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"The Way the Music Died" ...Thursday Night on PBS


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"The modern music scene was created in 1969 at Woodstock"

Could be wost! think ill watch it tho. (:

 

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Well, (not having seen the program) I can see how Woodstock would be seen as a culminating event in this context. It was more important than many people realize.

 

I for one am glad Frontline is investigating this topic. For those who've never watched Frontine, you might consider their style, uh, dry.

Yep. I'm the other voice in the head of davebrownbass.
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Originally posted by ricknbokkerv2.0:

"The modern music scene was created in 1969 at Woodstock"

Somewhat accurate. If I had to point to a single event that gave modern popular music it's push toward recognition of a "band" instead of a "singer", I'd pick Woodstock.

 

Back in the day, the "band" was that group of guys who played in the studio for EVERYONE on that record label. It was Elvis Presley, not the Elvis Presley Band.

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Originally posted by getz76:

Somewhat accurate. If I had to point to a single event that gave modern popular music it's push toward recognition of a "band" instead of a "singer", I'd pick Woodstock.

Back in the day, the "band" was that group of guys who played in the studio for EVERYONE on that record label. It was Elvis Presley, not the Elvis Presley Band.

The Beatles, The Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Yardbirds, The Hollies, The Supremes, The Temptations, The Four Tops-

All predate Woodstock by a few years.

I'm just sayin'. ;)

 

I would venture that "The British Invasion" in general, and The Beatles in particular did as much to enforce the "group" paradigm to the masses. Before them, it was Sinatra, Como, Martin, Torme, etc. The crooners.

Elvis bridged the gap from crooner to rock idol.

The Beatles were a group of rock idols, the first and biggest at it. The invasion followed.

 

I watch Frontline a lot.

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Fair point, wraub.

 

Beatles were mainstream and somewhat "wholesome." Not that they were approved of, but they were the types to trash hotel rooms, have orgies, and act like full-blown rock stars.

 

I think Woodstock brought out the "counter-culture" aspect of modern (at that point in time) rock music. Ever since Woodstock, music has been about counter-culture. The hippies, the punks, new wave, heavy metal, and now aggro-emo-numetal-wave-pop-punk. :D And it did make it "acceptable" to act "unacceptable." ;)

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And a fair point back to you. :D

 

Although I suppose it could be argued that The Stones and Zeppelin, among others, played the "Bad Boy", counter culture card pretty often.

If just to meet chicks. :D

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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All right, break it up guys. :D Yes, it would be ridiculous to say that Woodstock started the era of bands, or the counterculture movement in rock. Both of those things were ushered in by the Beatles and Stones and were well established by the time Woodstock happened.

 

However, I read the blurb about the Frontline piece and it doesn't appear they were even saying what you guys think they were saying. The piece is about the BUSINESS of music, and I do feel that Woodstock marked the dawn of a new attitude toward the business end of things. Although music had been a moneymaking enterprise for many before Woodstock, the sight of so many people gathered in one place caused many people's eyes to light up with dollar signs to a degree they hadn't before. It was the beginning of the "corporate rock" era, of out of control recording budgets, the FM AOR radio boom, art rock, arena rock, etc. In other words, the business model that is still being followed today to its extreme, even though it's become hopelessly outdated and was pretty questionable to begin with. I think that's what they're referring to.

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I think the brit invasion was more important than woodstock, because it(or more exactly, female reaction to it) got everyone (at least all the poon hounds) thinking hair, guitar, band, british accent. As a young kid of about 12, I thought there was something different about Rubber Soul, was certain there was something different about Revolver, and Sgt. Pepper removed all doubt. Even though the Stones released Aftermath in 65/66 and it was definetly different than the standard brit fare at the time, (hermans hermits, peter and gordon, chad and jeremy), I believe it was Sgt. Pepper that served notice to the rest of the planet that things are going to be a little different now.

 

When Herman's Hermits firat toured the US, their opening act was (drum roll please), The Who.

