By Michel Christophe
Rock Music Menu Columnist
Welcome to this year’s edition of Rock Music Menu’s “New Year’s Resolutions for Rockers in Need,” where we help busy musicians set goals for the next 12 months. It’s not an easy job, but it has to be done.
Just like you and me, there are rockers, rollerbladers and other assorted musical miscreants who need help delivering on their stated promises to make the coming weeks better than the previous 52. Music wise, 2021 was only slightly better than the year before, but at least a good number of bands hit the road again, even if it was for nothing as a positive Covid test in the camp has resulted in postponements or entire tours. being cancelled.
Even in the midst of a pandemic, this space has had some success in making recommendations in the last year, whether urging stadium headliners or music festivals to wait. until 2022, for the most part, the advice has been followed. Obviously, some went ahead, with more or less success, and good for them.
This time around there is less apprehension, even as the Omicron variant rages on and a level of uncertainty for 2022 can be maintained by even the most positive individuals. Here at Rock Music Menu, we had as much hope as everyone else, so let’s get started and start giving some tips to our favorite musicians in the spotlight.
WHO: ERIC CLAPTON
RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: JUST LEAVE
Talk about someone seemingly determined to destroy their legacy. Good ol’ Slowhand has been outspoken against Covid vaccinations, releasing a series of songs against proof of inoculation at live shows and in a special collaboration with Irish singer/songwriter Van Morrison, where he compared lockdowns to slavery. It’s not exactly a good look for Clapton, who infamously decried foreigners in his home country of England during a mid-’70s stage rant, one he punctuated with a grumpy “Keep Britain white!”
Then there was the recent outcome of a court case where the guitarist sued a German woman for selling her deceased husband’s Eric Clapton live compact disc on eBay for $11. The show turned out to be a bootleg, and she was found guilty and ordered to pay nearly $4,000 in costs, including those for Clapton’s legal fees. Lawyers tried to explain the logic behind the decision, but the court of public opinion didn’t hear it, calling the musician behind such massive hits as ‘Layla’ and ‘Wonderful Tonight’ an old man. bitter curmudgeon.
A statement from the guitarist’s camp last week said it would pursue no further action against the woman, including attempts to raise money. Unfortunately, the damage was already done.
WHO: WOLFGANG VAN HALEN
RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: CONTINUE TO KEEP THE TOLLS AWAY
Being the offspring of a famous musician is never easy, and in the age of social media, it can be an absolute minefield. That said, Wolfgang Van Halen – son of the late guitar icon Edward – has spent much of 2021 giving a clinic on how to deal with trolls with the intention of telling him how he should go from there. before with his group Mammoth WVH.
Wolfgang’s debut album, where he himself played all the instruments while manipulating the vocals, was one of the rock music highlights of the year, landing in the top 10 for many critics. Still, fans of the Van Halen band had other ideas, from telling him he was enjoying his father’s legacy, to having to sift through the vaults of 5150 studios for unreleased VH material. instead of focusing on his solo career or playing songs from the legendary rock outfit.
Not only did he handle everyone on social media with amazing poise and wit, but he also effectively showed that trolling trolls is a lot more fun than anything else. Take for example when he took to Twitter ahead of a show at Chicago’s Wrigley Field where Mammoth WVH was opening for Guns N’ Roses where Wolfgang shared a setlist for the night’s performance. “Wrigley Field with GnR tonight!” it read. “You’re also going to have a special set! See you soon!”
He had the Van Halen hit “Panama” on it nine times and nothing else. Epic.
WHO: 90s ROCK BANDS
RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: NOW TIME TO RETURN
Did anyone really see Limp Bizkit’s return as a thing, like never before? Even the late psychic Miss Cleo wouldn’t have seen this one coming. Yet there were the rap rockers, playing the main stage at this year’s Lollapalooza in Chicago, with frontman Fred Durst swapping his once-ubiquitous red New York Yankees cap for a gray wig and rose-tinted sunglasses, showing that he was really into it. to joke. They even named their first album in a decade “Still Sucks”.
It’s fine maybe just a joke, but it can still be fun. Remember the early to mid-years, when hair metal bands like Poison, Warrant, Ratt, and others would organize road trips and see middle-aged audiences flock to shows to relive a bit of their youth? The same can happen here. Where are you at POD? Zebra head? Incubus? Quarashi? Crazy town?
And yes, here at Rock Music Menu we are well aware that many of the aforementioned items are still active musical units, but wouldn’t it be more fun to see them all on the same stage for one night?
WHO: Britney Spears
RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: SERVE REVENGE
Speaking of the 90s, Britney Spears hasn’t really made any home runs in the past decade, but that was for a completely different reason than the people watching her; she was under the total control of a terribly insane guardianship that restricted her every move, professionally and personally. Now that the 13-year-old nightmare has ended what amounted to a real Rapunzel’s nightmare, it’s time to take on those who kept her under her control.
Sure, she could do that by putting everyone – the lawyers, her family, and the blind or corrupt judges – who kept her under guardianship, but first why not come back bigger and better than ever in going back to the music, the road and the top of the charts. Then release the documentary displaying all that success.
WHO: GROUPS WITH AN ORIGINAL MEMBER
RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: CALL IT A DAY OR CALL IT A TRIBUT
There are too many musical outfits picking fan pockets on their name alone while only one original member of their classic lineup remains to join the charade on stage – and sometimes it’s not even the first. . Quiet Riot, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Yardbirds, Thin Lizzy, etc. are all guilty of such blasphemy.
This is not an invitation to put anything obscure in front of your name – we’re watching “The Legendary Drifters” without anyone remotely associated with the original or classic lineups. Take inspiration from Jeff Lynne, who, even as the mastermind behind Electric Light Orchestra, has the class to call the current version “Jeff Lynne’s ELO” on albums and tours. Put “revisited” or “featuring” or some other sort of quantifier in the name and make it at least somewhat clear to the audience.
The vinyl of the week returns next week.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, email [email protected] Also check out his blog at www.thechroniclesofmc.com