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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk Little Dreamer's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 11:33 AM
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    Default Robb Flynn: Music isn't important anymore!

    Robb Flynn of San Francisco Bay Area metallers MACHINE HEAD has posted the latest installment of his online blog, "The General Journals: Diary Of A Frontman... And Other Ramblings". It follows below in its entirety.

    "I'm in a shitty mood.

    "Not for the story I'm about to tell, but because of my thoughts afterward.

    "I went out to San Francisco for my buddy Joe's birthday shenanigans. We went out for Moroccan food at a joint called El Mansour. The place had a great vibe, belly dancing, sword balancing, and amazing food! The lamb in particular was to-freakin'-die-for, slow roasted and covered in honey and cinnamon.

    "On the way out there, Joe's buddy Tony picked me up from JingleTown [studio], since I didn't want to drive as I knew I'd be drinking. On the hour-long trip out (Saturday traffic to San Francisco), he was telling me some pretty awesome stories about growing up in the ''70s. You see, Tony was a teenager in 1975, and used to go the famous San Francisco venue Winterland. Winterland was before my time, but being part of the scene you heard the legend, the stories and the history.

    "Tony is a big BLACK SABBATH fan, saw them back in '75 on the 'Sabotage' tour and said it was a life-changing experience. Him and his buddies used to go to Winterland, load up on LSD, cigarettes, and weed, and go watch pretty much the cream of the crop of classic rock bands. TED NUGENT, SABBATH, DEEP PURPLE, JOURNEY, MONTROSE, you name it, he went and saw it. The shows would start and if people loved the opening band (essentially cheering non-stop) they'd get to do encores. He was telling me about a show JOURNEY (the opener!), killed it, and they got 4 encores, the support band got 4 encores! Then the headliner, MONTROSE, got 5 ENCORES! MONTROSE didn't stop playing until 2:30 in the morning, everyone stayed, no one would even dare consider leaving and people experienced some of the best music of their lives.

    "An opener getting encores, crazy…

    "And the venue allowed things like this to happen. The venue just kept the bands rolling.

    "Not only that, but all of the shows at Winterland were $4.50.

    "4 dollars and 50 cents…..18 freakin' quarters!

    "Wow…?!?

    "All I could think of was 'what an amazing time for music.'

    "People wonder why the 'classic rock' bands were so good. They were playing by their own rules, and they had a culture of venues and people around that were as crazy and fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants as the bands themselves. The promoters around that time did anything to make the bands happy and if it meant playing all goddamn night? Let 'em!

    "I tell you right now, though, there isn't a band out there who would play til 2:30 a.m. nowadays, let alone find a major venue that would even ALLOW such a thing.

    "I remember when I first started going to /playing thrash shows, it was a very similar thing. It was no rules, no security, no safety, no curfews, and for the most part anything went!
    Venues these days are mostly run with union workers. In most major cities, you have to take breaks during the day, where a band can't even sound check for an hour because the union workers need a 'break.' Nowadays if you play 1 minute past 11 p.m. at any of the large union venues, it costs the band $1,000 dollars a minute. When we were out with METALLICA playing arenas they regularly play 20 minutes past 11:00 p.m., and they regularly paid $20,000 to do so.

    "I went and saw PEARL JAM about a month ago, and they played one of the best, most truly rock 'n' roll shows I've seen in eons. It was fucking magical, Eddie Vedder drank 3 bottles of wine, and about 2 hours into the set, he started getting a little sloppy, forgetting lyrics, missing cues, it looked like it was about to fall off the rails. The band then they took a quick break and he came back and played 'Black'.

    "Let me tell you, it was magic! I'm getting goose bumps writing this, just remembering it. It was such a turn-around; it totally took the night to an even higher level. At this point they were already 45 minutes past 11. They played several more songs and eventually the Oakland Arena (currently called the Oracle Arena, until some different stupid corporate sponsor buys it and changes it to something ridiculous like Florida's 1-800-Ask Gary Amphitheater) turned on the house lights, signaling them to stop. PEARL JAM said 'fuck you!' and played 2 more songs with the house lights on! Eddie Vedder then brought the band back out onstage to do an extra-long goodbye to the crowd. I love their fucking attitude.

    "In the end, they played 70 minutes over 'curfew' and I'd imagine left Oakland about $70,000 dollars lighter to do so. Of course PEARL JAM can afford it, and frankly it gave every single person there one of the best shows of their life. But this gesture to keep the 'room' in a good mood in conjunction with the Winterland conversation, it got me thinking.

