Friday, December 05, 2014

A book claims Jesus Christ was married with two children. Can you imagine the pressure on those two kids during their mom’s Christmas letter?
“Happy My Husband’s birthday. 
Jesus Junior continues to struggle with his water-walking, but, his dad is a patient coach, so we remain hopeful. Our youngest, Carl, is showing some promise in being able to change the flavor of his juice box from cherry to grape.”

Since you asked:
One of the fascinating things about rock stars and the music business is how many different aspects of talent is required and how easily things can go wrong. 
Just listen to the Rolling Stones song, "Country Honk." Keith Richards insisted on doing a country song in honor of the passing of his good friend, Graham Parsons. It's too corny, but OK.
Somebody suggested they turn it into a rock song and out came "Honky Tonk Woman." 
A great song that almost never happened.
How many people are great musicians, great singers, great performers, great recording artists and great song writers? It is a short list. 
Now add to that list great song selectors. That is where a good producer means so much. When Glyn Jons produced the Eagles, the Stones had made him cranky, so no drugs in the studio. He made the Eagles what they were. A great American guitar band with incredible harmonies. 
So they fired him. Yes, they then came out with "One of These Nights" and "Hotel California". But they also came out with "The Long Run." Some OK, "I Can't Tell You Why" Mostly forgettable, "Heartache Tonight." Some downright awful, "Disco Strangler" and "Greeks Don't Want No Freaks."
Just because a song got written and recorded does not mean it makes the album. Paul McCartney and John Lennon became the leaders of the Beatles. Now and then they would throw George Harrison a bone with "Here comes the Sun" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."
But mostly they chose their songs.
When the Beatles broke up, George Harrison recorded the smash double-album, "All Things Must Pass" out of the songs Lennon and McCartney rejected. 
The main reason the Eagles broke up was the bitterness between Don Felder and Glenn Frey over not letting Felder sing the lead on his song, "Victim of Love." Felder was hurt and pissed and never forgave Frey. 

Felder said Frey began treating him is if he was just a sideman. And this is the guy who wrote all of the music for the song "Hotel California."
Part of the demise of rock stars is because their ego gets as big as their bank account, they believe they are all things to all people. Producer, writer, singer, lead guitarist. 
Look at Paul McCartney and Wings for crying-out-loud. Wings was nothing short of a huge musical embarrassment. With the exception of the classic icon, "Imagine" same goes for Lennon's solo stuff.
One of Glenn Frey's solo albums, "The Allnighter" got two stars out of five from "Rolling Stone." And those stars were for the songs mostly written by Jack Tempchin and J.D. Souther. (In fairness, the Eagles and the punk-rock-loving writers at "Rolling Stone" were always at odds)

Don Henley once did a little whining in a "Rolling Stone" interview on how hard it is to be a rock star. Sure, 9-5 jobs have their challenges, but they get to leave it at the office. Poor little rock stars are rock stars 24/7. 

Boo freaking hoo.

Henley went on to throw gas on the fire by describing how, that day,  he had to go and get a tape recorder fixed, get his BMW tuned, pick up his laundry, and buy some new drum gear. It took up the whole damn day. 

Frey described a typical day while writing their third album "On the Border"  as getting up late in his beautiful Laural Canyon, 360 degree view house from a boozy poker game. Head downhill into his manager's office on Sunset Blvd. and read his fan mail and listen to the little ball of hate, Irving Azoff, scream and generally make people miserable on the phone. Then head out to the Cock and Bull for a burger and beers. 

Then back up to the top of the Cold Water Mountain plush bachelor pad to smoke pot, play piano and guitar and write lyrics. Then some blow and basketball followed by catered food.

Back down the mountain for some serious boozing at the bar at the Troubador. And then pasta and wine at Dan Tana's. 

Back up the mountain home for more blow and then another all-night poker game, complete with hired escorts in the bedroom and handcuffed to the towel racks in the bathroom. 

Not exactly breaking rocks, is it? 

Somewhere Elton John decided to stop making "Tiny Dancer" and "Funeral for a Friend" and wrote exclusively "The Lion King" type Disney songs. Suddenly he became kind of a grand old queen and his songs sound like it. 

Tom Petty put it well when he said one day he is a struggling musician and then, when he was 26, a check showed up in the mail for $250,000. 

That is a recipe for disaster.