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Helen Bach: Rock Stars Are Faberge Eggs

My discussion with Art Alexakis got me thinking.

Why do we idolize or look up to people who can clank things together or speak in melody (which is all singing is really). What is it about this occupation that causes such a ruckus.

They say often that artists are tortured soles who seek the limelight (and what the hell is a limelight anyway?) for the attention they crave or lacked or some other sick psychological desire of acceptance.

I have met numerous musicians in my day and I can tell you quite clearly there is now a great divide. Iman spoke once on groupies and Im going to broaden that spectrum to ‘fans’.

Times have changed indeed. Back in the late 70s early 80s if you didnt flash your boobs (or more) to the fat sweaty guy guarding the stage who had the ‘laminate’ you could pretty much forget saying hello to your imposed God upon the stage. They were shielded, guarded, like Faberge eggs in a velvet lined bus. Backstage girls were sluts and whores and well.. actually no they werent. They were lucky enough, pretty enough or clever enough to manipulate their way past the Bluto brigade. I can clearly remember an instance where a beefy hairy finger pointed at me in the crowd and said ‘wanna meet the band?’.. uh no.

But the friends I was with were horrified….’ARE YOU NUTS?’ , yeah a little bit. Cuz to me in most instances meeting a star is the same as watching the movie after reading a book. Huge let down. Fuck I envisioned the character as a swarthy Johnny Depp not a wirey Jude Law..

Flash forward to today. First and foremost in most cases you can pay to meet an idol. Right there on the ticket sight, drop an extra fee and blammo youre at a ‘meet and greet’. the chase and kill are no longer needed all ya need is cash, uh oh.. Im turning in to a Ruttle. But the truth of the matter is rockstars really arent rockSTARS anymore. Theyre regular people. Sure theres the Britneys and the JayZ’s, but Ive never been into the whole mainstream pop scene.

Now the ‘alt’ scene is a giant bear hug. Buy our cd? Sure inside is a pass code for you to join our fan club, who will send you a tshirt, sticker and membership card, youll get access to our ‘club only’ forums AND have opportunities to buy our show tickets without fees, and……meet us.

What the hell? For $13.99 I get all that? A DEAL!! And so now The Magpie not only gets to crank out tunes but sport the shirt and have a photo opp with … anyone she cares too. As a mother I am at ease knowing she wont be flashing anything for a hug from Brenden Urie, phew…..

Todays meet and greets get you about 3 min tops to say love your cd and see the perfect orthodontia of the cutest rockers… or on a more elementary level a giant sweaty hug as they jump off the stage… I have halted members of Madina Lake, Panic at The Disco, Fall Out Boy, Artist V Poet, Mercy Mercedes, and hundreds more to step aside and flash a grin as I build the scrap book of my kids rock and roll lifestyle. Not once in close to 3 years now have I ever gotten an arrogant response. I used to attribute it to the fact that shes a tiny little pink haired girl, who could resist but shes really almost as tall as me now and although adorable as hell, thats NOT the reason.

Rockers today are happy someone cares. Theyre GLAD to smile and pose and hug a little girl. Craig Owens solo artist now but former member of the band Chiodos, took the time fresh off the stage to not only hug and smile with the kid but take from her sincerley the poem she had written for him. He folded it carefully and placed it in his pocket. That means the world. That made our 2 hour drive school night evening worth it.

Musicians of our generation are stuck in the glory days. Theyre head is in the big 80s 90s where they believe they sit on Fender Thrones, where sexual innuendo and self bravado reign supreme. You dont have to convince me youre successful, but you do have to convince me to purchase your product cuz otherwise youre gonna be sitting with MC Hammer in the pink slip line. And egos dont hold up well there, I assure you.

So hail hail rock and roll. I embrace the new, celebrate it, promote it and look back nostalgically knowing things have really gotten better.

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