I knew there was a reason I’d stopped feasting on the evening offering of the various television networks. That reason has never been clearer than Celebrity Family Feud.
Heavens to Betsy.
Al Roker, the former(?) NBC blimp of a weatherman who hasn’t so much lost weight as deflated like a celebratory balloon that’s been left stuck to the wall for a couple of years, was the host. The two opening families were the Rivers’ (as in Joan) and the Ice-T’s.
Oh that it should come to this; one of the men instrumental in the rise of Gangsta Rap and the song ‘Cop Killer’ facing off against the woman who seems to have had most of her face melted off.
I’m sure when Robert Johnson made his deal with the Devil it was a straight soul swap – he wouldn’t have been expected to turn up for a 1929 radio version of Celebrity Price is Right. (I think it’s best not to mention Ice Cube.)
The selling out of musicians to the point where their edges become as blunt as a Twinkie is one thing, but when the very essence of rock ‘n roll is threatened by the handing out of ear plugs at gigs, we’ve reached some type of fin de siècle. (Then again, I saw the band in the linked to article in the early 90s and I do partially blame them for my constant ear whine – I’d gladly take the ear plugs if they’ve upped their wall of sound to 11.)
Round about the same time as my ear puncturing brush with My Bloody Valentine, the band I was in was going through bass players like Freddy Krueger went through sleepy teenagers. Both were very much slash and burn. We had no choice but to take our mate Marky Mark up on his services.
Now it wasn’t that he was a bad bass player, rather that he already had tinnitus which meant he turned up to his first rehearsal wearing a head garment with ear flaps over his ear plugs, then proceeded to wrap his head in a series of chunky knits to block any further sound from entering his ear canal.
Considering nobody had written anything down for him, and he couldn’t hear a peep out of any of us unless he unwrapped the woolly Methuselah about his napper, his learning the songs by ear was as successful as Pamela Anderson making sure Tommy Lee had put ‘that video’ somewhere safe.
Oh it’s easy for me to sit here and scoff. Who in their right mind wants to be a 50 year old gansta – would you not prefer the easy money of half an hour on Family Feud as opposed to a gang related blood feud? And how I wish somebody had offered me earplugs at that My Bloody Valentine gig – I might not be hearing a constant dog whistle over the air conditioning.
Call it canny, sensible, forethought, forward thinking…..call it what you want, but it’s something that transcends the folly of youth, and in the case of Ice-T earns him a dollar without breaking a single bead of sweat.
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