Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gene Simmons Attacks Rihanna

When announcing their tour together KISS frontman/bassist Gene Simmons and Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee found it necessary to gratuitously attack Rihanna for alleged lack of musical ability.
"We're sick and tired of girls getting up there with dancers and karaoke tapes in back of them," Simmons told the crowd at the press conference, reports "No fake bull***t. Leave that to the Rihanna, Shmianna and anyone who ends their name with an 'A.' "
The ironic thing of course is that although KISS was a fantastically commercially successful band in their heyday they were not considered then or now to be excellent or frankly even good musicians. They were known for exalting the stage show above any other consideration. Simmons (born Chaim Witz) in particular was known to be a greedy SOB who cared much more about the dollar signs and over the top stage performances than anything having to do with music. In short they were EXACTLY what they are accusing Rihanna of being.
And that goes DOUBLE for Motley Crue who really were the 80's equivalent of The Osmonds, The Partridge Family, Peter Frampton, etc. :something musically lame but that was loved by many teen (mostly white) girls and sold bazillions of records because of that. Few people speak seriously of Motley Crue's skilled musicianship. Motley Crue had about as much musical talent as your average saltine cracker. People talk about the various groupies they had, what they looked like in their tight pants, eye liner and long hair, and their copious consumption of drugs and alcohol. They were EXACTLY the sort of band that was mocked and (temporarily) killed off by the 90's grunge movement. They were known as hair bands and replaced by groups like Soundgarden, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, etc.
I am not a Rihanna fan. I don't like or dislike her music. It's just not my thing. She's very easy on the eyes but I just haven't heard much of her music. To each their own.
But there is an underlying racism and jealousy that you see in a lot of white rock bands. On the one hand they claim to be of greater musical integrity as compared to pop/dance. But on the other they are insanely jealous of the fact that dance-pop/R&B is what is in right now. It must be somewhat frustrating to have spent all your time ripping off people who ripped off people who ripped off black musicians only to find out in your old age that tastes changed.
Jazz, blues or classical musicians could make the same accusations of musical fraudulence about rock in general and KISS/Motley Crue in particular that Simmons and Lee are making about Rihanna. Music is not a competition. The fact you like one type of music doesn't prevent me from liking a different type of music. I may think your tastes pedestrian or silly but I don't necessarily need to share that with the world or insult you or your music.*
The underlying idea here, and this goes back a while, is that any music which is danceable is by definition less challenging and of little utility. Race plays a HUGE role in this. Post Beatles, most white popular music or rock has not been danceable. There's also a dose of sexism there to boot. Many of the greatest musicians are men but great singers are found equally in both genders. And most of today's greatest singers are women. I don't know if Rihanna is a great singer or not. But I know she's better than Simmons. Listening to him sing is like listening to a drunk hippopotamus break wind. I mean you could do it but why would you?
A band that is primarily known for the number of porn stars or Baywatch stars they slept with and the multiple sex tapes they made with these stars doesn't get to impugn the talents of a singer.
A multimillionaire senior citizen who dresses up in makeup, leather, high heels and spits fake blood and fire has no room to say anything about someone else's musical integrity.
And anyone with the mellifluous moniker of "Chaim Witz" certainly has no business making fun of anyone else's name.

Give it to me straight doc!
Well Shady on the last trip to Budapest you must not have protected yourself. You have Chaim Witz syndrome. It's incurable...
*Unless it's country or certain forms of rap music which have been scientifically proven to primarily be listened to by people who are missing chromosomes and/or the normal number of teeth...
1) Why do people feel it necessary to tear down other people in the same business?
2) Have you ever listened to any Motley Crue or KISS songs?
3) Does Simmons have a point? Is modern pop too fake?
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