 

 

www.ethertonswitch.com

 

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I thought the modern music scene ended at Woodstock. Music changed from self-expression to a business.

 

I didn't go to Woodstock because I had already been to four festivals that summer and I was kind of burned out on festivals. I also had already seen all the bands live anyway. And I have no regrets at all about not being there.

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Originally posted by Lee Flier:

Originally posted by jeremyc:

I thought the modern music scene ended at Woodstock. Music changed from self-expression to a business.

RIGHT, exactly.
Elvis was about self-expression and not business?

 

I think recorded music has always been about business. Woodstock maybe took it from small time to big time.

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Corporate sponsorship. That is why your ticket prices for Led Zep at the Garden 1973 (front row) was $9.50 face value as opposed to The Who at the Garden last Saturday was about $100 for a nose-bleed seat.

 

In the grand old days of the 70's, the Band would pay out of their own pocket for the expense of putting on the show. Woodstock is a bad example.

 

Performers had to provide for ticket and program printing as well as avoiding "union issues" with arena personnel. The bands also had to pay for general security as well as their own.

New exciting techniques were developed to contain the cost ceiling.

 

The Allman Bros. were the first band to offset touring costs by selling T-shirts. (thanks to Greg Allman for that bit of info!)

 

In the 70's, the big Prog bands were often criticized for putting on larger than life productions as pompous and overblown. Pink Floyd was destroyed by the "critics" for daring to "blow your mind" with expensive lighting, props (not to mention the enormous manpower required to maintain it) and advanced sound systems. When ELP toured with a 70 piece orchestra (and developed a microphone and eq system to amp and monitor each orchestra member) they paid out of their own pockets to provide the audience with a $7.50 ticket price for 4 hours of unforgettable performance. They ultimately went bankrupt. This was common. You toured to support a forthcoming or current album. You toured without a corporate sponsor to pick up the tab in hopes that the band would break even.

 

For the younger folks, you missed out on a time when performers actually took risks . The Corporate sponsors have provided a safety net for the touring acts in exchange for $250 tickets, $50 programs, $30 t-shirts, $8 beverages. When the corporate sponsors stop making money, its time to cut your losses. Why pour money into a losing business deal?

 

The Era of Corporate rock began with the Us Festival (which was not a real sponsorship since it was originally supposed to be a free concert, but someone has to pay insurance) and Live Aid, which was a disaster in providing disaster relief but was a success on the commercial level. The CEOs took notice of the cenormous commercial potential. I knew the Game was over when back in the 1980's U-2 toured under the Pepsi Banner and ticket prices suddenly jumped from $15 to $35 in a matter of 3 or 4 years. The death knell was Woodstock II and III.

 

Now that Frontline visa vis PBS is attacking the commercial aspect of Pop, isn't it like biting the hand that feeds PBS since a majority of their funds are provided through "corporate sponsorships"?

 

For more info as to how it was done Read:

 

The Real Frank Zappa Book (Frank Zappa)

The Show That Never Ends( the story of ELP)

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IMHO, Elvis was about self-expression and the Colonel was about business. And the two made a killer combination.

 

Same thing with the Beatles and Brian Epstein.

 

And the Stones and Andrew Loog Oldham.

 

There was something different in the 60's. Every band had something to say (even it was incoherent) and no two bands sounded the same. The record companies signed everyone because they didn't have a clue as to what would be the next big thing.

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Ah... and now the record companies DETERMINE what will be the next big thing.

 

Mainly it's a mix of this;

 

1. double kick with a low rumble of bass

2. dissonant guitars

3. softly spoken-sung vocals in the verse

4. angry screaming vocals in the chorus

5. during chorus, angry rap-like lyrics on the stereo pan

 

Got it. ;)

 

I don't completely disagree.

 

Is it safe to say that Woodstock had a bigger impact on the non-hip section of individuals? Like say some kid in Idaho who read about it in the paper and said, "Wow, that's what the cool kids are doing. I need to listen to Santana!" A combination of commericial interest and media hype enable the corporate music machine to flourish.