    "Shit has changed.

    "On the one hand, I love PEARL JAM's 'fuck you, were doing it our way' attitude, and on the other hand, it angered and depressed me.

    "Only the METALLICAs and PEARL JAMs can pull things like this. Bands that have sold millions of records, and they can afford it.

    "If MACHINE HEAD tried playing an hour over curfew at say, the House Of Blues in Dallas, Texas, we'd be walking out of there with our entire guarantee eaten up. Even if the fans wanted it, some venue would do their best to shut it down, cut power, close curtain, whatever.

    "The music business has sucked the life out of creativity. No one is encouraged to take risks, no one is encouraged to push the envelope, because it's all about first-week sales! It's about pointless radio play and how good your last tour went. How venues and promoters are squeezing the last drop of spontaneity out of your soul by not 'allowing' you to playing past curfew and not drawing outside the line.

    "When we play that game, we essentially applaud mediocrity.

    "There's nothing dangerous about music these days, there's nothing surprising about it either. There can't be. Other than PEARL JAM, the only 'band' that doesn't seem to really give a flying fuck and plays by their own rules isn't really a band at all, are they? Axl and the ROSES are known for bending the rules and telling the powers that be to 'fuck off,' but because their band is so confusing they come across as a joke. But people don't see this. People don't see any of this!

    "And the reason you don't care is because it's too easy to get sucked into your phone, or your Facebook, or your Twitter, or your Tumblr, or your Instagram, or your games, or your TV shows.

    "Music isn't important anymore. Say it is all you want, but the fact is, the 2 biggest rock records of last year only sold 400,000 copies, neither even went gold.

    "Music is in the background of a game. Why go to a show when you can watch clips of it on YouTube and bitch about how it stinks live?

    "And you know what, I miss music being important! I miss live shows being important. I miss feeling a part of something that was so high on my list I'd crawl through broken glass to get it.

    "All this technology we have now that's supposed to make us 'connected?' It's making me feel more fucking disconnected than ever. I mean watching all the things that other people are doing that I'm not invited to or even a apart of? And yet at the same time completely disgusted by faux-self-importance it has given everyone, (here's my dog or cat for the millionth time, here's a selfie for the millionth time, here's my kids for the millionth time, here' the food I'm eating for the millionth time, here's what I'm doing and you're not). Don't you wish you were eating what I'm eating?

    "Fuck you!

    I've thought of tweeting or Facebooking something so many time and just went, 'who cares', why should anyone care about this, and you SHOULDN'T care.

    "You're all my 'friends,' you've all 'liked' me, but really, you're not my friends, because we don't know each other. You took a photo of me, or you interviewed me, or we talked after a show. And after you get past the initial coolness, of re-connecting with someone from high school on Facebook or Twitter, you realize you truly have drifted apart.

    "And fuckin' A, I'm glad we did.

    "I don't want to be 'friends' with everyone; I don't want to be 'liked' by everyone. I want to feel connected to something. And nothing I look at in the music business does that. I don't get radio bands; I don't get any of these fucking 'scene bands.' I don't get bands singing about how great being American is, as if the geographic location you were born, (and had zero control over in any way shape or form), somehow makes us better than any other geographical place of birth!?

    "I don't get why people don't want to see live music anymore, I don't get it. Did you see the clip of Hetfield talking about how America needs to start 'wanting' music again? This is James 'Fucking' Hetfield talking, people! Didn't those words do anything to anyone? Didn't what he said make you feel a bit disgusted? I'm a METALLICA fan and those words being spoken kind of stung a bit.

    "You can bitch all you want that MACHINE HEAD only does festival tours and only plays for 30 minutes, but all those bands (including us) that play festival tours, can't draw squat when were not on festival tours. And even the big metal festivals are having troubles. Maybe the days of bands touring is coming to an end? Bands didn't always tour, you know, Mozart didn't hit the road for a year or 2 back in the day. Touring is really a phenomenon of the last 60 years or so. People didn't always buy records, or CDs, or files, or streams, that's also a phenomenon of the last 60 or 70 years.

    "I don't get the political fucking correctness of music anymore.

    "I don't get the narrow-mindedness of the world anymore.

    "I don't get people asking me every week to try and write 'more like 'Burn My Eyes', please.'

    "I don't get religious nutjobs who think that when they die they're going to 72 virgins when they get to heaven. ('You're guaranteed to get some pussy in the afterlife, boys,' so obviously written by a man!)

