Thursday, December 03, 2009

Say it isn't so!

Back in the olden days of pop music, when there was such a thing as hit records, few were better at making them than the duo of Hall and Oates. Masters of the craft of creating top 40 pop songs, there was a stretch in the mid 1980s when everything they put out went to the top of the charts. But with trends and tastes always changing and a never ending supply of hungry challengers nipping at their heels, kings and queens of the mountain don't get to stay on top forever. When all is said and done, the best you can hope for with artists you were/are fond of is that their reign doesn't come to an end due to some kind of tragedy, that they keep making music you enjoy (or at least go on tour and perform the old hits every now and then) and that they have fond memories of their experience while it lasted. So while I was reading an interview at The Onion, I was very sad to see lead singer Daryl Hall say this:

"I never enjoyed music...I’ve been a professional since I was 2 years old. It’s work. I come from a musical family, my mother was in a band… music to me was hard work. It was learning how to be in front of people, and how to deal with audiences. Practice, constant practice with instruments. It was never what most would call a pleasurable experience...More so now even than then. I’m a professional musician. I have been my whole life. When people are born into the arts, they don’t tend to see art as pleasure, they see it as work."


Wow. Harsh. It's not that he's complaining about what a drain it is to be a star, dealing with fans, the lack of privacy, the grind of touring, blah blah blah that you hear all the time. It's that he says he never enjoyed music! Never mind that one of the most common Walter Mitty fantasies that most of us who punch a clock and wear a name tag have is to command a stage in front of 50,000 people (many of whom were classmates in school that weren't nice to us back then and now want to sleep with us, and so you arrange for them to get really great seats, just so you can hear them scream your name and beg for your attention, which they won't get because that ship has sailed...am I right? Who's with me? Come on!), only to discover that somebody who actually lived that life looked at it as nothing more than a "time-to-make-the-donuts" situation. What about all the people who never really cared about being a star but just enjoy music? The ones who worked really hard and tried their best but could never get their fingers and brains in sync to be able to play an instrument, couldn't hit certain high or low notes or who just take simple pleasure in listening to the radio (in other words: just about everybody)? I know it takes hard work, and lots of it, to make a successful living as an artist of any kind, at any level. But is that all it is? No fun at all? How do you relate to someone who was able to please so many people, yet derived no pleasure himself from doing so? I don't know. I can't imagine such a thing. That seems tragic to me.

1 comment:

Wildhair said...

Wow. That can't be for real. It's the ONION. Maybe it's a put on. First Oates gets rid of his mustache. Now this. What's next? They'll say the guys from Milli Vanilli were really responsible for their voices?