The Nitty Gritty

But more than all of those I am an entertainer. I carry around a ukulele with me for the same reason a gangster carries a gun; better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Stage or sidewalk, Your Pal Pete shows are just where they happen.
Currently, I'm working on a musical, RagnaPOP(or she's got the bomb), set to premiere at this year's Capital Fringe Festival. I'm also working on music, comedy, and musical comedy; for kids and/or adults.
The fruit of these projects will be available on this site, so check back regularly!

Monday, June 16, 2008

People Behind the Music Forgot

The VH1 series Behind The Music was like video crack for a music geek such as I. As I've mentioned before, it's worse in one way, you can't tape crack to smoke it later.

However, my geekiness gives me the ability to call bullshit on some aspects of their version of the rise and fall of some of music's biggest artists.

1. Cliff Martinez and Jack Sherman- The big theme of The Red Hot Chili Peppers episode was the musical brotherhood between the original members before the death of guitarist Hillel Slovak. They fail to mention that this line up was only together for their third album, The Uplift Mofo Party Plan. Jack Irons and Slovak left the Chili Peppers when their more "serious" band What Is This? got a record contract with MCA. How did they do? I bought their album from the dollar store where I used to work. They replaced them with Martinez and Sherman for their first album and Slovak returned for their second.

2. Michel'le- The first honest-to-God pop hit that Dr. Dre was responsible for was for when he rapped on and produced her top 10 single "No More Lies". She also bore him (and later, Suge Knight) a child. Don't you think she deserved at least a mention on his episode?

3. Ed King- On the Lynyrd Skynyrd episode, a lot more is made of King's replacement, Steve Gaines, who died in the tragic plane crash that also took the life of lead singer Ronnie Van Zant after being in the band a year. King played and co-wrote on their first three albums, yet he gets no mention at all. Another fun fact, he also played bass in The Strawberry Alarm Clock ("Incense and Peppermints").

4. Sly Stone- The fact that there is no Sly Stone Behind The Music is- in my opinion- is nothing short of a travesty. Something tells me that the fact that Sly is inconveniently still alive and probably not willing to participate in any way may be the reason. His story has all the elements of the classic BTM episode: hard work leads to stratospheric fame leads to the inevitable drug-fueled decline, not to mention truly groundbreaking music. When people wonder what music someone like Jimi Hendrix or Janis Joplin might have made, they might look at Sly- who did live- and realize they might not be making music at all.

VH1, make it so.

Thanks for indulging me.

1 comment:

Gilahi said...

Ah, Sly, we miss ye. Had a great discussion with a musician downtown during a break. I had recently purchased some Sly & The Family Stone on CD, so I brought it up in conversation. This guy's opinion was that if Sly hadn't gone off the deep end the way he did, he would've still been on the leading edge of music all the way through disco, grunge, rap, and every other fad that has come down the pike in the past 30+ years. I have to think he might be right. Too bad we'll never know.