Why bands reform.... Filthy Lucre
Forget what you know. Forget all the crap you’ve been fed by the NME/Melody Maker and all their ilk, about whose cool, whose not, whose hip, whose not. Forget that the definition of indie has been diluted into nothing more than white boys with guitars playing stadiums and feeling persecuted, man. Forget the wicked lies and all the shite they say.
The current crop of Indie stars – and you know whom I’m talking about here – are basically braindead morons, ugly on the inside. Misanthropic, talentless fools with no vision. Stand up Kelly Jones, stand up Billy, stand up Liam. These people have devalued ‘indie’ – which stands for independent by the way – into a form of ‘cool’ conformity. ‘Indie’ has been diluted and debased to cover all manner of terrible music crimes, and so that we feel like we’re all rebels. Bollocks. If the best we can manage is crap like Coldplay and Toploader, the products of the three minute attention span generation, I make no apologies for wanting to return to my youth when music actually had content and mattered. Coldplay, Toploader, and their ilk and all the products of the weak sperm of unthinking TV-dripfed fools. You can disagree with me if you like, but you’re wrong, you’ll always be wrong, and there’s nothing you can do to change that.
As magazines fall off the face of the earth, tied forever into chasing acts who shift ‘units’ to shift papers, the vision contracts intro nothingness. There is only one choice now – NME. They become self-appointed arbiters of cool. And this week you are being told to like American bands with tattoos and dodgy facial hair, going under names such as “Third World Hate Club” and “Queens Of The Stone Age”, playing stadiums with inflatable robots, proclaiming that nobody understands them, that everything is fcuked up, and that the biggest currency is hatred, pathetic self-loathing, and then retiring to their mansions whilst running their multimedia empire of film, music, and t-shirts. Next week, by the way, you’re being asked to like visionless thoughtless imbeciles with names like the “Stereophonics” and producing instrumental albums of self-pitying codswallop.
Forget all of this crap, and open your ears to music that’s actually good. These days the market is targeted at people who can make decisions no more complicated than to choose Pokemon or Westlife.
Records are no more than advertisements for the maker – to ensure that Ronan or Elton or whoever makes the papers and stays famous. Hoping to grin inanely and not actually say anything. Mute heroes are the best kind – question nothing, stay asleep.
Every band reforms. The Sex Pistols did it, to get the money. The Happy Mondays did it, to get the money. It wasn’t reforming as in “we’re good now”. It was reforming, like processed meat. Offcuts thrown together to create a plausible whole. What’s left of the Happy Mondays shows just how desperate Shaun Ryder is to pay his tax bill – the last show they played just featured the original drummer and a comatose singer, with a last minute substitute Bez in a hockey mask (a grinning talentless lucky moron if there ever was one), no Rowetta, a last minute stand in bassist from the Seahorses, the keyboard player from the Farm, and the guitarist from the Paris Angels. Oh dear. Ever feel like you’ve been cheated?
Where can you go after you’ve gathered up all the loose ends and restarted the cash cow to pay the tax bill? Well there’s two ways of doing it. Firstly, a shoddy cheap greatest hits album, with the worst versions of the best songs thrown in a bag and jumbled around. Then you suck Satan’s pecker, ring up your mates, and form a band. If you can’t get any original members, just ring up some session muscians. Use the original name, and hope nobody realises you’re a prostitute and a joke. Stand up Shaun Ryder. Some people don’t care too much as long as they can hear the songs again, and some people don’t care just so long as they’ve got an autocue and a paycheck.
Or you reform the band. Properly. Of course, every band splits up for a reason and often there’s a personality difference in there, so not everybody wants (or is wanted) to return to the fold.
The bottom line is some bands should never reform, like processed meat. Others should do it, but then again, only if they do it for love - with passion, wit, vitality, and wildly differings etlists every night. To see your heroes trotting out old songs in a karaoke style off an autocue to pay a tax bill isn't just sad, it's an insult and shows them as nothing more than wage slaves, clocking in for another day on another stage for another paycheck.
Don't do it.