Archive for the ‘Music Chips’ Category
In the mid 80′s the image of the rock was changing profoundly, videos were becoming an integral part of the music and this famous song by Dire Straits inexorably marked this step. Money For Nothing is characterized by a strong guitar riff that accompanies it from beginning to end and starring Sting falsetto that comes with the phrase “I want my MTV.”
Mark Knopfler lyrics were written in third person and show phrases that the guitarist pinned listening to a worker during his work shift at an electronics store in New York in which he was by pure chance. These sentences were considered sexist, racist and homophobic by critics, Knopfler tried to defend that language as extracted from a real-world context and not an expression of his thought, but he was forced to replace the word “faggot” with “queenie”, still related to homosexuality but considered less offensive.
Dire Straits proposed a revised version of the song in some live appearances at that time not to stir up further controversy, but unexpectedly after 25 years, the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) in January 2011 forbade to private radio stations to pass the original version of the song once again due to that little word to be excessive. Some broadcasters, in protest, passed the original version for a whole hour, and a few months later, in September of the same year, the ban was finally removed.
If the lyrics gave big thoughts to Knopfler, certainly the promotional strategy that his producers proposed was no less. Mark has always been a purist of the performance and when Steve Barron joined him in Budapest after a concert to illustrate the project that Warner Bros and MTV expected for the video of the song, he didn’t betray his perplexity and only the enthusiasm of his girlfriend accidentally attending at the meeting made him accept the risk.
Money For Nothing video turned out to be absolutely one of the first experiments in the use of the emerging computer graphics for the creation of music clips. In 1986 it received multiple nominations at the MTV Video Music Awards ending to collect the award for Best Video and the following year, on 1 August 1987, the video was chosen to open the programs of the newly formed MTV Europe.
True stories and Spike Lee joints teach us that between police and certain fringes of black population there’s bad blood, either because the first has always been seen as the armed wing of the white power that continues to oppress blacks, either because the latter often has culpably failed to exploit the rights won by the blood of previous generations, preferring to remain isolated in name but not in respect of those battles.
The early 90s attended the exploding of this tension and the triggering elements were the events linked to the arrest of Rodney King, a black American who was arrested for speeding March 3, 1991 in Los Angeles by LAPD after his refusal to a patrol intimated order to approach. King resisted arrest and suffered a beating by four cops that was accidentally filmed by a a bystander and accepted as the main evidence in the subsequent trial against the officers accused of brutality. King came out with broken bones but survived.
The following year, an unthinkable first verdict acquitted the 4 officers: President Bush himself declared that he felt it difficult to associate a similar decision to associate the images of the incident. The retaliation of the black community in Los Angeles was devastating: for three days the city was on fire, 53 people died, the wounded were more than 2000, only a battered Rodney King’s appeal to non-violence on live TV was able to gradually restore calm.
In the spring of 1992, the rap metal band Body Count came up with the first self-titled album containing the song “Cop Killer”, written in 1990 by singer Ice T and music by guitarist Ernie C, and inspired by the famous Talking Heads hit, Psycho Killer. The band’s large following among the black minorities and the combination of events ended up slamming the Body Count in the dock: the public was scandalized by the song’s lyrics, even the White House, especially Vice President Dan Quayle’s mouth, intervened to persuade Warner Bros. Records to pick up the album. Many associations linked to the police lined up against the band, the publisher and record stores selling the offending disk, threatening to boycott any requests for help if Cop Killer was not removed from the shelves.
Ice T claimed that the lyrics brought back the thinking of a fictional character and that he just played him firsthand. He admitted that he sometimes had “hostile thoughts” against the police, but he never tried to give rash to these instincts. A part of the public, including the National Black Police Association, sided with the Body Count in the name of freedom of expression enshrined in the First Amendment: the world of music, in the past, expressed in a hostile way toward the “guardians of ‘Order and Justice “, as in the case of” I Shot the Sheriff “, revived by Eric Clapton in the middle 70s without any pandemonium unleashed.
In July 1992, when the controversy had already dominated the clamor and appreciation for the song, Ice T, in agreement with the band and Warner Bros., decided to withdraw the album and republish it without the offending track that was supposed to go alone as a single. In fact the band left the label and the only reproposition of Cop Killer dated 2005, in “Body Cont: Live in LA”.
