Soft Machine / Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame (Part 3)

[ Originally posted to What’s Rattlin’? Yahoo! Group on November 4, 2011 ]

Mark,

Seriously? Judging by your use of all caps you must be upset in your taking “deep exception” to my post and that is fine. You feeling the need to protect the reputation of multi-national corporations like U2 is also fine. But here is the deal; not everyone is great, not everyone is above criticism regardless of how “committed” you perceive them to be or how well they are reviewed and revered in mainstream press.

Think of it as physics: if we can talk endlessly about how great bands like the Softs are underappreciated it necessarily means that an equal mass consisting often of very popular, huge money making empire-bands are overrated. The degree to which you think they are “committed” while important to you is irrelevant to me because I can’t hear in the key of commitment, I can only hear the notes.

Admittedly, looking back if I had been writing with more exactitude I would have used the word “overrated” about U2, “crap” is just more fun to type.

Finally, two things:

While not germane to this but to answer your question I have played drums in bands since 1969, still actively play and record, played in Merz Pictures for 12 years which performed original music including Soft Machine covers (which as Jeff of Glass also mentioned are a bitch to play).

A last thought on commitment and criticism; there were a lot of posts on Lol Coxhill. Now I don’t really like Lol’s playing that much, a little for me goes a long way. But I would never normally offer that up because here is a guy who really is committed to his art and has scraped by financially for years to do what he loves and what he feels he needs to do. That to me is commitment. I respect the hell out of that. But in contrast, leaving U2 out of it I will instead mention Karl Jenkins. Karl works my last nerve; Karl Jenkins is a terrible woodwind soloist. Period. He has exactly one oboe solo that you can hear on song after song. He became an Industry with the success of Adiemus and promptly shamelessly recycled more than even Phillip Glass. Maybe Karl is committed, I don’t know, but he is unlistenable now as much as his oboe solo is on “All White.” I can freely offer that “rude and nasty” opinion not only because I am convinced of it but also because I don’t feel sorry for millionaires.

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