I was watching an episode of Top Of The Pops from 1978 at the weekend - I just happened to pass it by while I was waiting for things to finish cooking and hung around because 10cc were doing Dreadlock Holiday and surely we're all in agreement that this alone, is a curio worth loitering around for.
When that was over, a seriously guilty pleasure happened along - Rose Royce knocking out Love Don’t Live Here Anymore - I watched that too because Rose Royce were a great band back in the day. With only a few minutes left of the show, I figured I'd stick around and watch the end because you know what - 1978 was a good year for music and me. It treated me well as far as I remember.
The final song was Boney M doing a ‘live’ performance of Rasputin. I watched that all the way through too and you know what, it was pretty entertaining. It’s certainly not something I would have gone out and bought but I don't recall leaving the room whenever it was on and potentially, for the millions of us who used to sit in front of TOTP every week regardless of what was on - don’t forget you actually had to sit through it to find out - we likely learned something important about Russian history.
None of this is anything I would have admitted to in 1978.
I picked up my phone and dropped into twitter:
"Why aren't there bands around like Boney M any more?"
I meant it. I didn't like Boney M - I was a heavy metal kid dammit - but plenty of people did, they sold millions of records and so far as I know, they made a great living out of it. Every musician of a certain age I ever interviewed told me Bobby Farrell was the craziest motherfucker they had ever met. This would be people like Nikki Sixx, so there's your benchmark.
Put under pressure, I could maybe even name more than six of their songs which is more than I can say for anything that came after the last great pop band (Duran Duran) stopped functioning properly.
Anyway, my point is, as we sit here in 2015, why is there nothing pushing at the boundaries of the Music Box? You can’t blame X-Factor because it does what it does for a reason. Maybe nobody wants to look different and maybe nobody is brave enough to stand apart from the crowd. Maybe everybody is quite happy with the status quo.
- I don’t know the answer - all I know is, the music world is becoming stagnant. There’s talent out there and there’s great musicians who can sing and play properly - but they’re all singing and playing in the same way about the same freaking thiKng.
Why is nobody raging against the machine?
Is it because there's no machine to rage against anymore?
Just putting it out there.
A short time later, this came along and saved me from oblivion:
In the spirit of education, Bobby Farrell died in St Petersburg on the same date and in the exact same town as Rasputin. If you're gonna go, do it like that.