Although there has been nearly 20 years, the echoes of that time does not tend to decline and the curiosity of many fans and other bands, even the youngest, is directed to that song that embodied the energy of an emerging group, but was found to be present in spite of hell: in a recent interview, Ernie C defines it as something without half-measures, a love/hate thing. Imagine that Ice T is now a cop on Law & Order TV series.
Excesses and extravagance have always gone hand in hand in the rock world: spoiled and superstitious divas often lie behind hard lyrics and outrageous makeup, willing to hysterical tantrums if they are disregarded even the most mundane expectations.
It’s on this wavelength that was perceived the will of the american hard rock band Van Halen, to insert a curious clause in the technical part of the contract that bound the group to the local organization of their concerts: in a statement it was expected the presence in the backstage of a big bowl of M&M’s in all colors except brown: a possible default by the organization would put the band in a position to decide whether to cancel the show while maintaining the agreed fee.
The point of no return was the concert that was supposed to be held on March 30, 1980 at Colorado State University, Pueblo, CO. The stage could not withstand the weight of the equipment causing $ 85,000 damage to the floor of the gym. David Lee Roth and the other band members realized that there were some brown M&M’s in the bowl, contrary to the provisions in the contract: they railed against the organization and broke open the dressing room.
What at first glance may seem like a lot of classic 80′s frivolity, actually proved a clever stratagem that allowed Van Halen to figure out if the contract had been carefully read by the counterpart: a sort of alarm bell for the whole team, an invitation to check every single aspect in setting the stage to avoid problems that could tarnish the image of the band, but mostly could cause accidents to staff or public, all the things Van Halen do not like.
David, interviewed by the way, declared that at that time they were beginning to move their concert in the american province, on stages not normally trodden by the big rock star and then allegedly set up with much less attention. After a series of small but frequent incidents and other accidents fortunately avoided, the band decided to introduce this addendum (known as Article 126 or “No Brown M&M’s clause”) in their contracts, demonstrating a shrewd business strategy for those years and they were imitated by many other artists.
The causes that led the 25 year-old Nathan Gale to appear armed on stage at the Damageplan concert on December 8, 2004 at Alrosa Villa, Columbus, Ohio, are suggestive of paranoid schizophrenia that plagued him for years: the obsessive passion toward Pantera’s music induced him to be convinced that he regularly attended by members of the band and the discrepancies that led to the group dissolution were probably a trigger for the killing spree.
That night at Alrosa Villa Nathan reaches the stage by a service entrance, fired Dime with three shots and then put the gun aimed at those who’s trying to stop him: the death also reaches Jeff “Mayhem” Thompson, the security chief of the band that tries to intercept Gale after the first shots, Erin Halk, an official of the club, trying in vain to immobilize the attacker while re-charging the weapon, and Nathan Bray, a member of the public, while trying to revive Dimebag. John “Kat” Brooks, a drum technician is wounded and taken hostage by Gale in an attempt to make his way through the crowd, until agent Niggemeyer grasps him behind exploding a blow directly on the face with a shotgun, thus putting an end to the slaughter.
Often rockstars, especially if linked to the world of heavy metal, tend to cultivate a personal transgressive image , perhaps more for a label than for natural disposition. Dimebag Darrell, former guitarist and co-founder of Pantera with his brother, the drummer Vinnie Paul, can surely be counted as an exception to this clichet and the sad end in which hewas it was protagonist on the stage at Alrosa Villa, sounds like an obvious injustice against those who, during his long career through glam, thrash and groove metal, had always respected his colleagues and especially the fans.
These very human qualities, as well as an undisputed talent for dealing with the six strings, gathered for the funeral at Arlington, Texas, many influential personalities and fans of heavy metal, so that some Dimebag relatives were induced to move away from the security service in order to avoid any of these utterances.
Eddie Van Halen performed a guitar solo with his yellow and black striped Charvel better known as “Bumblebee” and then placed it in the coffin of Dimebag that earlier had asked him if it was possible to have a copy. Gene Simmons met another specific desire of the illustrious deceased who, still alive, stated he wanted to be buried in a “Kiss kasket”, a coffin with the Kiss logo, probably the most original in the range of gadgets signed by the band formed in New York in 1973: since there were no copies available in that moment, Simmons decided to donate its personal to Dimebag family specifying that “…he sort of learned his rock ‘n’ roll roots by listening to us for some strange reason.”
