Hoo boy, nothing had prepared me for the backlash that was to follow when I told some people I was going.
Ranging from taunts, point-and-laughs, phone calls to see if I was serious, and a very short, sweet SMS, simply containing the word "Thoo".
"But you listen to Dream Theater and Karnivool", said one gent. "I also like Carnatic classical. What's your point?", I replied.
Apparently, you can't listen to stuff like Bryan Adams when you 'graduate' onto music that speaks about ripping flesh and suicide. Ah, yes.
Rock elitism. One of the worst sorts of snubbing in our little society of delusion.
You know how you're at a concert waiting for some metchul band to play, and the PA system plays a riff that sounds familiar? You get excited and start humming along, not knowing what the song is. Then you realise it's Linkin Park (Heavens! And you're in your Cradle of Filth tee-shirt!) and immediately stop humming - and make a contorted face which questions the parentage of the DJ. Rock elitism.
It's basic human nature. As we 'graduate', it only becomes cooler to diss things we've graduated out of. Remember at school when you used to look upto the fifth graders as Gods? Heck, that devotion vanished when you were in the sixth grade. There were times we'd think how the blazes you'd ever finish a novel. Now that we read Steig Larsson and Tolkein, we rubbish Chetan Bhagat. And similarly, it becomes uncool to listen to Bon Jovi. Or Def Leppard. No?
Sure, an Adams concert may not have the
Let's look at the points that the rock elitists usually cite, when trashing music lower than their acceptable levels.
1. Lyrical content
'Ooooh baby, baby.'
Is a line that could have been delivered by either Justin Beiber or the Backstreet Boys. But truth - Robert Plant sang it too, in Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You.
Okay, that was a little extreme, but I was just trying to make a point.
Popular music will never have the epic storylines of progressive music, or the opinions that metal tries to portray. Heck, that's probably why it's popular music.
But just saying 'the lyrics are kiddish' is a foolish reason to trash music.
Listen to the lyrics from early Beatles songs. But with the insurance of 'better' words from Sgt. Peppers and Abbey Road to back up the overall espousal of the band, it's safe to say 'I like those songs'.
2. Loudness and speed
This is even lamer. Patience (by GnR) is a 'softer' song than Larger Than Life (Backstreet Boys) and Nothing Else Matters (Metallica) is a slower song than Love Sensation (911). If the reason you like music is because it's loud and closer to incomprehensibility, I'm sorry.
3. Doesn't leave you with the same high
During the Adams concert, I looked around me. What I saw was one of the most poignant scenes I've ever seen during a show. People of all ages singing along. Kids perched on their parents' shoulders singing along and enjoying what was undoubtedly their first huge concert. Sure, there were no rip-roaring guitar solos, no invocations to the devil. But it just seemed that everyone fucking enjoyed it and enjoyed being there.
That left me with a high. Just like how straining my neck along with 30,000 others to For The Greater Good of God during Maiden '07 did.
I don't listen to pop or even Bryan Adams anymore. But I'm yet to see close-mindedness like the sort displayed by rock elitists. Example - look at forums when it was announced the Backstreet Boys were coming to India. Talk of pelting them and killing them. Movements to heckle people who go to their shows. Rallies to boycott them and ensure they never come back to India.
Really, guys? Really? Even a review on one of the most respected rock sites in India spoke of everything BUT the music (isn't that what the review was neutrally supposed to be about, in any case - and not the prevailing sense of negativity?)
I've possibly rambled on a bit and lost the original point I was trying to make out here. When people read an Enid Blyton to 'relive old times', it's cute. When people see Ice Age instead of their Tarantinos and Formans, it's called 'refreshing'. But go back to something played on just synthesizers and.... oooooh!
I have the same opinion on music listening as I do for religion - you practice what you want. I have no problems with that. But don't force your religion on me, and don't expect me to change my ways just because you do it.
Peace out, rock on.