By Ian Liberman
“TRAGIC” END OF A CANADIAN ROCK ERA
On August 20,2016, the loyal and deep-rooted fans of the Tragically Hip had the chance to listen to them perform one of their final concerts as part of a tour that would be their last of their 30-year career. Gord Downie (lead singer/songwriter) of the band was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in May. Playing famous songs like “Three Pistols” and “Bobcaygeon,” and their latest album entitled Man Machine Poem, the band weaved a tapestry of Canadian culture and history as they played to tens of thousands of fans. Playing in their hometown of Kingston, Ontario, at the Rogers K-Rock Centre, the concert (which was aired live on CBC networks) had fans of all ages in attendance. Although the band will eventually break up, it will always be part of our Canadian culture (like maple syrup without the calories).
HOMER GOES MESHUGGAH
In the 8th episode of the 26th season of the Simpsons, Homer learns how to play bass to the lush sounds of the metal band Meshuggah. The band consists of Homer with Kirk Van Houten, Reverend Lovejoy, Dr Hibbert and Apu.
40 years of Punk Rock Music
What makes the rock genre such a versatile and creative form of music is its subgenres. One of those subgenres will be celebrated in London, England this year. Major libraries, art galleries, concert halls, small theaters and museums will be commemorating “40 Years of Punk Rock Music.”
British Library has collected a huge archive of audio, video, print material and other artifacts associated with punk rock. Journalist John Savage has donated an assortment of his collectables to the British Library collection, entitled “Punk 1976-78” (which includes classic Sex Pistols paraphernalia and a rare copy of the bands “God Save the Queen” single).
The Punk Rock movement began in two cities that are separated by the Atlantic Ocean in the late ‘60s. In New York, at CBGB, bands like the Ramones and MC5 led the movement, while in London, the raw energy of the Sex Pistols and the Clash attracted young people to their anti-establishment views and music.
In England, much of the music was directed at the economic policies of Conservative PMs Jim Callaghan and Margaret Thatcher, due to horrendous levels of poverty that had a serious effect on the younger generation. Despite the serious economic situation, many punkers loved Thatcher (aka “The Iron Lady”).
The outrageous music, fashion and artwork that surrounded punk rock helped to draw attention to the plight of the disenfranchised.
Some of the lesser-known bands in the U.K included The Strangler, Buzzcocks, and The Damned, while across the pond, artists like The New York Dolls, Patti Smith, The Cramps and The Stooges helped to shape the punk rock scene.
In news from the U.K, it has been reported that Joe Corre – son of legendary Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren – is so outraged that punk has become conventional, that he plans to burn a collection of punk memorabilia worth an estimated $9 million dollars. He plans to do this in front of the tourists coming to Camden, London, on November 26th (the 40th anniversary of the legendary Sex Pistols single, “Anarchy In The U.K.”).
In the spirit of punk, on July 18th, Viv Albertine (of the punk group the Slits) mutilated (or as she called it, “edited”) part of a punk exhibit in the British Museum to protest the lack of information about British female punks on display.
John Gribbin, is an astrophysicist, musicologist and science writer, who has also written songs for various versions of the Bonzo Dog Band, including the single “Punktuation”. The book that he is most proud of writing is his biography of Buddy Holly, entitled Not Fade Away. Gribbin’s expertise of the Punk Era is quite extensive. When I asked him what his favourite punk band was and whether he thought that the punk movement had a significant social effect on society, he replied…
“My favourite punk band is/was The Clash. Their lyrics had a more thought out ‘message,’ especially on ‘London Calling,’ although some people refer to the song as ‘post punk.’ I also like Siouxsie and the Banshees. In my view, music never changed anything, but it reflects the times in which it is being made.”
INFERNO OF ROCK TRIVIA QUESTIONS:
SEPTEMBER 2016 TRIVIA QUESTIONS
- Name the band that is not a punk band… [A] The Jam, [B] Killing Joke, [C] Gentle Giant
- Who replaced Ritchie Blackmore from Deep Purple for a temporary time in the ’90s? [A] Slash, [B] Joe Satriani, [C] Randy Rhodes.
- The Tragically Hip got its name from a movie filmed by a member of The Monkees. What movie and which Monkee?
AUGUST 2016 TRIVIA QUESTIONS
- What was so special about Kiss Comic number 1 by Marvel in 1977? Members had their blood in the ink.
- Sharon Osbourne spends a lot of her free time with her favorite charity now that she is separated from Ozzy. What is the charity? The Pink Army is the U.K woman`s group search for the cure for cancer. If you said MS Society, you get a point too.
- Metal Poet Henry Rollins, in a video for Funny or Die, reads what Dr. Seuss classic?
[a] The Cat In The Hat [b] Green Eggs And Ham [c] Oh The Places You’ll Go