The Musically Dead

Eight minutes and fifty-seven seconds.

That was the length of Guns N’ Roses massive 1991 hit song November Rain. We loved the epic song and the much more versatile video and might also have been able to sequence each scene in our minds even before the video came on screen (and probably can still do!), but we didn’t know that the video was eight minutes and fifty-seven seconds. We knew that it was long, but we didn’t know exactly how much (that we learn from online video services like YouTube). But did we mind that we were ignorant about the length of the song?

No, we were not. Because those were the great old days of MTV. Even though the channel is still around in India and in most parts of the world, the ‘M’ that used to stand for Music has now dropped down to zero music played on the channel. We were entertained, hummed along to the tunes, without having lyrics.com or Google help us to decipher the heavy Americanized accent. But we didn’t care.

We didn’t care when we sang “We are going to eat pizza”, only to later learn that the girl was headed to Ibiza and it had nothing to do with food. We used to rewind, pause, write, play, and then redo the whole action again when we wanted to jot down the lyrics to Richard Marx’s Hazard, nearly scratching the tape in the process or out gun the number of clicks the C.D player button had been programmed to take.

But we turned to the music, because music made us happy.

And while the older generation berated us on our choice of loud, cross dressed and fast talking ‘colored’ men (it was called rap in those days and not ‘hip hop’), we still tuned in picking up the styles and the dreamed that we too would have a band like The Wonders that would one day be seen on TV.

Maybe it’s the fast paced world that has left us with very little time to plonk ourselves in front on the idiot box, but reality, like that sung by The Buggles is that after Video Killed the Radio Star, it is now the turn of Music itself to slowly move into oblivion. Don’t get me wrong, music has always been around and stood the test of time and will continue to do so; it’s just the traditional way of arranging music that is changing. Music is now manufactured and not played in the way that it used to be with a traditional band made up of a drummer, bassist, lead/ rhythm guitarist, keyboardist to name a few key members. With Auto tune and various other software’s, people with hardly any musical inclination are ‘making music’ which is mostly nothing but various sounds merged to form notes that defy the very definition of the term music. The so called music, heavy with bass undertones and ‘drops’ are fed to a perennially ‘high’ generation that trips on the sounds that seem to have escaped from a dying cat.

Gone are the grand guitar riffs, the piano solos, the heavy thump of the bass drum and the tingling snare, along with a voice that could make the Sultans of Swing tap their feet and make you miss wearing Black Velvet.

The essential point is that artificially produced sounds are replacing the good old instruments. One now doesn’t need any skill to play live on stage. The entire ‘set’ can be pre-recorded and no one would ever know the difference. It’s good to see music evolve

In February of 2018, news that the iconic American guitar company Gibson, faced bankruptcy filled the news headlines. Many teenagers would not even know or care that after 116 years in the music business the company decided to shut down a couple of its factories due to low demand for its instruments. Log into YouTube and check how many ‘bands’ actually play their own music. Even popular rock acts like Imagine Dragons and Maroon 5 are slowly moving to synthesized sounds. How many of our younger generation know to hold, forget, play a guitar or a drum?

With the advent of VIVEO, the music video industry will certainly still be around but will the full ensemble band slowly fade in a Blaze of Glory?

P.S: to listen to some real and wholesome music search the artist known as Passenger (the link to his latest song is mentioned below)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZA8pkDxGOg

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The Holy Rhapsody

What is a Rhapsody?

According to experts, it is an effusively enthusiastic or ecstatic expression of feeling, an epic poem, or part of a poem.

And as I sat in office one day listening to Freddie Mercury, the late front man of the British Rock group, Queen belting out their operatic masterpiece, Bohemian Rhapsody my mind latched onto another classic situation. In history, few things exist that can be even more epic that the final hours of Jesus Christ. I don’t know if the multi-talented Freddie Mercury actually wrote the lyrics of his song keeping in mind this great man or it was just coincidence. But if spun around the song really has the potential to tell the tale of the man who died for our sins (in an operatic environment that is!)

In the hope of not being branded a heretic, my disclaimer is that the following is taken in with an open mind and a light hearted attitude!

Jesus: To his Disciples

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see
I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
Because I’m easy come, easy go
A little high, little low
Anyway the wind blows, doesn’t really matter to me, to me

Judas Iscariot: Confessing to his mother about killing Jesus (metaphorically)

Mama, just killed a man
Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger, now he’s dead
Mama, life had just begun
But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away
Mama, ooo
Didn’t mean to make you cry
If I’m not back again this time tomorrow
Carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters

Jesus: To his Disciples and Mother Mary

Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine
Body’s aching all the time
Goodbye everybody I’ve got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama, ooo (anyway the wind blows)
I don’t want to die
I sometimes wish I’d never been born at all

The High Priests and the Elders: Condemning Jesus

I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouch, scaramouch will you do the fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning very very frightening me
Gallileo, Gallileo,
Gallileo, Gallileo,
Gallileo Figaro – magnifico

Jesus: In his defense

But I’m just a poor boy and nobody loves me

Disciples: Trying to fight to save Jesus from persecution
He’s just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity
Easy come easy go will you let me go

Heretics condemning Jesus
Bismillah! No we will not let you go – let him go
Bismillah! We will not let you go – let him go
Bismillah! We will not let you go let me go
Will not let you go let me go (never)
Never let you go let me go
Never let me go ooo
No, no, no, no, no, no, no

Judas: in a fit of madness
Oh mama mia, mama mia, mama mia let me go
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me
For me
For me

Jesus: To the Roman people who let him down

So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye
So you think you can love me and leave me to die
Oh, can’t do this to me
Just gotta get out just gotta get right outta here

Ooh yeah, ooh yeah
Nothing really matters
Anyone can see
Nothing really matters nothing really matters to me

Anyway the wind blows

 

So, would you still see the song in the way it was reported to be about a man fighting his demons after committing an accidental murder or see it in this modern avatar to an age old tale?