Friday, February 3, 2012

Saturday Quiz

Question 1: You are approached by a mysterious organisation who tells you they want to send you back in time to prevent the death of a famous musician who died at a young age. You cannot turn up on the day of their death and prevent it, you must live for five years in that artist's community before their death and use your knowledge of the future to influence the event. However, if you inform the musician of their death outright, they will die immediately. Outside of this task, you can do anything you like in that time period. You will be given lodging and the basic necessities to survive. You are given six choices of who you can save:

a) Franz Schubert: You will be sent to Vienna in 1823, five years before Schubert dies of syphilis. Perks include being in one of the greatest cultural centres of the time while the downside is hygiene may be questionable.

b) Buddy Holly: You will be sent to Lubbock, Texas 1954 to work on saving Buddy Holly from his disastrous plane flight in 1959. Perks include Holly moved to Nashville and then to New York in 1958 so you'd probably have to live there too and saving him gets you a 3 for 1 deal: you'd also save the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens.

c) Jimi Hendrix: You will be sent to London 1965 where Hendrix got his first break and was friends with the Stones, Beatles Clapton etc... Perks include living in swinging London in the 60's while the downside is living in London ever.

d) Janis Joplin: Dying a few weeks after Hendrix, you will be sent to the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco in 1965 at the height of the hippie movement. Perks include drugs and a vibrant political movement and music scene. Downside: hippies.

e) Sid Vicious: While his status as a musician is often questioned, Sid was a sentimental touchstone for the Pistols, particularly John Lydon. As such, you'll be sent to London in 1974 and have to follow Vicious in his move to New York where he overdosed after being accused of the murder of Nancy Spungen. Perks: being in London and New York when punk breaks. Downside: Vicious seemed like a bit of a fuckwit.

f) Kurt Cobain: You will be sent to Seattle in 1989 in the year Nirvana signed to Sub Pop and released Bleach. Upside: You will be there at the time grunge breaks and get to see a lot of great bands. Downside: Isn't Seattle kind of rainy and cold and grunge a bit of a downer?

These are your six choices. Which musician do you attempt to save and was your decision based on the musician or the place where you'd attempt to save them (or both)? In whatever time frame you choose, what would you do outside the task of saving the musician?

Question 2: Imagine you are a lawyer in a court of law and you had to make the argument to the judge as to which of the following musical genres is the most offensive:

a) 70's Prog: 20 minute songs, interminable solos, stupid lyrics. By attempting to elevate rock music to a higher art form, these musicians somehow made it worse. Bands include: Mike Oldfield, Genesis, Rush, Yes, Emerson, Lake and Palmer etc

b) 80's New Romantic: A descendent of punk and post-punk - no one could have foreseen the pastel suits, puffy pirate shirts, flimsy synths and threadbare musicianship. Bands include: Duran Duran, Japan, Ultravox, Visage, Spandau Ballet and ABC.

c) 80's hair metal: Somehow a bunch of men dressed like women became a dominant force in the lates 80's making the Sunset Strip the centre of the musical universe. Terrible lyrics, worse solos combined in a big package of dumb. While I will always argue that Appetite for Destruction is a great album but let's not forget Warrant, Ratt, White Lion, Faster Pussycat etc...

d) 90's Nu-Metal: Misogynist lyrics and knucklehead riffs, this attempt to blend the worst of metal and hip hop was amazingly affective (in being shit). Such musical greats arose as Limp Bizkit, Korn, Godsmack, Papa Roach...

Given those four options, which would you argue to a court was the worst.

Question 3:
What was the year music first changed your life?

Just some stuff to think about on your Saturday...



  1. 1. Hendrix. To hear his tone, amps, vibe in the flesh. Loud.
    2. Hair metal. If it wasn't for them, the music industry would've died sooner. Meaning we might've had genuinely new musical genres sooner.
    3. Hm, well, either 1982 (think I just woke up to music) or 1991 (when I started smoking the odd cone and also (unrelated) listening to proper jazz.). Can I say that here, the odd cone?

  2. 1. Yeah, it's a bit of a cheat really, when I thought it through Hendrix would be the obvious one especially with all the bands you'd get to see at that time but the late 70's in the UK is tempting as well. Apart from the Pistols, getting to see the Jam and the Clash would be amazing. Come on time travel technology, I've got gigs to see.
    2. I find this hard. I hate prog with a fiery passion but nu-metal just irks me as well. At least hair metal had a sense of humour - some of the time.
    3. Yep, the odd cone definitely helps. I have a similar time frame but I'm tempted to say 1989 where it became less of a hobby and a total obsession. I think Pink Floyd has something to do with it...

  3. 1. It's not really fair- because I was there for one of these- I won't say which one outright, because I bet you can guess. I know that these things usually move so glacially, and subtle that you cannot stop them, even given infinite time. That having said, I'd go with Buddy Holly, in that I think those deaths were preventable, in a more real sense than the others. Also, chances would abound to do the whole "back to the Future" Chuck Berry scenario, and the whole rest of musical fute could suck a lot less.
    2. Prog. No question. It was a top-down musical "movement"- it was an attempt at the usual 'gate keepers' of the Caste and Culture crowd to re-shape the Anarchic and vibrant freaks like Frank Zappa into something 'acceptable' like Jethro bloody Tull. It made music suck, it created the myth of the Virtuoso rock God, it devalued both the high art of modern composers and the low art of Rock, it gave us Jethro bloody Tull, it forced me as a small boy to hear 22 minute organ solos, thus crippling my enjoyment of music, in general, until my early Teens. Hanging is too good for Rick Wanking Wakeman.
    3. Late 1978 going into 1979. I met this guy, Chuck. I hated music, but loved surfing and skating. Chuck had a skateboard, and went off to Hollywood frequently to see bands. He got me to go to clubs like The Vex, the Cathay de Grande, and later the Fleetwood. By the end of 1979, I loved Punk Rock as much, if not more than Surfing. In 1980, I got my first job as a roadie at the Olympic Auditorium. Yeah, I'd say that changed my life....

  4. arrgh- "Fute" should be read as "Future". Really should check my spelling from time to time...

  5. Thanks Matt, great responses. As usual, an eloquent articulate argument for hating fucking prog. BTW have been enjoying your blog of late - very thought provoking and entertaining.