I was reading about 1966 – when the Beatles got blasé and the British pop music invasion of the USA waned.
Yankee marketers stepped in:
Pop abhors a vacuum, and just as the originals (The Beatles) ‘disappeared’, a full-page ad in Billboard promoted a ‘different sounding new group with a live, infectious feeling demonstrated by a strong rock beat’. The Monkees, a four-man group, assembled after ‘research and development’, to star in a Hard Day’s Night-type TV series. The timing was perfect. Touted as ‘the spirit of 1966′, the four good-looking group members reproduced the elements of the Beatles’ unified 1964 camaraderie. It was a great record, but it also contained a clear message: if the Beatles weren’t around, they would be cloned by the industry, and the younger teens would hardly care: A typical comment: ‘I thought the show was great. It’s kinda like A Hard Day’s Night but it’s even better because it’s in color and we can see it every week.’ How very American.
I was appalled.
I scribbled to one of my many Rock Star wannabe friends:
The kak started earlier than we might think.
My first ontnugtering to ‘Re-Hality’ TV and ‘fake news’ -type shenanigans in my sheltered ignorance was in 1973 when I went to watch the Dallas Cowboys play in Dallas and found out that not all the players were Texans! In fact very few were Texans, they were bought and paid for from sommer anywhere. A year or two later there was even a Dallas Cowboy called Naas Botha!
Then I found out the amateur college football team we supported – OU – Oklahoma University – also had players from anywhere and they were anything but amateur! Everything was paid for under-the-table, and cash and cars were handed over left and right to these ‘amateurs’. A few honest journalists would actually call them ‘shamateurs’.
Then in South Africa, along came Louis Luyt who thought What A Good Idea! and he proceeded to cock up our rugby.
I had forgotten the story about the Monkees. They were a purely manufactured group, chosen for their looks and put together like a soap opera; Scripted. Nothing real, or spontaneous or natural about them. The Beatles had actually been real. They actually had started like other good bands, in a lounge in someone’s home in some obscure suburb. Like even the Gramadoelas in Tshwane.
Nowadays made-for-you-tube and made-for-social-media is the norm!
Peter Brauer wrote: The difference with the Gramadoelas group of Tshwane is that we were chosen for our undoubted, unrivalled talent and pin-up good looks. Insufficiently rewarded for years of the hard slog that us musos have to go through before hitting the big time . .
Me: A breakdown is probably imminent. I mean breakthrough. Hang in there,
What you need is a gimmick. Can any of you grow your hair? I thought not. Can the chick wear outfits like Cher? Maybe include a lot of vloekwoorde in your act like Die Antwoord? When last did you smash your equipment?
Have you strangled a rooster on stage?
Think. There must be something you can do.
Brauer: Where would biting a chunk out of a toilet seat rank in babe magnetism?
Me: I must say that is quite bad-ass. How do you keep repeating it on stage, though? You ous missed your chance to drown in your own vomit at age 27 like real rockers.
Brauer: A nightly dose of tequila and repetition on stage is a cinch . .
Me: Ja, but I’m worried you’d run out of teeth to send scattering across the stage after a while. So the impact wouldn’t be as dramatic.
Our thread ended threadbare, we didn’t solve the pressing issue at hand, of the day: How can a Tshwane Rock Group achieve fym? ‘Course, Brauer could always fall back on the real talent in the family and provide backup to his talented vrou: