And during the few moments we have left, we want to talk right down to earth in a language that everybody here can easily understand.
In case you didn’t notice, I went back in the MP3 collection this week and dusted off my Living Colour files where they were sitting right between Live and Liz Phair. I’d rather have told you it was sitting between Little Walter and Lone Justice, but my hard drive is a stickler for alphabetization and I cannot tell a lie. Did you ever pretend that all your CD’s were houses on the same street and wonder what the neighborhood would be like if the artists lived there in the same order? Maybe I should find some friends and get out more often.
After being told that he was not roit at all for OBINXS our buddy Ty Taylor threw out the following controversial statement: “It hurts me a little, that as a people that I belong to, that we’re not appreciated enough in rock and roll, that I can put out the performances that I put out and wind up in the bottom three for this many weeks because I know what I did and so that it hurts me and I can’t pretend that I don’t know why it is.”
Let’s break that down. We’ll assume that he means African-Americans by “a people” for this discussion. If I’m wrong, just substitute Rob Halford for any subsequent artists mentioned and we should be back on track. We’ll also assume that by rock and roll he means traditional rock/pop and not soul, hip-hop, R&B or rap. I’m not a self-professed music historian, but I realize there are shared threads between the genres. I also realize that INXS never has and never will end up on any soul, hip-hop, R&B or rap charts unless the record company screws up and accidentally sticks them in 50 Cent (the artist, not the denomination) cases by mistake.
His first claim is that blacks aren’t appreciated enough in rock and roll. If he’s talking about the guys that invented it, I think he’s got a case. But I have a feeling he wasn’t. I’m neither black nor a rocker, so maybe I’m talking out my ass here but in my perspective it’s a numbers game based on cultural influences. Most little white dudes grew up listening to Zeppelin or Metallica or Pearl Jam or Green Day, so when they pick up a guitar or decide they want to sing they emulate these bands instead of Prince and the Revolution. I’m guessing these bands don’t top the playlists in predominantly black neighborhoods, so there exists a whole different set of influences. Record companies are the whores, not Sweet Brooke. If you can rock and they can make a buck off you, I don’t think they are going to shun you just because you’re black. Living Colour went multi-platinum and won a Grammy. Lenny Kravitz still gets airplay and sells outs venues and has nice hair. Jimi Hendrix is still revered by the masses.
I didn’t see those American Idol knuckleheads Bo or Constantine cry about how lame white rocker guys are not appreciated enough in the Top 40. In fact, I think Paula would love Ty. A little work on the ab-roller and she’d probably even invite him over to share the hot tub. He’d be a star on AI… he just wandered into the wrong audition. Don’t worry, it happens all the time. Jessica was supposed to be on Big Brother and went to the wrong house. Brandon was just starting his Queer Eye makeover when he made a wrong turn on the way to the spa to get his ass waxed.
A nice segue to why Ty can’t pretend he doesn’t know why he’s been in the bottom three. I’m assuming the implication here is that he’s in the bottom three because he’s black. And there’s a bunch of wild-eyed southern boys running around with rebel flags juiced up on moonshine and meth hellbent on making restitution for the appalling ousting of one Brandon Calhoun. I’m not denying there’s racism out there, but I hope someone outside the mansion can explain to Ty that positioning oneself as a soul singer is not the best way to win a competition for a dance rock band. Even white people hate Michael Boulton.
Back in college some rasta-type guys showed up at our party and we started talking music. This was before Joe Piscopo quit SNL to invent the internet, so lots of times you found out about new music from rasta-type guys at parties. I took their sage advice and bought my first Bad Brains album and still have my copy of Rock for Light on vinyl to this day. A fine mix of hardcore punk and reggae. So what’s the point? If Ty truly thinks he’s a rocker at heart, then he needs to find some rasta-type guys to put him on the right path… and a Bad Brains album couldn’t hurt. And if the rock thing doesn't work out, I imagine that Andrew Ridgeley is still looking for a partner.
I hope they address Ty’s speech on the show this week instead of pretending it doesn’t exist like the whacked out relative that every family has. I’m not getting my hopes up, but I’d hate to set a precedent and have to hear Jordis talk about how Tongans aren’t appreciated enough in rock and roll. Then MiG’s speech on how Filipinos aren’t appreciated enough in rock and roll. This might be a good time to tell him he’s adopted if that’s the case.
Did you notice that after Ty gave his speech, Andrew stood up and said, “Ty, this is Andrew” like they were on the phone or something and he had to identify himself? Very strange. Maybe Ty got them mixed up when he called them all by name the same way he mixed up the lyrics. But I’ll leave with this final advice. Ty, this is Sid. Lord loves a workin’ man, don’t trust whitey, and see a doctor and get rid of it.
Bonus Download: Bad Brains – I Against I
Bonus Link: In case you missed it, the Trib has a reporter that seems to be obsessed with Marty... which is cool since you can read these stories if you already haven't.