selling out venues by the thousands since then, and they don’t lip sync at those shows.

One instance of this that really ruined a band for me was the Super Bowl 31 halftime show, featuring the Blues Brothers, James Brown and ZZ Top. I tried to find a video of it on Youtube, but there is none, at least of ZZ Top’s performance. Apparently someone tried to post it and it was flagged by ZZ Top’s people. Most likely because THEY WERE LIP SYNCING.

I was only 17 when that Super Bowl happened back in 1997, but even then I could see a lip syncing performance when it was right in front of me. Now, I’m not sure if every band has to lip sync when playing the Super Bowl halftime show (I doubt it, the Rolling Stones weren’t when they played and they probably should have, it was horrible). But this particular halftime show was bad all the way around. It even made the cut on VH1’s 10 Most Awesomely Terrible Super Bowl Halftime Shows Of All Time, and ironically not for this reason.

It started with a fake news report of one of the Blues Brothers breaking out of jail and making his way to the Super Bowl to perform, and then they came out to perform. It was probably the best part of the show. I don’t remember the James Brown part of it because well, I don’t. But it was James Brown, so it was probably decent. But the fact that ZZ Top were lip syncing ruined the whole damn show, despite that some think it was the best show in the last 20 years. If a classic rock band lip syncing helps to make it the best in the last 20 years, that says a whole lot about the other shows.

The easiest way to tell if a band is lip syncing is to watch the drummer. When you hear a cymbal crash in the music and the drummer didn’t hit one, that’s a good indication. And that’s what I noticed during their performance of “Tush”. I was watching the drummer because I had a feeling they were lip syncing, and sure enough, cymbals crashed and he wasn’t hitting any. Instead he was busy watching the half naked dancing girls all around him instead of paying attention to his own music.

I lost all respect for them then, and still haven’t gotten it back. I wasn’t ever a huge fan of theirs to begin with, so it wasn’t a big loss for me.

The rest of my list includes classic rock bands who not only deserve respect, but have earned it countless times over. Yet even for them they put out some questionably bad music. The first is “Going Mobile” by The Who.

I actually just heard this song for the first time tonight and while it was playing I was thinking “What the fuck is this garbage?” and then I found out it was by The Who and I almost cried. Really? Of all of the great songs this band put out, the radio chose to play THIS song instead? It just does nothing for me. It sounds like a filler song and that’s probably what it was. That’s also probably why I just now heard it for the very first time, and I’ve been listening to them for years. What a horrible song.

The Who are awesome, rather, WERE awesome. Some bands grow old with grace. The Who hasn’t done that. As much as I love and respect them, it would benefit everybody if they just stopped now.

The next on the list is by Queen, one of the greatest bands of all time. Their music was great, their singing all the way around was great (nobody could harmonize like them, ever) and they’ve put out anthems. Not just one, but multiple songs that not only define them but their entire generation of music. Except for this one.

That’s great. You want to ride your bicycle? Who the fuck cares? The biggest problem with this song that I have is it’s played ALL THE TIME on the radio. Never mind that, but it gets stuck in my head and I wind up singing it to myself until something else comes along and replaces it. And I hate that. There’s nothing worse than having a bad song stuck in your head. But I have to give it to Queen. Even their bad songs were catchy as hell.

Lastly, and this one almost didn’t make it to the list because I had justifiably forgot about it, is a song by, again, one of the greatest bands of all time, Jethro Tull.

Now I’m sure that every band has a song or two that sucks, and I don’t hold it against any of the last three mentioned for having a bad song. Even AC/DC has songs I don’t really care for, and I’m one of their biggest fans. But this song by Jethro Tull is absolutely horrible. I seriously think they made it as a joke and some asshole put it on one of their albums as another joke. You know, to get back at them for making it in the first place.

For a band that put out such great songs as “Aqualung”, “Locomotive Breath” and “Thick As A Brick”, it disgusts me to know they recorded this.

First of all, I have a problem with artists making songs with titles or hooks that rhyme, simply because they rhyme. “Bungle in the Jungle”… I can imagine the conversation behind the making of it.

“Hey guys, it rhymes!”
“So?”
“So, that means it’ll be a good song!”
“Why?”
“BECAUSE IT RHYMES!”

Bullshit. You can do your own research to come up with other songs that follow this premise. I’ve had enough of the bad stuff. Now I’m going to go listen to some great music to “rinse my mouth” of this garbage I just subjected all of us to. I suggest you do the same.

11 responses to “Bad Moments In Classic Rock

  1. Bicycle Race is one of the dumbest songs I’ve ever heard and I absolutely loathe it. I can’t believe that song was ever released, let alone played on radio.

  2. Bicycle Race is a horrible piece of shit, but it’s not as bad as Yellow Submarine.

  3. I never did notice the lip-syncing on ZZ Top’s part, but I’m willing to give it a pass on the rest of the show’s merits, and the fact that the art of live performance has taken a nosedive in general. I think VH1 was way out of line including the show in its 10 worst list, especially with no actual justification behind it. Your reason is in fact a reason; VH1, whose status as cultural curator is questionable with the best of tailwinds, couldn’t think of anything besides just plain not liking it. The paragraph they wrote is such an incoherent mess that an editor should have gone after the writer with a whip. (And a typographer should have gone after the graphic designer with a bazooka, for using Souvenir.) Besides, the fact that the Michael Jackson train wreck didn’t make the list is proof they have no standards.

    I don’t see how the show could be called bad all the way around. Ruined for you, sure, and maybe leaving a worse taste in your mouth than other shows as a result. That’s fair. At the end of the day, though, all of the music had very wide appeal and was really fun party atmosphere stuff–nothing that could be said about any other show in the modern era. Still you’re absolutely right that no matter what, it says a whole lot about the other halftime shows.

    • You make good points. I didn’t much care for that VH1 article either and yeah, it said very little for them. A “music” channel that couldn’t point out if someone was lip syncing or not? Horrible. And honestly I can’t remember what it was that made me think they were, I just remember watching the drummer when the camera happened to show him and it just happened to be when there were cymbals crashing and he wasn’t hitting them. Aside from that yeah, it seemed to be a fun halftime show. I mean, the Blues Brothers? I’ll take them any day of the week. Much better than when MTV was running things. I don’t even want to remember those shows… now I’m going to go kick myself in the ass for just bringing them up.

      • Better to save the kick for them. Somewhere at MTV there’s an idiot who once thought, “Hey, let’s make Janet Jackson’s top fall off on live TV with children watching, on purpose.”

      • Yeah. And those idiots actually thought Janet and Timberlake would be a good halftime show. That’s why the top had to fall off, to make it worth watching.

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