November 18th 2019 will always be remembered as a very unique day in music history. Not only was one of the longest-serving and over-rated musicians of all time, Sir Paul McCartney, announced as a headliner for the 2020 Glastonbury Festival but, astonishingly, a band that had signed a contract preventing them from ever playing together again announced a plan to tour the world….playing together again.
Sir Paul McCartney is an institution. Although it could be said that spending his life in one could have been better for the development of modern music and for humankind in general. Along with his three Beatle bandmates (of which, sadly, the only two worth any kind of accolade are no longer with us), he is responsible for showering generation after generation with bland, uninspiring popular music. And, what’s even more devastating, is that this dour old drivel is significantly influential in coining the term ‘popular music’ in the first place.
Sir Paul has spent nearly 60 years attempting to play the bass – an instrument that he even disguised in the hope that no one realised it was actually his responsibility to play it – whilst simultaneously perfecting the unique ability to sing out of tune and deliberately avoid all rules of time and tempo. This culminated in what he would probably claim to be his greatest performance at the London Olympics Opening Ceremony in 2012. This was a defining moment in the career of a man who never really got to grips with what it was he was actually supposed to be famous for.
Indeed, it cannot be questioned that the main driver for being booked at Glastonbury is that it has become a global tradition to attend any event where Sir Paul is vainly attempting to coin the phrase ‘performance’ and to sing so loudly that there is little chance anyone can hear the tuneless, talentless sewage that is being pumped from the stage. Hey Jude, you shriek, take a sad song and make it better. You just did – even a million wildebeest being driven over the edge of a cliff by the entire Chinese People’s Liberation Army would turn out a brighter tune.
Motley Crue were a fantastic band on the other hand. Arguably, they possessed little more talent than Sir Paul – however, they accepted this and chose to forge a fearsome reputation through hard living and rock n’ roll debauchery – as captured in the excellent recent bio-film ‘The Dirt’. This makes them a completely different yellow submarine full of heroin.
However, the point is they ‘were’ all this. The last time they were seen onstage, frontman Vince Neil was a blubber ball who’d apparently become utterly incoherent and could only manage to yell one word in six – which, given the complexities and literary distinction of Motley Crue’s lyrical back catalogue, could be forgiven; Nikki Sixx was travelling to gigs in a separate bus to his ego that was always delivered by an Iranian super-tanker and then sewn back into his bulging exo-skeleton, Tommy Lee looked liked he was ready to hang up his trousers and repeatedly wave his now familiar manhood at no one in particular in the hope that’s someone would just love him again – and Mick Marrs – the only one with real issues that he coped with throughout every single turbulent year that the Crue were together – continued to single-handedly play every guitar riff and solo whilst looking like he’d been tied to a lamp post in a bin bag during a particularly eventful stag night.
The ‘car crash’ that could be Motley Crue returning to the stage is particularly poignant given the controversial antics of Vince Neil back in 1984 – and, unless they decide to use the cast of The Dirt to stand in and dish out a permanent display of their fine acting skills, will require the pyrotechnic arsenal of the planet to go some way towards impressing even the most hardcore of their enormous fanbase.
Too fast for love? They couldn’t outrun a garden snail.