Sunday, March 15, 2009

abuse of power

i was looking through a mix cd by peanut butter wolf and found a track by funkadelic i'd never heard before, entitled no head no backstage pass. i hoped it didn't mean what i thought it did, so i looked it up and sure enough, the lyrics stated the obvious. disgusted and disappointed, i didn't want to believe it to be true. why is there so much corruption in this scene? so much exploitation? so many figures whose musical accomplishments seem to excuse them for their acts of evil?

i look at some of my musical heroes. say for example miles, jaco and mingus. all amazing musicians- revolutionary ideas in the areas of facility on their instruments, in creating new musical idioms, composing pieces that broke stylistic boundaries. but in their personal lives they were real jerks- at times very despicable people. i feel like i'm at such a crux all the time. i'm stuck in this mash where i have to constantly separate art from the artist- praising the artist for his art but having to feel remorse for the pain and discomfort they projected onto others in their personal lives. miles was known for beating the women he dated. mingus punched jimmy knepper in the face and messed up his ability to play the trombone for the rest of his life. jaco's cockiness ended up killing him when he belligerently refused to leave a bar and got beat to death. in all, their selfishness, feeling entitled serve their wants over the rights of others, saddens/ frustrates me and i find it so difficult to understand how i can praise them so many times for their musical contributions and overlook all the injustice they acted out in their everyday lives.

it's about time musicians humble themselves and use the talent they've been blessed with to bless others. honor the respect that people have for your work and respect them in turn. seems like common sense but yet how often do we see this played out?

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