American Midol

American Idol.

I’m always perplexed by the people I know who love the show.

I do not.

It’s basically everything that’s wrong with mu…..I’m sorry, I was going to say music but it’s bigger than that.

Quickly let me get this out-of-the-way.  I know Taylor Hicks, and I am proud he won.  And he did it with a little soul, so that’s nice.

I now have gotten to know Ruben Studdard and I love the guy.  He’s exactly what you think.  He’s got a great voice and is a charming person.

But I believe both of them would have found their place in music regardless.

It’s the premise of the show in general.

It perpetuates a dangerous illusion.  Kids watch this stuff for god’s sake….

So the idea behind the show is that certain annoying people decide “whose dreams come true” and whose dreams… don’t.

Permission to be successful comes from somebody else.  Not yourself.

It also gives the impression that being famous is all that is important.  Being famous makes a contribution to the world.  This is rarely a show about musicians or singers, it’s about being famous for being famous’ sake.

People think that karaoke singers are stars now.  It doesn’t take learning your craft, mastering an instrument, paying some dues, learning how to get better after paying your dues….

Could you imagine Tom Petty being on American Idol?  John Lennon?  Dylan?

Mick Jagger would have been on the vicious “make fun of” segment in the first couple of shows.

And he’s one of the greatest front men and vocalist in history.

Okay, I would like to have seen that.  Simon Cowell’s take on Jagger.

“What the hell was that?  Are you trying to look like a rooster on speed?  Are you actually singing words?”

And screw Simon Cowell.  I know he’s not on the show anymore, but who the hell does he think he is?  And when he dies he’s simply going to go down in history as one of the world’s biggest pricks.  Nice.

Which leads me to Steven Tyler.

Who is his PR guy, and is everybody else RUNNING from him?

Steven Tyler stands among some of the great vocalists and songwriters in Rock.

Does this tarnish him?


He knows better than this.  He made it by playing is ass off in the Boston clubs until the band was undeniable.

That’s rock and roll.  That’s being famous for having real talent and getting out there and working it.  And then continue to work it.

He’s got nothing to prove.  He can retire and go down in music history as one of the greats.

But this is stupid.

And what has the American Idol model given us?

Idols.  Not singers.  We can use auto-tune now so they just have to have the right look and whatever hell else America has been dumbed down to.

I hate to pick on Taylor Swift.  I know she didn’t come from American idol, but she should have.  And I don’t dislike her at all, but it all came to auto-focus at the 2010 Grammy awards when she performed her duet with Stevie Nix.

Maybe Taylor had a bad night.  Maybe her monitors weren’t working, I don’t know and don’t care.

Stevie Nix nailed it, and Taylor Swift moved her hips around while singing everywhere but on key.

Again, not picking on Talylor, but I think it exemplified where we are.  Stevie Nix was a musician and a pro.  Taylor Swift was an idol and an embarrassment.

They were even introduced by Ryan Seacrest….

So to those who are still watching, god bless.  But I’m warning you:

It’s like crystal meth.  It may feel good for a little while, but it’s real bad for you.



Thoughts on AI? Don’t be embarrassed to say you like it….



6 responses

  1. I am proud to say I’ve never seen it. Maybe, if it centered around bands, perhaps I’d watch it. As it is, I agree with you.

    Real talent today is found where the musicians bring the music to the people. Bars, clubs, smaller venues and the occasional streetcorner are where it’s at. Not that there’s anything wrong with concerts, mind you. I’d just rather go see ZZ Top than Lady Gaga.

    And don’t get me started about rap…

    January 28, 2011 at 5:14 pm

  2. Blogidy blogidy blah blah. People will be battling these monsters until the end of time. Live and let live, as hard as that may be.

    January 28, 2011 at 6:55 pm

  3. Vicki Welch

    I too am proud to say I’ve never seen more than a min. or so when I accidentally run across it while channel surfing. But from what little I’ve seen & heard, Simon is a prick, Paula was either from another planet or on drugs, & who the hell is Randy Jackson? Now they have S. Tyler, who looks like someone’s grandma, & J. Lo, who’s more famous for her ass than anything else. And don’t get me started on the poor, untalented folks they parade seemingly just so they & the audience can laugh at them. Cruel and heartless. I’m with you, cream rises to the top, & if you work hard enough, you’ll be rewarded some way, some how.

    January 28, 2011 at 10:02 pm

  4. Amen brother. You put into words my exact feeling.
    Everyone I know love’s that show & they get a little pissed if you question it(have you noticed?).

    I will continue to resist…

    January 28, 2011 at 11:54 pm

  5. KG

    I enjoy the show. While I’m not a professional musician, I’ve sang in a number of bands and consider myself to be a pretty good vocalist/frontman. The reason I like the show is that you get to see some kids with some really amazing vocal talent. The a capella auditions are as real as it gets. You can’t fake it when it’s just you standing there singing. Do I hate that they take these singers and try to turn them into pop stars? Yeah, but that’s been happening ever since there’s been pop music. I think it’s naive to assume that Ruben and Taylor would have “made it” without being on the show. They certainly wouldn’t be known by as many people as know them now, that’s for certain.

    Having said all this, I DVR the show and watch it with my remote in hand. That way, I can hear the performances and can fast-forward through the majority of the judge’s comments, especially Randy Jackson (who seems like a nice enough guy, but the “yo, yo, yo, it’s pitchy, dawg” gets a little old after awhile).

    As far as the “being famous” stuff, there’s been far more singers on the show who aren’t famous than are. There’s only about a dozen I can still recall by name. I’m sure a lot of them are doing what they need to do (putting in their time, practicing their craft and paying their dues) and who didn’t let not winning the show stop them from pursuing their musical dreams.

    What the show did do for them, though, is to give them one more thing they can put on their resume or use to promote themselves. Maybe someone will see “as seen on American Idol” on one of their gig flyers and come see them when they otherwise might have just walked on by the flyer without stopping. If it gets them one additional fan, it was probably worth it.

    January 31, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    • I will say this….
      I was speaking/ playing at a “career day” at a upper elementary school.
      I explained songwriting, performing, blah blah…
      played a few songs of my own, and some from others. The kids were great and a very polite and responsive. (I mainly told them it would be smarter to go to med school…)
      In the middle of one of my songs a very quiet kid raised his hand and asked if he could sing a song. I said “of course, what would you like me to play for him to sing..”
      He replied “you don’t need to play, I just want to sing”.
      He then proceeded to sing “she will be loved” by Maroon 5 perfectly and beautifully to a stunned and silent classroom.
      And it was all because of American Idol.
      It did occur to me that (while I still the the show gives the wrong impression of the real music industry) that this kid gained a love of singing and music from the show.
      And just for that one thing, maybe just maybe the show does have some merit.

      February 1, 2011 at 4:16 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s