Recognition: What, when, why, (and the big question) how?
posted at 10/30/2013 2:58 PM EDT
As an extension of the RnR HoF thread, let's discuss the up-side of recognition for rock musicians. How is it done? We've already established that the RnR HoF is a farce with regard to its meaning, but that is just one (extremely awful) example.
What are legitimate expressions, "awards" (I use the term loosely), and milestones (among other ways and manners) that praise and greatness are bestowed on rock artists?
We have previously established (repeatedly) that we do not seek approval from critics to select music, or derive our taste in music. But are people who are experienced in the art of critique, and who have a thorough understanding of the music of an artist, discounted, too, for the role they play in praising an artist? Is that quite fair?
The rock musician dies. All that is said is, "Here lies Joe Famous Guitarist. Figure the rest out for yourself." ??? Who are the people whose opinions "count"? Other musicians? Peers?
What I am looking for is some clue from you all that rock musicians deserve praise, recognition, and should be valued for what they have contributed and brought to us as fans, but also as part of their permanent legacy. They are part of rock history. But there's so much "put down" here among us, I can't help but wonder HOW on earth you think the "greatest of the great" should be recognized.
Is it a matter of evolution, what is written over time, and how influential they are in the long run, as evidenced by the music and musicians that follow in their footsteps? Years and years ...?
Just wondering what your thoughts are, if you care to weigh in.
Here is a sample from Lou Reed's Obit:
Not too long after his first recordings, made at 16 with a doo-wop band in Freeport, N.Y., Mr. Reed started singing outside of the song’s melody, as if he were giving a speech with a fluctuating drone in a New York accent. That sound, heard with the Velvet Underground on songs like “Heroin” and “Sweet Jane” and in his post-Velvet songs “Walk on the Wild Side,” “Street Hassle” and others, became one of the most familiar frequencies in rock. He played lead guitar the same way, straining against his limitations.
Mr. Reed confidently made artistic decisions that other musicians would not have even considered. He was an aesthetic primitivist with high-end audio obsessions. He was an English major who understood his work as a form of literature, though he distrusted overly poetic pop lyrics, and thought distorted electric guitars and drums sometimes drowned out his words.
Here's where it's at: Do you agree that Brian Eno's quote carries weight?
The Velvet Underground, which was originally sponsored by Andy Warhol and showcased the songwriting of John Cale as well as Mr. Reed, wrought gradual but profound impact on the high-I.Q., low-virtuosity stratum of punk, alternative and underground rock around the world. Joy Division, Talking Heads, Patti Smith, R.E.M., the Strokes and numerous others were descendants.
The composer Brian Eno, in an often-quoted interview from 1982, suggested that if the group’s first album, “The Velvet Underground & Nico,” sold only 30,000 copies during its first five years — a figure probably lower than the reality — “everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band.”