    "I don't get religious fucking nutjobs who think that Jesus is coming back soon, wearing a white, blood-stained robe (stained with the blood of his enemies…whoever those are) and will be carrying a sword, and by 'sword,' the bible meant an AR-15!

    "What did Napoleon say? 'Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.'

    "I don't get why we need to hear 'America The Beautiful' and 'thank a soldier' in a TV commercial, 22 and 14 times respectively during the Superbowl.

    "I don't fucking get it.

    "You don't care about music, and I don't care about music, and I sit here wondering if this feeling is a result of the business itself, or is the business a result of our own apathy towards music.

    I feel lost.

    "I feel alone.

    "Something has to change.

    "Someone has to stir the pot.

    "Something needs to come along and wake us up out of the slumber."


    Read more at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/mac...OoUJKxRr8zi.99
    Little Dreamer

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk CaboChris's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 10:18 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Dreamer View Post
    All this technology we have now that's supposed to make us 'connected?' It's making me feel more fucking disconnected than ever. I mean watching all the things that other people are doing that I'm not invited to or even a apart of? And yet at the same time completely disgusted by faux-self-importance it has given everyone, (here's my dog or cat for the millionth time, here's a selfie for the millionth time, here's my kids for the millionth time, here' the food I'm eating for the millionth time, here's what I'm doing and you're not). Don't you wish you were eating what I'm eating?

    "Fuck you!
    Faux-self importance?

    Says the guy bitching about all of this on his own blog.

    I agree with a lot of what he says but I think it may be time for him to ponder trying something else with his life, if he's that angry about the state of music.

    Btw, Machine Head sucks.

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 03:35 PM
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    The blog started off good then spiraled into the toilet. He did say he was in a shitty mood. I was a teen in the 70s and all the stuff he said was pretty true about bands back then. The whole thing was a huge party and the fans were part of it. Encores,jams,guests sitting in spontaneously it all happened I saw it. Magical times to be a teen back then and into music.
    EVH 1979: Well, actually it's not much of a vacation, because we run everything ourselves. We design our own album cover, we have to be in the office every day to sign checks - the whole corporation revolves around us. Nothing can be done without our approval. We even have photo approval.

  4. #4
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 07:40 PM
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    I do agree with a lot of what he said - not entirely what I was expecting him to say, but I do agree with a lot of it

    What were the two biggest selling rock records last year?

    1-800-Ask Gary has yet another name, forget what it is - think I saw it in the KISS thread!

  5. #5
    Atomic Punk Dave's Dreidel's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 09:31 PM
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    Bands bitching about people not coming to shows is somewhat humorous to me.

    Maybe if it wasn't a fucking car payment to go see a show, maybe more of us would go?

    I know I would go more, but spending over a $100 bucks for a show, it is going to have to be one of my favorite bands.

    I'm not spending $100+ to go see a fat, drunk Vince Neil waddle around on stage for Motley Crue. Or watch two guys pretend to be Peter Criss and Ace Frehley. Etc. Etc.

    Make the fucking ticket prices reasonable, and maybe more people will go out and support bands.
    Taylor Swift is nice to look at. Adele can sing.

    Emperor Brett - "I can't believe you guys are analyzing song-by-song Van Halen III? What next, analyzing the script of Stroker Ace looking for some shred of Citizen Kane?"

    David Lee Roth did the impossible. He made Van Halen better. Deal with it!

    Preferred pronouns: he/him/his

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  6. #6
    Baluchitherium
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    11.25.17 @ 04:30 AM
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    Default Robb Flynn: Music isn't important anymore!

    Tech matters now, not music. Even the movie industry is on a downhill slope. When kids grow up, they wanna be Mark Zuckerberg, not Eddie Van Halen.

    Know what IS big right now? Television. Game Of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Sopranos, True Detective, etc...all these shows that you'd never find on network TV. This is huge. This is the new music business.
    Last edited by Metal Marc; 03.19.14 at 11:49 AM.

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  7. #7
    Good Enough JakeK21's Avatar
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    10.26.15 @ 12:38 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy007 View Post
    I do agree with a lot of what he said - not entirely what I was expecting him to say, but I do agree with a lot of it

    What were the two biggest selling rock records last year?

    1-800-Ask Gary has yet another name, forget what it is - think I saw it in the KISS thread!
    According to this, Artic Monkeys' AM and Jake Bugg's debut album were the best selling rock records last year.

    http://www.officialcharts.com/chart-...-of-2013-2708/
    Last edited by JakeK21; 03.19.14 at 05:31 PM.

