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The dumbing down of the dumbest

Growing up in the sixties I don’t know what I’d have done without pirate radio and the huge impact it had on my life. All those stories of listening under the bedclothes so your parents didn’t bang on your bedroom door and make you turn the radio off were all true. Our very own little secret and not the least bit dirty. All good clean fun and so much influence on my youth. How would those bands have evolved if it wasn’t for the pirates persisting in their quest to bring us everything that was best in music.  It takes people with passion to have that type of persistence when all the time the government were trying to get them banned. And still they went on until every last breath was squeezed out of them. They literally sank. Titanic radio at it’s finest and every one of them heroes.

Radio isn’t a subject I harp on too much about, what’s the point?  Traditional radio is over, it’s nothing short of dreadful and it will never attract the real music enthusiast because it’s not a platform you can any longer use to ‘turn people on.’ I loved doing a show back in the 80’s and 90’s because I saw it as a way of sharing my record collection with the masses. It was like inviting a whole host of people round to your house to share with them your latest prize find, a great new record. What a pleasure it was to hear something new and exciting and if I hadn’t bought it myself I could be sure one of my friends would have and that evening we’d share in our new found pleasures.

What we shared was a love for it ALL. Everything in our lives centered around music, where we went, who came with us and what we did there. I still wonder where I’d have been without all that. It defined what I became and somehow it steered me to where I went even though at the time I probably had no idea. I hadn’t a clue I’d end up working with people who’s records I’d bought as a kid, people like David Bowie and Steve Winwood. And there were others like Leslie West from Mountain, one of my all time heroes. What a band they were with the late great Felix Pappalardi who had written some wonderful tunes with Jack Bruce of Cream. Leslie West was literally a mountain of a man and I remember meeting him backstage on a ‘Night of the Guitars ‘tour when he played in Manchester. Leslie was a gem of a man which is more than I could say about Steve Howe from Yes who I thought most pretentious and giving off a feeling like he felt like he was above it all. I’ll never forget meeting Leslie West and the nice things he said about his friend Felix. Mountain saved me when Cream split up, when one band went there was another just around the corner to satisfy your appetite for great music. Happy days indeed.

I miss my heroes. Where did they all go and why are we so mind numbingly boring that not only do we not want them but we look up to these reality clones even calling them stars? What do they have that in the merest amoeba form resembles star quality? A desire to be famous, since when was that a pre requisite? As the old year fades is this what we have to look forward to, a dumbing down of the dumbest we’ve become? What are these standards we have that anything will suffice as long as it’s idiots doing what they do best, being idiotic. When did we lose the desire to be entertained, to want to watch something that was good, something that involved artistic people doing artistic things. Being on television required you to have talent.  They had a lot to live up to but even the worse actors of the day were Peter O’Toole by modern standards. And so more of the same, where DO we go from here?


May 23, 2011 - Posted in News By:

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