Be Careful Drinking The Kool-Aid
September 7, 2012
Are you tired yet of reading obits on some of your favorite singers and songwriters? I know I am. That band in heaven just keeps getting more talent ... In the last seven days, two of the greatest lyricists in modern popular music died: Hal David and Joe South.
A few dozen of the most memorable songs in my life's iPod/jukebox were created by those rare talents. Stop and read or listen closely to the pictures those guys painted with their songs. Haunting images, wonderfully painted musical pictures. I don't think they ran in the same circles, but Joe did beat Hal one Winter night when "The Games People Play" beat out "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" for Song of the Year at the Grammys.
I was lucky enough to see Mr. David perform his hits for a Tin Pan South event at TPAC Nashville one Spring. He brought in his piano player and started singing and talking about his hits. Amazing catalog.
Joe South was invited and presented a rare performance for a daytime show I produced at WSMV-TV Nashville. In the '80s, he had run away from the business and was testing the waters for a return. He was shy and unsure. He brought in that 12-string Danelectro and I knew every song (just about) in his catalog. I helped him through rehearsal and it was great. And Joe sang:
"People walking up to ya, singing glory hallelujah, and they try to sock it to ya in the name of the Lord ... They're gonna teach you how to meditate ... read your horoscope and cheat your wait ... and furthermore the Hell we hate, so better get on board..."
He had a way with words ... a unique view of life and the folks around us. He was real. Hal David sang about things he knew or thought he did. Wouldn't you like to have a buck every time someone said or sang , "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" I hoped they both knew how appreciated they were and what joy they brought millions around the world.
The CMA New York trip I hope was worth it. If the NY people won't come down for you, then you must go up for them, I guess.
DNC week and NFL opening week. Sounds like a bad time to try to get someone's attention. Snoop Dog's nomination is in an actual Country song. Kelly Clarkson got in how? Didn't quite get where the voters were going on that one.
Remember if you drink the award show Kool Aid, inevitably they will poison you. You get a little on the not-so-fresh-and-new side and boom, they will push you aside for something new. Sell a million tickets last year? Who cares that's not what the label agenda is. Whether you are an "Idol" winner or million ticket seller,you can't stop long to drink from that award show well. It's not healthy.
Saw a big star very emotional the first night he ever started LOSING on award show night. I will never forget that image. I keep that memory to myself but never forgot it. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Clichés burst forth. Ending with only way way to go from the top of the mountain ... down!
If I ever need a defense attorney, will you please hire Bill Clinton! That man could sell ice to the Eskimos!
I love Kellie Pickler and send voodoo dolls to the radio know-it-alls who worked against her music. She is a diamond of a young woman. Character, class, beauty and, yes, I'm sure stubborn and a handful. Somebody get this woman a HIT and try it one more time. This is a special one.
How about that Eric Church? Found the secret formula and ka-boom. Good for him. He's another one who took a little while to find the brass ring, but he did find it! Go watch that party crowd, loving his music. He might not be for everyone, but like Aldean, that audience is growing -- and growing very quickly! Look out 2013.
The finish line for 2012 is over the horizon. Still a ways to go, but this next pre-election time is going to be rock and roll! Fasten your seat belts for emotion and surprise. 2012's script is still in rewrite. Hold on for the last act!