Planet Rock, the radio station I listen to almost exclusively, has a feature, 'The Trilogy', at 3:00 each weekday, where they play, logically enough, three songs by one band or artist. The tracks played on any given day are selected on the basis of what listeners have suggested over the previous 24 hours, subject to a few 'terms and conditions' - when Guns N' Roses are featured, which they are from time to time, It's So Easy is on the barred list, for example - and those listeners who 'vote' are also encouraged to say why they've made the selections they have, some of the 'opinion pieces' being read out on air. Today's featured act was David Bowie, and one of the comments read out opined about how Bowie's old stuff was far better than his newer material, describing his latest single as 'a load of rubbish'. I've no axe to grind here, because I'm not particularly a Bowie fan - there are certain of his tracks I like, one or two I like a lot, but I'm certainly not an afficionado - but I've heard the latest offering, and while I wouldn't say it's an instant classic, it isn't the the worst thing he's ever done, either. What the opinion did make me think of, though, was an interview I heard on BBC Radio 1 a very long time ago, probably the best part of thirty years back, featuring Jim Reid of the Jesus & Mary Chain. In their early days, when their music was seen as being pretty much 'out there', mostly because of the amount of feedback they employed, many 'music critics', amateur and professional, hated them. Jim referred to this in the interview in a way that has stuck with me, and is a kind of paraphrase of the G.B. Shaw quotation 'Those that can, do'. He said something along the lines of 'You may think our music is a load of crap, but if that's the case, do what we did. We didn't like any of the music we were hearing on the radio, so we went out and made our own.' It's easy to sit back and criticise others for what they do and how they do it, especially in what might loosely be described as 'creative' endeavours. It's far more difficult to actually go out and do better things yourself.
Love & best wishes to all