SAD SITUATION. I hate to start this month’s newsletter on a downer note, but I guess everyone knows by now that the band, The Police, are blazing across America selling out stadium shows faster than Sting can have tantric sex. This is troubling on so many levels. First of all, old rock stars shouldn’t be allowed to come back around, twenty years after their band disbanded, if they’ve already had their moment in the sun. There’s just no excuse for it. Don’t get me wrong. I thought The Police were a way-above-average three-piece reggae/ska-influenced pop band and all of their hits deserved recognition. They were powerful and inventive and the vocals were spot on, Baby! But that was then. And I’m not saying this because I think The Police are standing in the way of Brave Combo grabbing more recognition. We gave up on the MTV/VH1 world a long time ago. That was kinda weird, actually. We decided to bail from our mainstream acceptance aspirations and then almost automatically won a Grammy. And we pulled even further away and won a second Grammy and then found ourselves right there on THE SIMPSON’S for a few “super significant” seconds. All this outrageous profile building stuff occurs once we “let go.” Apparently there’s something to that concept. Anyway, to get back to my original point, reunion acts like The Police become both enablers and the “evil drug” suppliers for a vulnerable couple of entire generations that can’t seem to find their way in the entertainment world anymore. So the easiest thing is to just revert back to what was comfortable when one was in high school. This is gross, at best. Now, if someone wants to dig up some really famous dead rock stars and dangle their cadavers around on the stage like marionettes, held together by string and wires, while the remaining living members of the band play, that’s another story. Also, let me say that my rules are reserved for only those acts that had at least five big hits long enough ago to call their songs classics. Now, if the members of a once-famous rock band somehow all fell onto hard times (can’t think of one) or have simply become eternal road warriors, like Foghat, and they’re just trying to survive, that’s another story. You gotta do what you gotta do to eat and clothe yourself. But I don’t believe any of The Police have been suffering too much in the “desire” department. I’m pretty sure that even Andy has had steady work when he’s needed it, since the band broke up, literally decades ago. I’m sorry, it just seems like Sting, Andy and Stewart are taking advantage of some obvious weakness in our system. And they look weird, like screwed-up aberrations of themselves and that gives everyone the creeps, in a way, too. Even someone dumb enough to actually buy a ticket and go to their nostalgia fest thinks they look odd. By the way, if the band has never broken up, like The Rolling Stones or The Bee Gees or U2 or Aerosmith, none of this applies, although it would be more than okay with me if they all stopped taking up precious space, too. Unfortunately, I guess this also can’t apply to a solo performer, cause they can’t break up, so someone like Madonna will always be a threat to our need to move on. I certainly admire these stars’ great accomplishments, each and every one, but as a participant in the wonderful world of pop (not as a member of a senseless polka band) I’m tired of watching the entertainment media pretend that rock and roll is as exciting with old musicians as it is with truly rebellious youngsters, who are justified to be stupid rock rebels. They just don’t know any better. And that’s cool. When you’re a teenager you’re old enough to sneak out of the house and follow some idiotic dreams and it’s okay to not know any better. That’s when rock makes sense; when you really can afford to throw caution to the wind. Old rich rock stars can afford anything a thousand times over, so throwing caution to the wind is like equal to a pack of gum. Okay, now I’ve probably really totally jinxed myself from ever having a hit record, cause I’m bucking the system and being all negative. I will say this. Sting still looks less dorky than the other two guys, but he looks a little more cocky than he used to. It all evens out. Man, if bands have to get back together, let’s bring back some really obscure ones, like The Count Five or The Music Machine. No, on second thought, if Sean Bonniwell is still alive, I may not want to see it. Did you catch that documentary of Cream performing together in London, at Royal Albert Hall in 2006 (I think)? They didn’t even try to dress up or anything. I guess if words like “average,” “normal” and “no surprise” turn you on it might have been life-altering. It’s all just sad. The only mystique left is fake mystique and everything else is, ho-hum, business as usual. We are such a desperate society sometimes, unable to move on and feeling constantly left behind by changing technology. That’s it. I will judge and analyze no more. Please forgive me if you have tickets to see any majestic relics. I know they will sound just fine and will be happy to take your money. I would probably do the same thing. Shame on me.
Speaking of taking your money, our new album, POLKA’S REVENGE, is now available at our shows and will be available from our website very soon. For the first six months we will be selling the CD at every show for only $10. That’s 20 brand new songs for 50 cents apiece. And you know they’re all gonna blow your mind. So, check our itinerary and come out and buy, buy, buy. You don’t even have to stay for the show. Remember, Christmas is always just around the corner. Chilling, huh?
Brave Combo is more determined than ever to prove something, even if we don’t know exactly what that is. At best, I feel that we represent the right to think for one’s self and I do hope our audience feels encouraged to do that. I believe we offer something different from anything you’ll find anywhere else. If we aren’t pulling the rug out from under you, the listener, then we’re not being Brave Combo. It’s a big changing world, too big for us to control, really. All we can do as performers and musicians is decipher the unstable climate and adjust accordingly. Nothing in the music world in 2007 can be applied to the way things were just ten years ago. If we open our eyes each day as if it’s a new world, solutions become obvious. Humans are smart enough to do this, but it requires being selective about the things we carry with us from the past into the present and future. Lots of musicians are in big trouble right now and, for many of them, it’s going to get worse. How they did things in the “good ol’ days” is all they know. Why stop being a “radical” thinker just because you’ve reached 35, or 45 or even 55? I prefer to see the world as a big, somewhat dangerous, playground. Whether you’re 2 years old or 82 years old, you’re still a little kid in so many ways. Even 82 years isn’t enough to wash away certain kinds of naiveté. I’ve seen the sparkle of new discovery in the eyes of every age. None of us knows everything, or even 1/1,000,000 of everything. This is good news. We can all still be dazzled if we want. And Brave Combo will do it’s dazzling best to dazzle you across the USA this summer. Polka is newer than it’s ever been. Check our itinerary and come out with all your best friends. In the meantime, have fun surviving!
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