The essence of rock music (part 2)
ROCK FESTIVALS – MMFM’89
So, what is hard rock promoting now, what ideas does it advocate? Before talking about the texts of some groups, I must say a few words about rock festivals held under the motto “No to alcohol, war, drug addiction, etc. …” I think everyone knows the Woodstock festival, about which no need to speak. But about one of the most unprecedented cases, about the festival, held in Moscow in 1989, it’s worth talking about.
It probably already became clear what I want to write about the Moscow World Music Festival, which was attended by such stars as Ozzy Osbourne, Skid Row, Motley Crew, Cinderella, Bon Jovi, Scorpions, and which music critics of the whole world called nothing more than Woodstock on the Moscow River.
If you look at the Moscow rock festival from a purely technical point of view, we can say that the sound of the groups of Ozzy Osbourne, Bon Jovi, Gorky Park was not very good. We can say that on the first day of “Motley Crew” they carried their instruments on stage, doing it in the best traditions of “stadium rock” of the late 60s. We can say that “Scorpions” and “Cinderella” “pumped out” their programs with impeccability of well-oiled mechanisms, and young “Skid Row” swept the audience with energy bursting over the edge, while “Gorky Park” performed more calmly, but did not less interesting.
The “C team”, led by Igor Sukachev, looked quite professional, and the conceptual music of “Nuance” already attracted such a reputable producer as Peter Gabriel during the festival. In short: one could describe this event exactly as foreign observers describe ordinary concerts, and put an end to it: the festival took place.
And you can look at what happened as the whole world saw the Moscow rally: for the first time in the USSR, world rock stars performed, not fading or failed, whom the State Concert loved so much, but today’s leaders, whom, unlike Susie Cuatro, Bonnie Tyler and Duran Duran, fans will not forget to pause between two successive records.
Commercial hard rock has now reached its peak – as long as the future of this trend seems serene, and the interest of the viewer is stable. As an English journalist who came to the festival said: “The maximum“ disaster ”that threatens the“ hard-and-heavy ”style is the end of hysteria around it and merging with the existing mainstream, that is, the transition from the“ fashionable ”to the“ classic ”category, which can hardly be seen as a crisis.
If we talk about international rock festivals, which are enough in Europe and the USA, it is very easy to underestimate Moscow: the annual “feast” in Carl Donnington, called “Monsters of Rock” in terms of recruitment is hardly inferior to Moscow: here Ozzy and Cinderella , there are Metallica and the Hans and Roses, here are Motley Crew and Scorpions, there are Iron Maiden and Kiss. Comparisons and parallels are possible. As in most similar mass concerts, the festival was originally riddled with a lofty idea, which, as a cementing compound, held together performers and millions of spectators not only in the USSR, but throughout the world – this is the slogan of the festival “Against alcoholism and drug addiction!” It is also important that the idea came from our country, becoming yet another stage in the stereotype of the USSR that crumbled in those days as an “evil empire”.
Many great musicians passed away as drug addicts. Musicians whom the young consider their idols. There is nothing wrong with the fact that fans still admire their music, but it will be very sad if someone, admiring, decides to try their lifestyle and becomes an addict or an alcoholic himself. This should not happen.
The Make a difference foundation and the
Concluding this review, I must say that after this festival there were many other concerts of “grandees” in Moscow. We were visited by Ian Gillan, Metallica and AC / DC, Napalm Death, Sepultura, Iron Maiden, Accept, Nazareth, Faith No More, Moscow will soon see Kreator . Unfortunately, all musicians in their post-concert interviews echo Vince Neil from Motley Crew: “I was oppressed by a huge number of soldiers on the field of the stadium, it seemed that you were playing in the army.” Well, this is our disease, though contrary to opinion many are provoked not only by fans, but also by the police and troops.
“What are Western rock bands singing about?” Not a lot has already been written about the texts of songs of the “hard rock” style in my work, and we could no longer touch on this topic. But the fact is, while sorting out my “archive” of articles about rock music, I came across an article with the title written above, published in the newspaper Argumenty i Fakty in 1988. How uneducated, in the field of rock, the author of the article becomes clear from the very first lines, but by the middle of the article, a rock-savvy person realizes that he is deliberately misled. So, the author divides the texts of various groups into 3 categories:
a) Variations on the theme of love. Unfortunately, N. Arefiev ranks exclusively pop groups in this category, obviously forgetting to listen to Scorpions, Europe, Gorky Park and many other hard rock groups. True, some truths do not shy away from the author’s pen: he writes that songs of this direction are easily perceived by ear, and that social songs are more likely an exception in pop music, it is the lot of other groups (this may be the hostility of the author, and not only him to rock?).
b) Battle rock. Here, apparently, the author refers to the “propaganda rock” that emerged in the 80s, with the emergence in rock of movements such as “Rock against the war”, “Rock against apartheid”, “Rock against the rich”, etc. .d … This association is rather arbitrary, because groups differ in style, position and the only thing they have in common is a pronounced social orientation of the texts and support for progressive public actions and movements. Here, the author rightly classifies Paul Weller, the groups “Style Cow Mel”, “Uem”, “Madness” and others. This trend is well characterized by the words of Tal Sutton, the guitarist of the English group “Way”: “Rock and politics should go together. I can’t write songs regardless of what is happening around.”
c) And Satan rules the ball there. The author’s attitude to heavy metal and tougher styles is not at all encouraging. Apparently, in the desire to scare young people away from “these dirty tricks” and in the hope that parents, having read his article, will throw the tape recorders of their children out the window, the author composes this …!
So, interrupting an article from the Rolling Stones, the author writes that the 1984 Judas Priest album was rated Sadomasochism and Apocalyptic Hysteria. Of course, at first this group was a bit addicted to hell scenes, but apparently the look of the musicians so stunned Arefyev that he forgot that “Judas Priest” is translated as “Jewish priest with all his strength to rule with an iron hand” should not be taken so directly.
Also interrupting the song of the group “Motley Crue” called “Girls, Girls, Girls,” the author manages to accuse the group of calling youth for hooliganism.
Separate conversation about the Slayer group. The author cites the following lines: “Dismember into pieces, separate the meat, poke out your eyes, dismember into parts”, while referring to the song “Necrophobia”. Being a fan of “Slayer” and quite fluent in English, I tried to find these lines. I found, however, in a different interpretation: yes, these words are, though not invocative, but descriptive (“Separation … etc …), that is, there is a description of the life of a person suffering from necrophobia. And at the end of the song, for those who are especially dull, it’s stated: “A necrophobic cannot control, paranoia, calling to kill him.” And in another song after the call to kill there is a line explaining why: “For the glory of the Aryan race,” this song, also descriptive, is called “Angels of Death” ( in short – SS troops), which the author clearly does not want to notice. Musicians also harbor no sympathy for Christianity, as well as to Satan. They are neutral.
Polygram record company have implemented an international project. Today’s rock stars participating in MMFM’89 recorded songs from the repertoire of drug victims Elvis Presley, Janice Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, as well as groups that lost drug users at different times: “Who”, “Led Zeppelin”, “Doors “,” Sex Pistols “,” AC / DC “,” Rolling Stones “,” T. Rex “,” Kenned Head “and others. (Unfortunately, this list has now increased: Freddie Mercury from the legendary Queen band died from drug abuse.) All profits from the sale of this album are transferred to the Make a Difference fund, which implements a number of programs for protecting children from drugs.