An Open Letter About the State of Rock & Roll [VIDEO]
Hey guys and gals,
This weekend I went to the Warehouse for the Prom Party (which was awesome by the way), and the only thing people wanted to talk to me about was this whole Saving Abel situation. I've heard a wide range of opinions on the subject...everything from me being an asshole to people trashing the band for being a bunch of whiny bitches. And honestly, both points are probably true. So, I just wanted to take this time to clear a few things up because I'm tired of talking about it.
I fell in love with rock and roll at very young age. My uncle, who was a roadie for Alice Cooper, introduced me to Black Sabbath and Motley Crue when I was 6, and from there on out I was hooked. I grew up listening to bands that played from the bottoms of their heart and souls-Nine Inch Nails, Manson, Tool, Metallica, Motley Crue, Motorhead, etc.- and they didn't get played on the radio because they sold their souls and made deals to get played. No, they got played because they unapologetically kicked ass and made great tunes. I'm not really sure what or when things went wrong, but today things are seriously effed up. I guess that's part of the reason I went into a blind rage and started on the warpath against Saving Abel.
Now, I'm not naive or stupid, so I know what happened wasn't entirely their fault. Actually, I was the one that effed up by playing their song before it was supposed to be played (even though their management sent it to us for on-air use without specifying a specific date for launch. I guess mind-reading is in our job description). Hell, there isn't exactly a handbook to this sh*t. We get a song, we listen to it, and if it's decent, we put it on the air. End of story.
Saving Abel and there people weren't fine with the song being played early which is more than ok. I'll take my beating and move on. The part that pissed me off to no end was the whole Satellite radio aspect of it. Instead of saving for radio, something that most fans actually listen to, they opted to put it on satellite. Which, in my world as a music fan, is not cool. It was probably some record weasel or suit on their management that made the deal with Satellite radio to premier their new song 'Bringing Down the Giant.' I get it. But it's sort of like finding out your girlfriend is banging the bully that used to beat you up and steal your lunch money. And that is from being a fan of music, not as a radio guy.
Something like 95% of the population didn't hear the new Saving Abel song because most of us don't have satellite radio or we have it and don't listen to it. In fact, more people in this world of ours have rectal cancer than listen to satellite radio. But, some genius thought this would help the band sell records, so they sold their soul to the enemy to make a few quick bucks and maybe sell a few singles when it gets released on iTunes tomorrow.
But at the end of the day, how did Saving Abel become Saving Abel? How did Motley Crue become Motley Crue? How did anybody become anybody? It was through hard work, making good tunes, and through getting played where people can hear them...funny how that works.
For some reason, bands and their management teams are always looking for the "next best thing". Whether it be music television (when was the last you saw a music video on MTV?) or satellite radio or the internet or whatever, and they tend to forget that people that got them where they are, the fans and the radio. But guess what, MTV failed and so will Satellite radio because all they do is give you the music. There isn't a guy there giving you a personal anecdotes about the band or telling you when they are coming to town. There is no connection. There is no soul. And that is what separates the good from the bad.
Again, Saving Abel isn't the problem. They are only a small, insignificant part of the overall problem. But, they sign these record deals, and hire these management teams that drive a wedge between them and their fans instead of bringing them together. That is what pissed me off. It had nothing to do with getting a slap on the wrist for playing their song early. That I get. I get the business aspect of music. But, these bands and suits are forgetting about how they got successful in the first place, and that is by taking care of their fans.
Hell, here recently, we had a band with show a complete and utter lack of respect to us, the fans. Staind and Halestorm were awesome as always. They took the time to hang out and spend some quality time with each and every person we took backstage. But things took a turn for the worse when we ran into Godsmack. Not only did they treat us as an annoyance, but they refused to sign a sick kid's guitar (who is a Godsmack super fan) and had the balls to call us a "bunch of inbred, redneck hicks." That's not how you treat the people that pay your bills.
Maybe all of this is just in my head. Maybe it's because I have respect for the people I work with and work for. And, I'm not talking about the Corporate guys in Monkey Suits. I'm talking about you guys and the people I work with here at the station. We do whatever it takes to make you guys happy. Stu, Gonzo, Kayla Keys, Rockin Rick, and I bust our asses and do whatever we can within our power to provide the things we think and know you guys deserve. Whether it be playing the new Puscifer or bringing the bands you guys want to see to town, or whatever, we do the best we can. I guess that's why I got so f**king pissed last week. It's not about anything else that happened. It's about taking care of you guys and being the best station we can be.
I kind of feel bad about beating up on Saving Abel a tiny bit, but at the end of the day, I'm okay with everything that happened. Hell it was fun. I enjoy stirring up trouble, it's part of my job. But there is a method to my madness. Saving Abel just happened to be the wrong band, at the wrong time, doing the wrong thing.
So, if protecting the people and the music I love makes me an asshole...so be it. I've been punched in the teeth by love on more than one occasion, I just think it's high time we start fighting back. I believe it's time to let all these schumcks, whether they be in monkey suits or not, that enough is enough. It's time to put rock and roll back into the hands of the people that care about it, the fans and the bands.
With that being said, hopefully, we'll see all of you guys out and about supporting some bands that embody the spirit of rock and roll. Whether it be the Charm City Devils on May 25th at the Warehouse, DOWN on May 27th at the Municipal, or 66% of the show on June 12th featuring Aranda, Redlight King, and that other *Cough*band at the Warehouse.
We all love rock and roll, it's time to show everbody how much by holding the artist to the highest standards. I've had enough of that Nickelback crap they've been pawning off as rock, I've had enough of bands thinking they are better than us, the fan, and I have certainly had enough of corporate money hungry douchebags taking the fun out of rock and rock radio. Time to give em hell and show them who's boss (and in case you haven't been paying attention, that would be us)!
With Love from your friendly neighborhood asshole,
P.S.- If we had more people who followed this simple philosophy, the rock universe would be a better place for all of us.