There are three things I try to avoid while writing this blog; politics, religion, and pop music. Most writers don't like themselves so they could care less if you like them. Of course, I have to be different. I want you to like me. I hope you read something here, feel good about it, and tell a friend or 40.
Last night I saw something disturbing. It hurt me. I wanted to run to the blog and tell you what I thought, but I was exhausted from a 12 hour work day and trying to hang a TV. So I slept on it. This morning I feel even stronger so here I go.
On American Idol, a show that goes against both my religions: music and Christianity, featured a performance by the late great Iggy Pop. I feel the need to tell you who Iggy Pop is, because no one in my house or immediate friend group knew and that bothered me a lot.
Born James Osterberg and raised in a trailer park in Ypsilanti, Michigan, he became Iggy Pop after his first band, The Iguanas, broke up. He was a drummer then but later became the lead singer for The Stooges. The Stooges were legendary. The experimented with several types of music and influenced punk rock, metal, alternative and rock. Iggy Pop was as much more performance artist as lead singer. He rolled around in broken glass, sliced open his chest, rubbed peanut butter and other substances all over himself, and danced like a mad man always shirtless. Their albums, The Stooges, Funhouse, and Raw Power became favorites among musicians, and writers. Kurt Cobain listed Raw Power as his favorite record in his Journals released in 2002. The Stooges were finally elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year.
Iggy Pop should be the last person ever to want to perform on American Idol; a mainstream, watered down, safe show. Yet there he was last night, singing Real Wild One. I cringed and died a little.
One of the people Iggy was gyrating in front of was the lead singer of Aerosmith, Steven Tyler. I don't need to tell you who he is, because Aerosmith has been a pop band for the last 24 years and Tyler is now "judging" American Idol contestants. If those kids knew Tyler's history enough, they'd realize how ridiculous his being there is, in the big picture of things.
This brings me to the controversial part of the post. I can solve funding for the arts AND the nation's drug problem. Yeah, I just wrote that. Are you ready? Here's the masterplan......
Legalize all drugs, but only allow rock stars to have them. Then, have the rock stars work for a Quango, which is a government agency that operates on it's own terms, where they teach artistic kids, young aspiring musicians, and up and coming writers how to be awesome. I know what you're thinking. Why would you want your little Billy or sweet Missy hanging out with drugged up crazy people? The main reason is, when Steven Tyler and Iggy Pop and Eddie Van Halen and Keith Richards and Slash et al were high, they made GREAT music. You could film it all for PBS, have chaperones there so they didn't try to hit on teenage girls, and you would have the next generation of amazing artists. Call the show Bango Quango and run disclaimers about the drug use.
Well Lance, would you let your 15 year old daughter participate in this? She wants to be a journalist. No, probably not. Because I worry too much. But you laid back hippie types would be fine. You could be there, or the chaperones could handle things. Look we could put the druggie rock stars and other whacked out artists behind glass. This can work. Right now we are in a creative malaise. Shows like American Idol are killing our culture. Don't you want to have the next Nevermind or Appetite for Destruction or Raw Power? This way, these selfish, insane artists can give back after taking all these years. You would have a thriving, ratings rich PBS combined with all the drugs off the streets and into the hands of the people who need them...ROCK STARS! Aerosmith might be good again, like they were in the 1970s. Wouldn't you rather hear Dream On instead of I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing?
This cures a lot of the nation's ills. As a die hard music fan who wants his and others' kids to know good art, this handles a lot of problems for me. Most of all, I never have to worry about 63 year old Steven Tyler judging kareoke competitions or seeing a shirtless 64 year old Iggy Pop performing inappropriately during the family hour.
go ahead, talk amongst yourselves and get back to me....this could work, you know it could. Or I could just be a sarcastic music snob. You decide.
Today's song is one that should be in your IPOD and consciousness. It's Search and Destroy by The Stooges from Kurt's Cobain's favorite record, Raw Power. Play it loud. Rub peanut butter on yourself. GO