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Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:33 pm
by Pete Fowler
Adam, that's a very interesting theory on cocaine...I always thought - Norman's point - that drugs had the profoundest of influences - I mean, would I - really - have spent so much time listening to the String Band without LSD? And would I have 'got' reggae in 1970 without Thai sticks? Every bloody trip I took - even when it was mescalin and not LSD - seemed to start with Chinese White from the 5000 Layers album.

Cocaine, though, I never touched. It was not only too expensive, but it had a reputation, in my non-celebrity world, as an 'addictive' substance that would turn me into a quivering wreck. After all, I'd heard the blues songs. All Around My Brain.

When did it become popular? Adam could well be right - the mid 70s. And he could be even more right in seeing its adoption as the drug of choice as marking a clear separation between the rock artists and their audience.

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:36 pm
by Adam Blake
Thank you, Pete. It's been a pet theory of mine for a long time. Cocaine is a profoundly destructive drug. If you are an insignificant little band, touring Europe promoting your insignificant little album, playing little clubs and bars, if you do enough cocaine it makes you feel like you are The Rolling Stones promoting "Exile On Main Street" in 1972 in super arenas across the world. If everyone else is doing it too you become encircled in a little bubble of stupidity where everyone is "cool" and everything you say or do is really clever and funny. Of course, when the cocaine wears off reality hits you like a cruel cold shower so obviously the thing to do is to find more cocaine... If you have a regular supply you will soon become addicted to it and then you become paranoid and unpleasant - and broke, of course. If you have ever been in a room full of people doing cocaine when you are not it tells you all you need to know about the drug.

Nowadays it's very cheap but back in the 70s it was very expensive and thereby became a trophy item, a way of showing that you had "made it". Unfortunately, unlike virtually all the other drugs (except barbiturates), cocaine is very bad for music making. It tricks you into thinking that what you are doing is wonderful and groundbreaking when all too often it is anything but. David Bowie and Steely Dan managed to make good music on cocaine, but they are about the only examples I can think of. Also, a very salient point that I'm glad you picked up on, it was the first time the audience and the performers were on very different drugs.

Cocaine and multitracking, mate. Ruined everything.

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:52 am
by Garth Cartwright
Is coke really to blame for bad music? surely much fab' disco and rap and 80s rock - Cars, Hall & Oates, Foreigner etc - was made on coke. Nile Rodgers was a cokehead for decades and he is imprinted on our cultural DNA thru his staccato riffing. The Stones made great records on all kinds of substances including coke. They stopped making great records when they stopped caring. Personally, i think cocaine is a bad drug but I wouldn't want to blame it for ruining music. There's always been good and bad music, no matter what substance was being abused.

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:51 am
by Chris P
even Beefheart made some or toured some merely half decent pop rock on cocaine. Agree with some of Garth's examples, but did the Cars & Foreigner really make anything exceptional? I think the artist audience gap with cocaine is key. Yuppie twats & more druggie hipster twats picked up on it in the 80s? Course the 'clebs' were key users, shortly followed by the Clebs (note use of capital & lower case). Interesting points Adam, about David & the Dan. They did manage to make some fine music (and on coke). Still coke & clebs gotta be culprit in decline or change in music, historywise

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:23 am
by Chris P
what a long strange trip it's been, as someone once famously said, thought or sang. Course u never blow yr trip forever on tha planet GonG

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:20 am
by Adam Blake
Fair enough. I'll accept that I am biased against cocaine music. Some people love what it inspires. I don't. I think it's a horrible drug and I've watched it ruin the lives of people I've cared about. Heroin and alcohol will kill you, but cocaine eats away at your soul, one line at a time. (To say nothing of the karma of cocaine - all those lives decimated in South and Central America...)

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:10 am
by Chris P
the Car-mic wheel
taking the mick, not the mic, extracting the urine
and so into mystic outer space good people
the pharmaceutical drugs work quite well

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:36 am
by Pete Fowler
Garth, I, for one, would never say anything as bold as 'cocaine wrecked music in the 70s'. One of the things that interested me at that time was the clear evidence of a separation emerging between performers and audiences...the break from the 60s. There were multiple reasons, performers getting stinking rich for a kick-off; and the gradual absorption of the 60s big names into the establishment culture. (All the signs were there as early as songs like Lady Jane on Aftermath). LSD was a cultural divider - I don't remember too many working class lads in some of my classes knowing about it - but it was cheap and sometimes handed out for free (The Technicolour Dream event at the Round House). It's entirely possible, therefore, that coke in the 70s added another layer of separation; and facilitated the self-obsessed, looking inwards, prog rock stuff.

I don't know this, though, because I wasn't part of it. By that time I was up in't north with a bunch of kids who called me Pa. Days' ends when Gram hit the right buttons.