  8. #8
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    12.13.17 @ 06:22 PM
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    This guy kinda flies off the rails in the last quarter of his bit but I can relate to what he's saying. I too started seeing shows in the last half of the 70's and yeah, it was an entirely different experience than it is now. But addressing this specific point, there's a number of things that I actually prefer thanks to technology and other more human aspects about going to concerts these days.

    First off, there's a lot to be said about not missing the overnight campouts in places like the Forum parking lot or outside a Tower Records with a couple hundred other fans only to still get a shitty "random" number in line or worse, a great number but still mysteriously still get horrible seats. Nine times out of ten, I'd simply go through a ticket agency or a scalper, pay the (often huge) premium and go to the show I wanted to see and sit where I wanted.

    Now, through TM online and because of tiered pricing or better, knowing how most sales work (waiting 'til the last few days before a show for a ticket dump), I can pretty reliably get the kind of seats I want. I'm not saying the system is better now or any more fair, but as a fer instance, in 1985 I paid an agency $500 for a pair of front row seats to Bruce Springsteen at the LA Coliseum and just a few years ago I paid $60 for a floor GA ticket for Springsteen at the next door Sports Arena and wound up in the pit about 20 feet from the stage. From a technical standpoint, most shows I see these days sound infinitely better than shows I caught in the 70's and 80's, even in the same old venues (well, except Staples Arena which is always going to be a giant echo chamber if you're more than 100 feet from the stage).

    As for the concert experience itself, yeah, handhelds have definitely put a barrier between performer and audience in the last 10 years. Yeah, the smell of pot is a rare thing at a show now, it's no longer a thing to be proud of if you get incredibly fucked up at a show and drive home afterwords. But a good band plus a good audience can still result in high energy level and a lot of fun whether a big arena or a stuffy House Of Blues club.

    I remember the last two Van Halen shows I caught in 2012 at Staples, there were scores of people running up the floor isle to the front barrier to have selfies taken of themselves with the band performing mere feet behind them onstage like props. It was really weird and kind of a comment on how self absorbed people have become.

    The thing is, as a fan of live music and the dwindling number of great bands that are still plugging away, you just have to roll with it and realize that we're now *that* generation and enjoy what's still out there. The other, perhaps tougher thing to realize is that it can't be 1984 forever.
    Last edited by T.B.; 03.19.14 at 06:55 PM.

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk Little Dreamer's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 11:33 AM
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    I think his main point of music not being important is valid, and a huge bummer.
    IMO, music is the most important thing out there. More important than TV, movies and facebook. It's the highest art form. And I'm sad this opinion is not shared by more people.
    Little Dreamer

  10. #10
    Sinner's Swing! Darkstar's Avatar
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    12.04.14 @ 11:23 PM
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    I remember when I was in my teens they used to have this 2 day concert called Lost Lid Boogie every year in this little nothing town called Unity that's right next to my town. It's out in the sticks....dirt roads to get there but there is this enormous hillside of rolling fields where they used to have the show. The property owners would rent it out every year and make big bucks just on parking. Bands like Aerosmith, Thin Lizzy, Molly Hatchet and others would come and play there. People would come from far and wide to see this thing every year. A high school buddy of mine lived out there and his dad had property next to the fields that he used to open up for parking, he'd charge like $10 a car and make a pile of cash. I'd spent the weekend there and my buddy and I would help his dad with the parking. The whole weekend was nothing but nonstop debauchery.....the smell of weed so thick you got high just breathing, booze in amounts I haven't seen since, people just randomly having sex here and there in the woods while others are walking by......The bands would play until 2-3 in the morning and nobody cared. It was crazy but everyone had a great time and somehow all got along and nobody got hurt.....now I ride my ATV pass those same fields sometimes and remember those concerts and think how sad it is now in todays world you couldn't even do anything remotely close to that and get away with it unless you were willing to spend a fortune for all the permits, regulation, ordinances, and have to worry about all the people who would try to sue you for something afterwards.....sometimes I really do miss the good ole days!
    Last edited by Darkstar; 03.19.14 at 11:00 PM.
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  11. #11
    Atomic Punk Little Dreamer's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 11:33 AM
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    And people who complain that shows are expensive - they are. But bands have to charge more since they don't sell records anymore. The only way out of this if artists are able to get more from streaming services like Spotify.
    Little Dreamer

 

 

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