The accusation of Satanism and the inspiration to disclose real or alleged destructive messages cleverly concealed in the lyrics, is a constant that unites the greatest heavy metal band from the days of Led Zeppelin, helping to accentuate the black halo that accompanies this kind of music. Any opinion on it is permissible, but probably no one would have thought that it was necessary to ask the judgment of the court of Nevada.
On the evening of December 23, 1985, near the church of Sparks, Nevada, after a day spent drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana with the album Stained Class in the background, Raymond Belknap, 18, and James Vance, 20, decided to put an end to their lives by shooting a hunting rifle directly to the face. Raymond dies on the spot, James pick up the weapon, but to imitate the friend is not as precise: the explosion devastates his face, but don’t kill him: James gets along with 140 suture stitches but a slow agony accompanies him for 3 years until an overdose puts an end to his suffering.
During the hospital stay after the incident, Vance (Photo .. for those with liver), in a letter to his mother, said that alcohol and heavy metal music such as Judas Priest induced them to seek death in response to their lives. Vance said in an later interview that listening to that music had an effect on him similar to pressing the self destruct button in his brain.
After the death of Vance, the families of the two boys decide to sue the band and 16 July 1990 opens a real trial against Judas Priest, accused of incitement to suicide: the offending track is “Better by You, Better Than Me“, which allegedly contains the incitement” Do it! Do it! Do it! ” perceptible by listening to the song backwards. The defense appeals to the First Amendment which guarantees freedom of expression, but the judge decrees that this principle is not applicable to subliminal messages, so they are forced to resort to the opinion of an expert, Anthony Pellicano, who certifies the nonexistence, or otherwise the involuntary of these messages and August 24 of that year, Judas Priest, and in a way the whole heavy metal, are finally exonerated from the infamous charge of incitement to suicide setting a precedent that will appeal to other artists sued for similar reasons, such as Ozzy Osborne.
Commenting on games made in the 1991 documentary “Dream Deceivers: The Story Behind James Vance Vs Judas Priest“, the singer Rob Halford pointed out that incitement “Do it!” in itself is completely generic and stated that, in any case, he never entered hidden messages in Judas Priest’s lyrics, adding that if he wanted to do it most likely he would have opted for a self-promotional slogans such as: “Buy our records! “.
The late ’60s was a period of intense protests and unrest that culminated, musically speaking, with the largest live event in history: Woodstock, 1969.
Abbie Hoffman, a member of the Chicago Seven, during the show probably felt too householder so taking advantage of a break in the Who’s performance, between “Pinball Wizard” and “Do You Think It’s Alright?“, felt free to climb on stage and show his disappointment with the incarceration of John Sinclair’s White Panther Party,who was arrested for giving two joints of grass to two undercover cops and just been sentenced to ten years in the Michigan State Penitentiary. He had just enough time to grasp the microphone and shout: “I think this is a pile of shit while John Sinclair rots in prison …”, when Pete Townshend, The Who guitarist, assaulted him by hitting his Gibson on the back warding him off with a shove on the face, saying: “Fuck off! Fuck off my fucking stage”.
The rest of the band was amazed, so Pete took up the microphone and delivered a typical expression of that time: “I can dig it” and toned the next song, but probably the thing irritated him beyond measure so that soon after, to the audience, said: “The next person that walks on stage is gonna get fucking killed, alright? You can laugh, I mean it!”.
Then Pete said that Hoffman simply violated the “sanctity of the stage”, namely the right of the band to give their best without the distractions that are beyond the purely artistic performances. Townshend said to share the protest outlined by Hoffman, but in that moments performance has a number one priority and therefore he would throw anyone who interfere with the show, regardless of what he have to say. Hoffman downplayed the incident, calling it “non accident” as Townshend accidentally bumped into him.
Unfortunately it all happened during a change of film and there are no filmed records as evidence, what remains is an audio track that The Who themselves included in “Thirty Years of Maximum R & B” (Disc 2, Track 20, “Abbie Hoffman Incident”).