Under The Bridge
It will not have escaped the notice of regular readers, that Rock music doesn’t feature too heavily on this blog. I don’t like a lot of it, and the posing and face-pulling practiced by most of the front men of the bands just makes me cringe. They often also assume an important role in everyday life, as if the things that they do, or their opinions on subjects outside of music, carry any weight. Their egos are sky-high in many cases, and they are treated like some kind of royalty. Examples of this type of Rock musician might include, Bob Geldof, Brian May, Bono, and Pete Townshend, as well as more mainstream superstars like Elton John, and Paul McCartney. They pontificate loudly about poverty, and world peace, at the same time raking in untold fortunes. Sometimes, they adopt annoying nicknames, as favoured by Bono, Flea, The Edge, Sting, Slash, and many others. I usually find it all just too annoyingly pretentious, and hardly even bother with their music.
Then there is the stage presence. The sight of a man, well into middle age, covered in tattoos, bare-chested, with flowing hair, and a tortured musculature, just leaves me asking a rhetorical ‘why?’ The prancing up and down, the hysteria, the contorted expressions, and the yelling at the crowd, it all leaves me cold. What might have been barely acceptable in youth, just becomes plain embarrassing after the age of forty. OK, I know many will not agree. You love your Rock Gods, stadium concerts, and massive stage effects. You welcome the fact that they continue unabashed, well into their sixties, and clamour for tickets to the next sell-out tour. You won’t like the people I like, and I will not be converted to your Rock legends.
Except for this one, at least.
As long as I don’t have to look at them, I consider the Red Hot Chilli Peppers to be above the run of the mill, and talented musicians. The vocals are strong without unnecessary power being applied, and the guitar work is of a high standard. Despite one of their number adopting the reviled ‘single name’, I was pleasantly surprised by this release, in 1992, and actually bought the album from which the track was taken, ‘Blood Sugar Sex Magik’. It is a personal song, with a message about drug use and depression, that is also well constructed, and a ballad combining Rock with a smoother style. So, here it is, a rock song on my blog. Make the most of it, there won’t be many more.