 

This sounds like a problem. What's the answer?

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Originally posted by jeremyc:

There was something different in the 60's. Every band had something to say (even it was incoherent) and no two bands sounded the same. The record companies signed everyone because they didn't have a clue as to what would be the next big thing.

very true! FZ used to say that if todays A&R guys (the hip young guys) were running the show in the 60's and 70's no-one would have signed him or The Mothers. Old cigar chompin guys used to run the show and say "I don't know what it is, but the kids want more of it".
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Originally posted by getz76:

Fair point, wraub.

 

Beatles were mainstream and somewhat "wholesome." Not that they were approved of, but they were the types to trash hotel rooms, have orgies, and act like full-blown rock stars.

 

I think Woodstock brought out the "counter-culture" aspect of modern (at that point in time) rock music. Ever since Woodstock, music has been about counter-culture. The hippies, the punks, new wave, heavy metal, and now aggro-emo-numetal-wave-pop-punk. :D And it did make it "acceptable" to act "unacceptable." ;)

You're joking, right? Or maybe you're just young, but I'm not betting on that. ;)

 

Rock & Roll has been counterculture since its' inception. Just because you look at the counter culture of the 1950's as quaint when put next to that of the late 1960's and 1970's doesn't change the fact that it was as subversive to the status quo as Woodstock was. Woodstock merely took it to another level. Jerry Lee Lewis and others were tearing up clubs and hotel rooms a decade before Woodstock supposedly ushered in the "full blown rock star" image. ;)

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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Oh, I am too young, believe me. ;) I wasn't breathing air until mid-year 1976.

 

Fair point on Jerry Lee Lewis.

 

But was Woodstock not a notch up? Jerry Lee Lewis might have been a full-blown rockstar, but was it so in-your-face in the media? Yes, he was a wild man, but I think the details were left a bit more to the imagination. Was there such a "grand" (at least in media terms) event before Woodstock that displayed such complete debauchery on that scale?

 

Those questions were NOT rhetorical. ;)

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In the 1950's Alan Freed did many well attended Rock N Roll shows so the big business of music predates the british invasion...

the technology was not there to bring it to the masses...

Then there was the payolla scandal which Alan Freed was accused of accepting bribes for favoring one artist over another...

so the corporate slime was always present...not saying Freed was slime but there was something going on there...

I think the associated boom from the Woodstock Era had more to do with the new counter culture and the drugs than business....

Woodstock was the first movie to show naked people hanging in public without penalty and pot smoking hippies to the young masses in movie/album form...having a great time... freedom....

www.danielprine.com

 

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Perhaps that's part of the key- The allure of "freedom" mad it even easier to sell the bands and music of the era, because it was really the freedom that was being sold.

The allure of "do what you want, make a freaky sound, have a good time, be free" is pretty easy to sell on its own, but put a good beat and some naked people behind it, and the lines start forming.

And the businessmen start forming lines, and that leads us to the '80s. :D when freedom became all about money, and the music really started to go downhill, as other things cropped up to buy and sell.

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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At the time Woodstock happened I had just turned 15 and was living Morocco so I missed it. But I always had fun telling that to my buddies older siblings since Marrakech was about the only thing cooler than Woodstock in those days. My brother-in-law was there and thinks it was way over rated and that it looked a lot more fun in the movie than it really was. He thinks it was more of a last gasp than a brave new world.

 

 

www.ethertonswitch.com

 

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Yes, The Baetles, and Elvis as well, had an enormous impact on what became "youth culture". The Beatles, especially had a huge impact on the music industry as they were quite self-contained, extraordinarliy talented, and, due partly to chronology, immmensely poular.

 

Yet, Woodstock marked the point where "the suits" sat up and took notice of a huge market, with a vast surplus of expendable income (usually mom and dad's) which was ripe for exploitation. Certainly, the "pop-making machinery" had been in place for a long, long time in the music biz, but this event marked a shift from being a rather small aspect of the entertainment industry to something which now rivals auto-makers for gross profits.

