Thursday, January 11, 2007

We want folk singer here

My good friend Will publicly mocked my Dylan fetish on his blog a few days ago. I was relaying a rumour (now almost certainly a false one) that Dylan was releasing an album of new songs in September 2007. So I was angry at him, but he sent me an email back which quoted Simon Cowell (the “music industry guru” – © Heat Magazine and all other trashy publications of that nature) which has redeemed himself slightly in my eyes as he has given me inspiration to write a new blog topic. It was taken from a Cowell interview in Playboy Magazine. And it also proves that Will reads playboy – I wonder if his girlfriend knows and approves? If she does – well done Will, you’ve got yourself a gem worth keeping.

"If I had ten Dylans in the final of American Idol, we would not be getting 30 million viewers a week. I don't believe the Bob Dylans of this world would make American Idol a better show. Do I prefer Kelly Clarkson's music to Bob Dylan's? Yes. I've never bought a Dylan record. A singing poet? It just bores me to tears".

Now Simon Cowell is so wrong here. Music, for me and many others, is art. It makes you cry, laugh, dance and think. It moves you either physically or mentally. Simon Cowell and his Pop idol paps is not music, it is just product.

There are so many of these fantasy reality TV programmes on now that it is hard to keep up – what he has invented is a very profitable glorified karaoke contest. How much does a show like that cost to make, seriously. Rent a studio for 8 weeks and get idiots who want to be famous on TV to “sing” for free and then get the public to text in for winners, making a healthy profit at the same time. Plus you have the thousands of pounds of profit from the hyped up winners CDs which come out the day after the final, which require no marketing at all.

But what Simon forgets is that Kelly Clarkson (and other winners) just disappear after a few years – the industry has to keep producing this pap, and keep it new in order for people to keep buying. Clarkson may well sell millions of CDs, but she won’t be getting a number one when she’s 65. Who can remember these guys: Hear Say, Gareth Gates, David Sneddon, Alex Parks, Will Young or Chico? They have all disappeared from the celebrity radar, yet all won or were thereabouts in reality TV singing shows.

Simon Cowell may be all about the moulah (read $$$ for people who don’t speak Londonish) but art, passion and performance will always be more effective, touching and moving when artists like Bob Dylan grace the stage rather than clone Barbie doll glorified karoke singers. In thousands of years time the records and songs of the Beatles, Stones, Dylan, the Clash, REM, U2 or whoever will be remembered, much as the classical music of Beethoven or Mozart are today. Kelly Clarkson’s music will be forgotten. History has a snag of remembering the true great artists, Simon Cowell’s rent a drones (and himself) will be no more than a footnote in popular musical history.

Sorry had to get that off my chest. I fucking hate Simon Cowell and Poop Idol.

Talkin' New York


Will said...

Fuckin ell! Publicly mocked your Dylan fetish? Just thought it was a funny email with a decent punchline, that's all.

Oh, and the Cowell quote was taken from a music industry e-newsletter, which I think you'll find referenced at the bottom of the email.

From whence such paranoid rage, James?

James K said...

Sorry, stressful day in the office yesterday. I do apologise Will.

Check me out, if you dare