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RE: prog-bashing

Title: Message
My that is all remarkably well put. I second that emotion.
Hal Dean
-----Original Message-----
From: goddard.duncan@mtvne.com [mailto:goddard.duncan@mtvne.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2006 2:17 PM
To: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
Subject: RE: prog-bashing

>>I think the whole prog-bashing trend started as sour grapes on the part of kids who just didn't have the chops to play it.  As I recall, at the same time that prog was declared a dinosaur by these young turks virtuosity in general was poo-pooed just as much.

Not that there wasn't an awful lot of excess (and I spell excess E-L-P) rampant at the time!<<

I like to console myself that the excess was necessary somehow, & that there was a background of "arms-race" about it amongst the bigger outfits & their trailers full of persian rugs, steel drumkits & whatnot, which was genuinely tongue-firmly-in-cheek long before "stonehenge".

I think it's a very modern (read: politically correct) thing to have any genuine, well-founded objections to the amount of horsepower required by the likes of ELP to mount their stage show.

back then, the complaints were about the attention they drew to themselves rather than any actual waste. though john peel called them a "waste of talent & electricity", he'd actually quite liked "the nice" & was merely voicing his disappointment with emerson's new direction. if he'd known the expression, I'm sure he would have said "YMMV".

besides, a touring orchestra, opera or theatre company would have been about the same size, & probably would've been drawing smaller crowds.

the punk "revolution" is overstated, even with this amount of hindsight.
we quickly forget how many experienced, slightly older musicians were drafted in by these "young turks" to assist & support their endeavours. (step forward nick mason & steve hillage, amonsgt others, who produced some of this "punk" stuff despite belonging in "the other camp".)

& the same dave stewart I mentioned last time (i.e. not the guitarist who became a punk with annie lennox & then re-invented prog in the mid 80s with much fairlight noodlery as a eurythmic, but the one from egg/gong/bruford/national health) even appeared on top of the pops (a long running british tv chart show of some repute) wearing a PiL t-shirt.

in fact, a great deal of this antipathy was invented by the music press, & by journalists generally.
at the bands' level, things were often quite different, with punk rock's glitterati turning up to see zeppelin at knebworth, ATV making albums with here&now, & eventually the clash releasing a triple album. sharing of concert bills made more sense than trying to stir up acrimony.

for me, it's much simpler than any genre or social divide.
there'll always be a number of musicians who manage to combine the chops with the essential humour of music's ability to communicate, & there'll always be a number of musicians who fall to one side or the other of that bell-curve. some of the most technically adept musos of the 70s were the most humourless bunch you could imagine, & they made you ache for the cartoon nihilism of a sid vicious or a captain sensible.

hiromi made me want to see keith tippett, never mind keith emerson. I'm sure she can be very funny.... but I couldn't see it in her wackily titled showcase piece, I'm sorry.



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