I’m Not There
When people talk about the struggles of the concert industry (and many other show-business endeavors), they often blame the competition created by the growing amount of entertainment options available. What they mean is, people aren’t going out because they prefer the comforts of laying on the couch and watching TV, playing on the computer or spending 36 hours straight obsessing over Angry Birds. You’ve likely had friends constantly make excuses for not going to a concert with you (“Sorry, there’s a Facts of Life marathon on the Hallmark Channel”). Now, even the performers are looking for ways of getting out of going to concerts — even their own! Theatrical Rock legend Alice Cooper is pulling a Princess Leia and “performing” a show in England without attending it. The London show is being called the U.K.’s “first holographic 4D rock gig,” as Cooper and his band play in Hollywood while the British concert-goers watch a multidimensional hologram transmission. Sounds like a modernized Pink Floyd laser-light show to us. Don’t feel too bad for the fans wasting money on the gimmicky event — the concert is sponsored by Jagermeister, so they won’t remember a thing.
No Kidding: NAACP Loves Rock
There are probably young people who consider Kid Rock their “favorite new Country singer” and others who’ve replaced their Molly Hatchet albums with Rock’s for the Southern Rock soundtrack to their drive to the monster truck rally. Those fans would probably be more stunned than Sidney Poitier’s horrified in-laws-to-be in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner if they saw Rock when at the start of his career. The derivative Top 40 mainstay began as a goofy, young Rap star with a towering, Kid ’n Play hi-top fade, signing to Jive Records and hanging with Too Short (instead of that dude from Creed). Perhaps it’s that version of Rock that the NAACP was thinking of when the organization decided to give him the “Great Expectations Award” at a recent fundraising dinner. The honor (given for Rock’s charitable work) created controversy, not because of Rock’s race or sucky music, but because the “American badass” has used the Confederate flag in his act. The Detroit rocker claims his affinity for what many see as a symbol of Southern racial hatred is just a tribute to his heroes, Lynyrd Skynyrd. (Also, his tank-tops are not an endorsement of literal wife-beaters.) Accepting the award, Rock pulled a Donald Trump/Jerry Maguire and declared, “I love black people.”
Sammy Hagar says he had the opportunity to ruin the legacies of several other classic Rock bands besides Van Halen’s. Hagar told Forbes Magazine that he was offered the frontman position in Motley Crue, Aerosmith and Pantera, as well as that Island of Misfit Corporate Rockers, Velvet Revolver. He claims he turned them all down, citing the irreplaceability of some of the original singers as well as the imminent implosion of a couple of the bands. He also said he wished Led Zeppelin would ask him to fill in for Robert Plant — though he’d still turn them down. So how does he justify usurping one of Rock’s greatest showmen? Hagar said nemesis David Lee Roth “wasn’t a great singer.” If he’s to be believed, Hagar could have been the reverse Forrest Gump of Rock history — instead of being the idiot who unwittingly stumbles into crucial historical moments, he’d be the idiot with the uncanny ability to join iconic Rock bands at the precise moment they decide to forgo a timeless legacy in favor of a quick buck. Sucky is as sucky does.