And the Academy Award Goes To

In the world of dino rock, several really interesting tidbits today. For some unknown reason (I'm betting the right blend of meds), Brian Wilson did not push Mike Love off the roof of the Capitol Tower in L.A. when the three surviving Beach Boys met up there on Monday to get a framed metal-coated record signifying that their latest greatest hits compilation had turned the sales odometer over to 2x platinum.

And then word from the UK that The Who, which is now a duo, are creating—and yes, I was being kind there—another of the specialty we hoped, for their sake they’d finally forsaken, that hairy relic from the Sixties, the rock opera. The new one’s called Wire & Glass.

I remember a junior high teacher, the bottle blonde and gorgeous, at least to my then semi-pure eyes, Miss Wagner bringing Tommy in, along with Cat Stevens Teaser and the Firecat, and trying to pass them off as great literature. While a lot of the kids were perplexed, or more likely bored, by having to listen to records during English class on one of those accordion-sized, tank-like public school record players, I had no problems spending my valuable class time listening to charming folk rock and bloated rock star ramblings (gee, I wonder which is which). Of course the record of Tommy was a picnic compared to the film of the same name. What a friggin' cornball mess that picture is! Ann Margret in a rock opera? Somehow much as I lusted for Miss Wagner, and that busty redhead in Viva Las Vegas (or maybe it was Elvis?), her presence here stumped me. Still does. Unfortunately, the film of Quadrophenia ain’t much better.

Seems to me that rock operas were better off as just records rather than being moronic stage productions where Jack Nicholson could play rock star and Elton John (looking all of 14 years old) could play actor. I notice how neither managed to launch second careers from that film.

Doug's picture

...Reminds me of MY high school English teacher, Mr. Cansler, (whom I did not lust after) bringing in a Cat Stevens LP (Tea For The Tillerman) and playing it for the class. Seems it was synched to a slide show of some kind," something to do with growing up and making life choices and all that rot. I remember mostly the song ""Father And Son"". It made me a Cat Stevens fan", which I remain to this day! (Yusef Islam...not so much.)

Monty's picture

My fifth grade teacher was a big Elton John fan and would play Goodbye Yellow Brick Road every chance she got. Looking back, Elton John owned FM radio for quite a long time.

Phil Missimore's picture

Seems to me that the challenge is: two different media. You have rock musicians who can write/play but who generally can;t act. You have flim stars who can act but lip-synch. Ergo, great records but weird stage productions that either look like high-school productions or at the least lose any sense of the spirit of what rock means.I guess we need Placido Domingo to take up the drums so we can have both.