Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Everybody reunites

The Police are engaging on a world tour beginning later this spring, and used their prime performance spot on the Grammys to unofficially announce that they are back together for the time being. I admire these guys (and must avoid being cynical) because I assume they're doing this for fun and enjoyment because they certainly don't need to do this for the money. Sting has been doing just fine on his own for a long time and doesn't need to lasso himself back into his old group unless he really wanted to strike a return to old friends and simpler times (you know, the days of power trios rather than 15-piece ensembles complete with African drummers). Copeland and Summers obviously have long gotten over the "I'm too good for you two guys" snub from 20 years ago (not to mention that they've been plenty busy since then as well) and are back on board looking for adventure, cash, and musical fulfillment. All three have looked past all the old hurtful feelings. Everybody does. Everybody reunites.

The Pixies hated each other for 15 years and still reunited. They had every right to be cynical and do the whole thing for the money, considering how much of it was out there for the taking. Dinosaur Jr REALLY hated each other for 15 years -- see nearly every Lou Barlow interview ever -- and still got back together. The Velvet Underground REALLY hated each other and were led by legendarily stubborn assholes and THEY still got back together. If these bands (and countless others ... Culture Club?!?) could do it, then everybody can. It's practically a law of nature.

People have been waiting for the Smiths to reunite practically from the day they broke up. Each band member is on record (multiple times) saying that it won't happen. That it will never happen. Trust me, IT WILL HAPPEN. Bank on it. Too much money, too much of a legacy, too much of an oppurtunity to return to the headlines. Wait, you say, what about the bitter lawsuits, the Johnny Rogan book, Moz's new Latino fanbase, Marr's arrogance, the ego clashes, everything. Fuck that shit. Smiths reunion. It will happen. Probably within five years. Everybody reunites.

The only band I'm worried about is Spacemen 3. Jason and Sonic not only hate each other's guys but literally haven't spoken a word to each other since 1990 or so. Even Reed and Cale used to speak once in a while, perform together onstage once in a blue moon as a favour to friends, and go right back to hating each other, "Sam and Ralph"-style. Also, reunited bands tend to do so because they had better financial or creative/critical success with their old bandmates, whereas I believe both Jason and Sonic have done better separately, on both counts. Fans can continue to hope and dream, and S3 look cooler and more ahead of their time with each passing year, so who knows ... but it really doesn't look good.

News of the Police and the Grammys (which I unfortunately didn't see this year) reminded me of how out of touch with parts of the real world one can get when caught up in stuff like Pazz and Jop madness. Stuff that 99% of music consumers couldn't care less about. I'd forgotten that the Dixie Chicks had such a great year, and hadn't fully grasped the feelgood aspect behind MJB's latest comeback (aren't all of her albums hailed as "finally, the return of a true original, the #1 R&B diva goddess"? Never mind). However, the logic and sense-defying continual popularity of Red Hot Chili Peppers has NOT been lost on me, and yes, the mind still boggles. How? Why? Just break up and reunite in ten years already, like you should have ten years ago (just like Jane's Addiction ... no, I didn't just say that ...)


Amit said...

Police !!?? Really, who gives a fuck ? I can't think of a single Police song that I liked. No amount of nostalgia can ever brainwash me into thinking I like the Police. The best Police performance was Eddie Murphy singing Roxanne.

In the Smiths' I figureed since Morrissey did so many Smiths songs live it was imminent, but there's a huge imbalance of power.

Years on, it's apparent that Morrissey was the Smiths. Marr's talent as a creative contributor had been overrated by all the Smith's fans.

Moz is also a bald fat fuck now and looks like a cop from a 1950s flick. In 5 yrs he'll look like the dad from Everyone Loves Raymond.

Barry said...

I'll see your "years on, it's apparent that Morrissey was the Smiths" and raise you "but Morrissey's solo records aren't 1% as good as the worst Smiths albums".

I think it's now clear that both Marr and Morrissey were overrated, while Joyce and Rourke were underrated. I think Rourke wrote all his own basslines in the Smiths and was never given any writing or publishing credit for them -- kinda fucked up.

After Moz + Marr lost millions to Mike Joyce in his lawsuit, I think their egos were knocked down a bit, so maybe everyone has saved enough face to stomach a reunion.

Amit said...

Okay, I didn't know (or forgot about) the Joyce lawsuit.

But what I read was this. Joyce never claimed writing credits, but he wanted 25% of performance credits. Originally, Morrissey and Marr each got 40% and Rourke and Joyce each got 10%.

Joyce sucessfully sued for 1M GBP in back fees and 25%, but Morrissey stood out as an asshole in the trial.

There's a lot of Smiths songs that could be Morrissey songs and vice versa - so the argument that the Smiths material is 100x better than the MOrrissey solo stuff doesn't hold water.

He's had a pretty strong following of his solo career, whereas the rest have kind of floundered.