I am experiencing a whole lot of anger at the moment – in fact… my heart is broken…
So… in the interests of keeping it real…
A little over 20 years ago I fell in love with the most exceptional woman ever – she was absolutely gorgeous in every way – when she entered a room all turned to bear witness.
Lately I find she has been used and abused, dressed in trashy clothes and plastered in garish make up. She has been forced to serve the gods of sex and money – we are only interested in her if she is shallow and snooty. We only pay her attention when her cleavage bulges and when she follows our many plastic trends.
Yet late at night when no one is looking, she comes to me quietly and fills my spirit. She sheds the daily lies she has been forced to wear and she glows with a beauty that makes me drop quivering to my knees.
Who is this precious creature you ask me?
Her name is MUSIC and I have loved her since before this life and I will love her well after this life has ended.
Her role is twofold… first she enables us to forget, at least for a while, our every day petty worries and strife, the mundane and the little aggravations, so that we may smile and then move to her glorious rhythm. So we may rejoice in the moment and let go, so that we may truly become human BEINGS.
Secondly, she has the awesome ability to evoke emotion and facilitate enlightenment and inspiration – we have all listened to a song that has changed the way we think about ourselves and the world.
And yet, because of mankinds selfish love affair with all that is material it seems that lately she has only been allowed to grind her hips suggestively and gag on lyrical drivvle.
Are we so starved for entertainment that the music industry has become dominated by little girls… little girls like Lindsay Lohan and Hillary Duff … there are more… Paris Hilton and Ashley Simpson… little girls that are being referred to as sex symbols… SEX SYMBOLS!! (Sheryl Crow is a sex symbol, Madonna is a sex symbol – how is it that someone who is completely inexperienced at something becomes a symbol for it?)
Has the entertainment industry stooped so low that the only way we can get our musical rocks off is with a bunch of glorified karaoke singers called pop idols?
Has this awesome, diverse country of mine lost its identity so badly that we can only be represented by the ignorant, self absorbed Gareth Cliff, Marla Lowe and Randall Abrahams?
How is it that a group of effeminite boys singing to backtracks become the order of the day – why have we been reduced to swallowing the puppy love, over polite adolescent romance of boy bands?
Please… I am not saying that there is no place for them to express themselves musically, but is it not indicative of our shallow, money oriented and strife torn times that they dominate the airwaves?
The entire music industry exists for one reason and one reason only – THE SONGWRITER – yet this is the person who is least thought of in South Africa.
How is it that radio dj's become the stars?
How is it that Jeremy Mansfield gets to release an album?
Do these so called djs realise that they are merely glorified continuity announcers – they are only presenters. All they do is talk between the songs that some ignorant play list committee has chosen.
Who are these people to choose for us – are we not allowed to make up our own minds – and please don't tell me that we can vote for our favourites on the "Top Thirty Countdown." Who actually phones in to vote these days and if people do, how does the radio station take a handful of votes into consideration… if those countdowns and playlists are NOT doctored by half-assed wannabe musos like Highveld Stereo's Andy Thomas, then Lee Harvey Oswald DID shoot JFK.
How is it that a stalwart of the music industry, a genre that has always defined attitude and change, a genre that has always spoken out on behalf of the masses and bucked the ever failing system – yes I am talking about ROCK – how is it that ROCK is not properly represented by radio stations like Highveld Stereo, KFM and East Coast Radio?
How is it that the comedic retard "Wackhead Simpson" has become a celebrity – who gave him permission to represent us publicly – how is it that Jeremy's weakest sidekick gets to make fun of people who live in Boksburg and Benoni on air? Among other wonderful people, people a lot more interesting and entertaining than "Wackhead," Charlize Theron comes from Benoni.
How is it that Gareth Cliff gets to humiliate a budding singer on television because she sounds like Celine Dion – HELLO – Celine Dion is a MEGASTAR – you don't have to like her but you do have to appreciate that the woman is talented.
94.7 publicly posture their ongoing support of South African music – they don't support SA talent – please do not lie to us… you support the global trend of mindless waste… you say "that's what the housewives want." Don't insult our housewives – YOU made that decision and even if that's what they did want - EDUCATE them… oh you do play some SA Talent… sometimes… very little… not nearly enough… and most of it is uninspiring… and no ROCK… no local ROCK?!?! WHY? You play Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams and Nickelback… you say because they are established acts… how can a local rock band establish itself if the radio stations won't play their songs?!?!?!?!
Please don't misunderstand me… I get on my knees and give thanks for Nianell and Kreesan… occasionally played by 94.7… I sometimes give thanks for Mean Mister Mustard and Watershed – come on guys, share with us, don't be scared, drop the safe over polite bullshit and touch my soul. What about Danny K – you've played him – now he is talented – if only he would drop the pose and represent – take a stand Danny and share with us!
Thank God for Prime Circle – very seldom played by 94.7.
Call me bitter, call me angry, you can call me an asshole. You can say I am jealous, you can say I have no clue, you can say I am a wanker… one thing you cannot say is that I have no talent – I have been a professional singer/ songwriter/entertainer in this country for 20 years now – my bandmembers are all tried and trusted wonderful musicians – we have paid our dues – we are one of the hardest working bands in this country – yes we have a lot of work, that's how good we are live – we do the record breaking Creedence Clearwater Revival Tribute Show, we do "Rattle and Hum" the U2 Tribute and the musical revue "Growl."
YES – I hear you shout "Cover Band!"
We are so much more than just a cover band – we are all prolific songwriters and perform many of our originals at our gigs – to GREAT response and… wait for it… abundant cd sales!!
We have done sold out "original material only" shows at the Showcase Theatre Northriding – all 4 of us have home recording studios such is our passion for songwriting – and yet – 94.7 and 5fm have rejected our songs on a regular basis – so has KFM and East Coast Radio – why?
Because we write meaningful, passionate ROCK.
Not because the songs are weak, not because the songs are badly produced, not because we lack talent – but because they think we are not hip.
If boybands, silly little girls and their meaningless, disposable, pop nonsense are what is hip today – thank God I am not hip.
I struggle to understand that my band can cook any venue live, that we can sellout Barnyard Theatres, that we can tour most of South Africa as well as Zimbabwe and Mocambique, but not get a single song on the bigger radio stations.
Thank you to Radio 2000, SAFM, Radio Algoa and Radio Today for playing our music.
As for the rest – you don't support SA Music – you are all too busy sucking the commercial dick – in fact you can all kiss my ass.
Long live ROCK!
Long live Clint & Co!
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