There was a nice article in Spin (I think it was) about how boring many of today’s rock stars are. Not sure if you heard about Iggy Pop’s antics at the Glastonbury Music Festival, but it’s not the kind of thing you see Celine Dion doing (not that she’s a rock star, God forbid, but you get my drift.) Iggy apparently did a bit of stage diving and inviting people up onto the stage and chaos ensued, as it does in these situations. However, that’s what they fucking SHOULD do. Who wants their rock stars to be the boring, sober, cleancut neighbors next door?
Not to downplay the talent of Pete Doherty in any way, but he’s exactly what I want in a rock star in terms of his personal life. Gorgeous supermodel girlfriend, drug issues, a very nice hat…I could go on all day. He doesn’t strike me as someone who’s going to come offstage and do anything tame. We all lament these stars who do drugs, go to rehab, get arrested for drunk driving, and generally act like idiots but when they have musical talent I’m willing to overlook it on some level. That isn’t to say I want them living next door to me though. I enjoy my chaos at a distance, preferably with loud guitars and maybe some smashed instruments.
The photo of The Clash’s Paul Simonon smashing his guitar is the absolute defining image for the kind of rock and roll that I want. It perfectly conveys the out of control attitude that I want in my bands. Not all of them though…I really don’t think I would have cared to see ABC smashing their synthesizers or Adam Ant shooting up onstage in all his makeup. That would just be disturbing. However, I think many bands today could get away with a smash here or there provided nothing hit me in the audience. I saw The Church back in the late 1980s and Marty Wilson-Piper threw his guitar to the side of the stage, where it seemed that someone was expecting this. Not to be outdone, lead singer Steve Kilby threw his bass and you just heard a loud crash. That was pretty rock and roll I thought.