Oh, How the Mighty Have Fallen

The Second Essential Scary Truth

Rock and roll used to be the refuge of the imaginative; those who could imagine a world different than the one they inhabited. Through anarchy, rebellion, intellectual diatribe and just flat out bad behavior, rock and rollers were out to change the world. Whether it was Elvis foisting the ‘let’s fuck’ imperative on a captive 1950’s television audience, Bob Dylan spouting odd poetic truths in 1966, the Clash screaming about American foreign policy in 1982 or Public Enemy decrying the long wait for an ambulance after calling 911, rock and roll is at it’s best when hanging around the existential edge, pissing off whole legions of punters.

A funny thing happens when you’re on this cutting edge of societal rage or articulating the feelings of a large group, you end up doing really stupid shit. Women and red snapper, Satanism and swimming pools, drugs and booze to historical excess whatever, is the exact danger courted when you hang around the ledge for too long.

However, the latest generation of pop stars busted for excess have been, well, boring. Tarkan, Patrick Wolf and the latest music idols, although busted for narcotics possession, seem to find danger in their fashion choices. Even hip-hop royalty has gone the way of the Upper East Side. The days of the East West Rap wars have been cosigned to the dustbin of history. These days, the worst of the rap world is arguably DMZ and his arrests in Maricopa County, Arizona were for gun possession, drugs and animal cruelty. Drugs are now milk, gun possession in a state where everyone is heavily armed and kicking your dog does not make a Camusesque hero. Although he did violate his parole by using cocaine a couple of weeks back. Now he’ll have to finish his sentence in the Maricopa County Jail wearing pink pajamas.

Punk rock has not been immune. The musical form that so terrified the authorities and parents they had Black Flag and the Bad Brains banned from playing LA and DC respectively is now…a whiny middle aged man.

Dave Grohl was the drummer in punk rockers Nirvana whose lead singer Kurt Cobain shot himself to death in 1994 after writing songs of teenage ennui, angst and suicidal depression, thus cynically becoming a man of his word. He went on to form the Foo Fighters and finally a new super group with Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones. Reports were circulating that Grohl had OD’d. I was hopeful the menace of rock and roll had returned.

Yes it’s true Grohl OD’d – on caffeine. The vehicle for this drug wasn’t a syringe; it was coffee. According to Spinner.com, he was taken to a local emergency room with chest pains. After the diagnosis, the attending physician told him not to drink so much coffee and sent him on his way.

It makes me sick how far we have fallen.

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