 

And from this came the influx of cheap gtrs (so that every kid could be a rock star), which in turn brought to the forefront a load of mediocre bands, and banal music. It brought us marketing plans, pyrotechics..big big and bigger "festivals", MTV, corporate sponsorship,"sub-genres", hype and contrived exploitation of "poular culture" (which now, in a rather MacLuhan-esque turn is replaced by "Mass Culture")....boy bands, "formula music", "formula radio" and American Idol.

 

The music Industry has always been and "industry", and as such has been motivated by profit and loss. Yet, in it's early days..even up to the 60s, while there were "manipulative forces" (ok...most of those "historic Phil Spector sides, while the playing is all good, are quite dismissable....and who has not heard the classic saga of the record producer who takes a kid of marginal talent, dresses him in the latest fashions, puts his voice over tracks of studio players vamping over the lastest "pop flavor", and re-names him Johnny Midnight, or something similar...?hmmm, isn't that happening today?)) ...there was a least some integrity and artistic licence demonstrated. In those days, record companies, or some at least, had some big balls, and were willing to take some chances, profitability be damned!

 

Woodstock marked the change in that. Since that time, the music industry has had very little to do with music, but quite a bit to do with industry.

There was hope that the internet might offer an alternative to this, and in some instances it has...but so far has failed to live up to its promise.

 

Max

...it's not the arrow, it's the Indian.
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I agree with what Lee, Wraub and others are saying but I attended Woodstock in '69 and have since read the book concerning it's "oral history".

 

The Monterey Pop Festival predated Woodstock and was one of the first festivals to wake up the corporate boys in my opinion to the "next big thing(s). Hendrix and Joplin come to mind in particular. This festival MADE them big stars. This festival was famous for instantly turning the Beach Boys into "old fogies-straight men" when they declined to participate. It signaled new artistic adventurism along with the prior British Invasion. The Beatles were important musically/artistically because they made self contained songwriting OK and profitable. They also were among the first to bring "world music" to the American masses via the use of eastern instruments, etc.

 

In my view, the Big Hair Bands of the '80's preceeded by Disco (Oh the Horror!) signaled the truly accountant run merged record companies along with MTV which not only killed album sales over time but excluded black artists in an unabashedly racist manner until Michael Jackson's "Thriller" got so big that he could no longer be ignored. (Now, perhaps he should be...)

Woodstock was NOT the final death throw of artistic, album oriented music. That continued well into the mid seventies with bands like the Allman Bros., Zepplin, The Flying Burrito Bros., even some late '70s groups like Steely Dan.

 

MTV-video killed the artistic/album oriented business more than anything else in my view.

Younger people who grew up with Ronald Reagan and a more materialistic society in general without having experienced the '60s and early to mid '70s had a different, bottom line perspective and we all suffer for it.

 

Woodstock was a complete monetary loser UNTIL the movie allowed the festival's producers to more or less break even by 1980!

 

Prior to the movie's release, the festival was not about the music as much as the amazing fact that half a million people could co-exist under uncomfortable conditions in a situation that grew way beyond expectations without one recorded fight, riot, etc. The true importance of Woodstock was that it showed the world that counter culture-ists weren't all bad, the youth of America weren't buying into the Vietnam War without a lot of questions and

guys would forever after, be allowed to wear colorful clothing instead of white shirts and ties, to work! :P

 

Woodstock was originally planned for about 20-30,000 attendees to finance the building of a recording facility for its producers, in Woodstock, N.Y.

"When people hear good music, it makes them homesick for something they never had, and never will have."

Edgar Watson Howe

"Don't play what's there. Play what's not there" Miles Davis

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Jim T, I have two points of contention:

 

Originally posted by Jim T.:

In my view, the Big Hair Bands of the '80's preceeded by Disco (Oh the Horror!)

What's wrong with disco?

 

signaled the truly accountant run merged record companies
Why does everyone blame the accountants? ;)

 

- Maury, CPA

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