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:44 am
by Rob Hall
When I were a lad, pre-punk, my reading material of choice was the Melody Maker. The NME was having a fallow period, and Sounds/Record Mirror/whatever were just wannabe rags. I think that part of the attraction of Melody Maker was its historical association with jazz, which I didn't understand but knew to be cool - something desirable that I most definitely lacked. The other kind of cool was the stuff that came in from the US - the whole West Coast thing, which was fabulously exotic to my young ears. In my experience, it was the grammar school kids who were into the West Coast stuff, while my pals at the secondary mod were more into Colosseum. Of course, Colosseum, and many of their ilk, had their roots in the early 60s Brit jazz scene, and when I think back to some of the US 'progressive' bands, such as Spirit, they also had a jazz thing going on, with tricky time signatures, etc. And let's not forget that the Byrds & the Dead showed the influence of jazz. Then again, there was also the whole Laurel Canyon thing - which was mostly a jazz-free zone - and the rootsier stuff that was coming from the South. So, looking back on it, there were quite distinct strands (that I was largely unaware of at the time); and in respect of the more 'progressive' strands, I'd say it was clear that a jazz influence was a common factor. If we then look to the subsequent demise of all things prog in the face of punk, which involved the death of Melody Maker and the rise of the NME, maybe we can see a similar change in those commenting on the music?

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:10 am
by Chris P
In the 80s there were still some hangover retards who talked about the 'working' class. CLASS fer chrissake! In the 80s in wales I've met so-termed individuals (by pseudo scientific academical pseuds), who have taken lsd, and been interested in an orange (the fruit)
pipe n smoke it. Old history, new world. no apologies taken! heeheehohohaha
Sorry guys shouldn't post when finding hard to concentrate on part of work. missing some sleep on the prednisolone

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:23 am
by Chris P
and maybe out to outerspace. Back in some tix

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:47 pm
by Adam Blake
Christopher Potts! Pick up those brightly coloured marbles and place them back between your ears immediately!

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:48 pm
by alister prince
As I often am, a bit late for the party, but a few thoughts on some of the debate so far. I agree with Andy that the explosion is in part due to the need to get bums on seats. Also intellectualising the whys and wherefore of Sid Vicious is much more fun than cogitating on the semiotics of inter-cultural exchanges on building sites. Also it's more cool dude. Why punk? Perhaps it's because it represents for many a (pseudo)anarchic, protesting anti-establishment, home-made, kid createdo sub- culture. A way of being rebellious without rebelling. I always thought of McClaren as being a money grabbing opportunist who could exploit the situation for all it was worth. He never came across as caring about the kids and I won't grace him with the epithet Svengali. He was a a chancer who was in the right place, etc. That doesn't mean I don't like quite a bit of the music,a lot of the gigs were great too. As far as the music press goes, in the 60s Record Mirror was for me the paper of choice. It was the only one which acknowledged soul and R and B to any extent. For me then MM was too jazz focused and 'adult'. It took itself so seriously, later I came to appreciate writers such as Max Jones, but then they'd seemed too... intellectual. Which brings me on to musicologists. Several forumistas have mentioned that said m'ologists aren't really interested in the music, I agree. I think of many of them as being like twitchers, they want to be the first to experience something, not to enjoy the experience. Little bird (sorry I couldn't resist) told me the following tale. At a Womex in Seville ( sorry Lucy, Sevilla), a small group were enjoying a late night beer in a backstreet bar listening to some young locals engaging in an impromptu Flamenco jam. Suddenly in came some (American) musicologists. On hearing said jam they whipped out their recording equipment and demanded that the performers do it again on mike. Naturally, the locals clammed up leaving the m'ologists mighty pissed off. End of great evening. Thanks guys, for of course they were men. I'll shut up for a bit and come back to sex and drugs and rock and roll. Prog..?
Aly

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:24 pm
by alister prince
PS I managed to wipe the previous post and in the rewrite forgot to say that in fact, like many 'counter'-movements, punk was in fact very conservative. It disliked outsiders, had it's own dress code and language and was very iffy about difference. Whilst not a party it had a party line.
Aly

Re: When did this Industry explode?

PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:35 pm
by Nigel w
Pete Fowler wrote:there is a distinct overloading of British Punk, a movement that seemed, to those of us in the sticks, to be a wholly temporary movement that flickered for a week and was then buried by its own contradictions. I know I'm in a small minority when I write that; but I've always thought that writing about rock - and now studying it - has been hopelessly skewed towards the viewpoint of those in their 30s and 40s; and that they themselves, like all of us, are hopelessly in love with what they loved as teenagers.


This is the most engaging debate I've read on here since ... well, since poor old Charlie died, probably.I don't think there is an ill-considered post in the entire thread; every single post has a valid point and expresses that point cogently.

For my part, I tend to agree very much with Pete F. The history of rock music (and probably everything else, too) is hopelessly skewed towards the viewpoint of those in their 30s and 40s, who by that time in their lives have come to occupy leading positions in the media, academia and other opinion-shaping professions.

In 1994-5, I was news editor of The Times. When Kurt Cobain died, we gave him three column inches. When Jerry Garcia died, we cleared a page for him. The sole reason for the stark contrast in how these two deaths were treated was that those of us running the news desk were all around 40 and the Dead had been part of our lives and Nirvana were not.

I also agree with those who say that musically punk was an ultra-conservative phenomenon that threw invention and experimentation into reverse. But then punk was never about music. It was about trashing your big brother or sister's record collection, which was a kind of act of radicalism in its parochial, domestic way. At 23, I was already a father of two and too old for punk. My loss, I'm sure. But I'm rather glad that I never thought that the Slits and the Vibrators were the future of rock'n'roll and in the years since I've made a decent living as a dialectical voice arguing that 'punk wasn't half as culturally significant as most people would have you believe'!'