Last week the MSM was a flutter with some extraordinary news! Beyoncé had bought hubby a private jet for fathers day! The jet had a value it was alleged of $ 40 million. I had to think about that for a couple of days as to why that upset me so.
Was I jealous of the wealth of these people? Was I aghast because of the environmental implications of having private families flying around in private jets while we are told that we are polluting the world to the point of extinction? Was it both?
It turns out it was none of the above but here is what really irked me.
Let me begin with how I grew up. I was born around a decennium after the second World war. It was the radio age and while there were music hits it was still very much an age were music was a local thing. If you travelled to France the music was French. If you travelled to Yugoslavia the music was Croat or Serb and there was live music everywhere.
People played instruments and made music together and some of them tried the new and exiting music coming from the states. Blues, a bit of Soul and the crooners of the day. And one day some of these bands began to get some traction and became more known. I was still to young to go to the concert and I missed the first concert of the Beatles and the mayhem of the first concert of the Stones in Holland but I saw them on the TV we had delivered on the self same day JF Kennedy was murdered and I was hooked.
I listened to everything I could lay my hands on. I was a Stones fan and I have to confess to growing up and going through a groupie phase while singing in my own little bands. I met the most exiting musicians and while I was not the kind of girl to sleep with many of them I did get into many of the best concerts for free by merely being pretty.
Roxy Music, Alice Cooper, Rolling Stones, tou name it, I was backstage hanging at after parties. I was mentioned in the biggest English Music paper by a guy who is still a music journalist and who got me in the clubs in London where guys like Mick Jagger would hang out while I was staying in London to be with a musician I did fall in love with and I even auditioned for the role of VJ for the very first Dutch MTV station.
My claim to fame never materialised but as life went on I managed to get into the Royal Academy for Music to study classical composition and electronic music and I made music for some films before life threw me a curfball and I had to finish a model for an ad my husband who had a special affects workshop was working on. I became the workshops model maker and the rest as they say is history.
During my time as a model maker I still listened to music of course but I could never get back to that early thrill. It was only with bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam that the old excitement returned and I was truly gutted when Kurt Cobain killed himself and remembered the deaths of the other music greats I had grieved for as a teenage girl, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison.
After that only recently the death of Amy Whinehouse got to me. Her amazing talent just like that of the others who died so young did make me love music again for the duration of her short career.
But over the years as I was watching the music industry grow something changed and I became more and more concerned with what I saw and noticed around me.
First of all I noticed the greater and greater distance between music and humanity. The stars became richer, the shows became more and more elaborate. Than the shows became more and more sexualised. The Video’s became more and more explicit with videos such as Rihanna’s calling her an “illuminati slut princess” during an SM themed Video and as local music almost disappeared the themes the “Stars” sing about where getting more and more explicit and darkly themed. Political subjects which formed a large body of music in the sixties and seventies today are none existent but Satanism, Sexuality and Crassness are in together with the most superficial of love songs.
The music that makes it to the charts today is formalised and homogenised to the point of barely being able to make out the individuals performing it.
I know there are plenty of wonderful musicians still out there but they don’t make it to the charts with the exceptions of say the Black keys (hubbies favourite of the moment) for example.
Not only that! MTV and the like have a history of putting on the most hideous of Real life TV shows about the most narcissistic of people such as Paris Hilton and the Kardassians.
It is said that this is because people want to see this sort of stuff but the music industry is leaking money left right and centre and while part of that may be because of the recession it isn’t because people are happy with the music they are being presented with and the shows they are watching. Maybe the teenager of today is happy or dumbed down enough to watch the shows they put on but with young peoples suicide soaring it seems to me that there are plenty of them who are confused to say the least about the message they are given by the “entertainment” industry of today.
I know it is easy to conclude that it must be one big conspiracy but I’m not ready to go there yet but what I did realise when Beyoncé bought hubby the $40 million private jet was that if a music Princess who undoubtedly is one of the most talented young people of today can amass such a fortune as to be able to gift sums like that away for a fathers day than that means that there are countless other equally talented people going without.
It means that all that local music which was made by people all over the globe who are now listening to the radio instead of making music for themselves because they are mistakenly programmed to believe that the “Stars” and not local people know how to make “real” music is stolen from them.
Music unlike what the entertainment industry wants us to believe and which they are trying to get enshrined in draconian copyright laws encompassing the globe belongs to all of us. It belongs in our squares, our cafe’s and our feasts.
It serves our spiritual, emotional and social needs and while I enjoyed every moment of the concerts I was able to go to thanks to my early good looks I think I saw the beginning of what I now know to be a very evil and nasty business and I think it has to be broken up.
Just like the big Banks and the big Corporations.
And while we may have no control over what happens to the banks and the corporations we do have control over our hands and our voices. We can walk away from the canned music and the video’s and we can pick up our own instruments and sing our own songs. We can make music together instead of giving our energy in the form of money to the entertainment industry.
We can to support our local musicians, pick up our instruments and start playing our own music so that our minds and spirits will start to vibrate again with the sounds that we make ourselves. We need to start telling our own legends again instead of allowing the “entertainment” industry to fill our minds with the garbage they produce in order seduce us into believing that they are the only ones with the right to do so and that we have to become human again.
To become human again is the most healing of all things we can do to ourselves and our planet. If we start to make our own music and heal our hearts and our souls from the corporate onslaught of the last 100 years I believe the rest of their hideous crumbling empire will inevitably collapse. I firmly believe this and so should you. Now pick up that guitar and play!