Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

It's alright to talk back to 60's rock gods

And I'll start: Pete Townsend is a great songwriter and overall musician. He is also a world-class dork. I mean, c'mon--Tommy on Broadway?
Just have to get that out of the way, because, through The Sideshow, we find that Pete Townsend is firing back at some stuff that Michael Moore apparently said about him. I haven't heard anything that Moore said, and Townsend may be right, that it was unfair and mean-spirited. Amygdala obviously thinks that Townsend is making a nuanced argument, but really it seems like he's pouting and his point isn't nuanced at all. He's just saying that Moore is a loud-mouthed bully and doesn't understand that Townsend thinks about it very hard before he just gives his songs away willy-nilly for anti-war purposes. Especially if the money's not good enough.

When first approached I knew nothing about the content of his film FAHRENHEIT 911. My publisher informed me they had already refused the use of my song in principle because MIRAMAX the producers offered well below what the song normally commands for use in a movie. They asked me if I wanted to ask for more money, I told them no.

They raised the offer, which makes me immediately suspicious of Townsend's motives here. I seriously doubt that he ever gets offers that are as high as he wants. The nature of bargaining is just that--the buyer under bids, the seller counters with a ridiculously high offer, so on and so forth until a price is agreed on. And Townsend admits that Weinstein stepped in and made a sufficient offer. So, money is not the issue, but just a way to build his rather weak case.

Out of courtesy to Harvey I suggested that if he and Moore were determined to have me reconsider, I should at least get a chance to see a copy of the new film. I knew that with Cannes on the horizon, time was running short for them, and this might not be possible. I never received a copy of the film to view. At no time did I ask Moore or Miramax to reconsider anything. Once I had an idea what the film was about I was 90% certain my song was not right for them.

This is the only point he makes that's really valid and it's fair to say that if he doesn't like the movie or its politics, he has a right to withhold his song. But he doesn't want to just come out and say that, because that would actually be confirming what Moore is saying, albeit in different words--that Townsend disagrees with Moore's politics so he wouldn't cough up the song.

I believe that in the same email to my publisher and manager that contained this request to see the film I pointed out that WGFA is not an unconditionally anti-war song, or a song for or against revolution. It actually questions the heart of democracy: we vote heartily for leaders who we subsequently always seem to find wanting.... I suggested in the email that they might use something by Neil Young, who I knew had written several songs of a more precise political nature, and is as accessible as I am. Moore himself takes credit for this idea, and I have no idea whether my suggestion reached him, but it was the right thing to do.

Okay, Townsend is really being disingenous here. He knows that the actual lyrics of the song are secondary to Moore's purposes. It's not like they use songs in their entirity in movies--a lyric here, a lyric there, and mostly the sound of the music itself for mood. But I can agree with him that it is noxious to hear music used to promote values that are directly against what the song stood for in the first place--the classic example being Limbaugh's use of the Pretenders. If Chrissie Hynde could stop Limbaugh, I have no doubt she would and I would applaud her.
But this is a hazier case, because despite what Townsend says, there is nothing in Fahrenheit 9/11 that's in opposition to this song or it's lyrics or the values of Townsend's generation or the Who's entire canon or whatever. The song's lyrics are incredibly appropriate for the film and fit in with Moore's overall use of music in the movie. After all, the movie isn't outright against war in general either, just against unnecessary ones. And the movie isn't whining about the decisions of an elected leader, it's spitting on the decisions of an unelected leader who's acting like he has a mandate.
Moore used alot of different songs from different eras, but he very specifically made a point to use 60's and early 70's rock music to evoke the anger and revolutionary feelings that the Vietnam War brought to a head. His purpose is obvious to me, as it should be to everyone--not only is he making a symbolic link to a war that pretty much everyone agrees was crap in retrospect, he is pulling a guilt trip on his own generation. It's a not at all subtle, but extremely effective reminder to the middle-aged people in his audience who may be ambivalent about the war or may have even supported it that once were of the generation who agitated for the end of wars just like this, who agitated to end sending young people to their deaths fighting for things they don't really understand. That is probably why Townsend is over-reacting to a few snotty things Moore said--he knows damn well that he and his music still have that evocative power, to make people feel like there was a time when rock music meant something. And that when people hear that Townsend wouldn't let Moore use his song, the first thing they are going to conclude is that Townsend is a sell-out.
Okay, we don't know if Townsend is a sell-out(Tommy on Broadway, Tommy on Broadway). But he doesn't do much to help his own arguments with the bringing up of the money right away. But even more irritating, at least to me, is how he winds up suggesting that Moore used Neil Young on his suggestion, as if it couldn't possibly have occured to Moore that Young's music might be really good at evoking that anger and nostaglia. It's been clear to me that Townsend has an over-inflated opinion of himself, but this really takes the cake. What next? He comes down off the mountain and says that if you want some good anti-war music, you should check out this band called Creedence Clearwater Revival? Can you really be more full of yourself?
Apparently, yes.

I wish him all the best with the movie, which I know is popular, and which I still haven’t seen. But he’ll have to work very, very hard to convince me that a man with a camera is going to change the world more effectively than a man with a guitar.

You haven't seen it, eh? I guess the great Townsend doesn't need to see the fucking movie to tell us all what's in it and what it's politics are. And the snooty shot where he implies that he, a Musician, will always be superior to little Michael Moore who is merely a film director. If movies are so silly, then why the hell did Townsend make his albums would be better as movies?
If Townsend is going to pout every time someone implies that he's a sell-out, he better get his pout on. It's a grand old tradition of the rock and roll era to go around trying to discredit someone by calling them a sell-out. Hell, it's such a tradition that I've heard wingnuts complain that Moore is making money off his movie, that he's a sell-out. This from people who think that selling out is a holy Biblical tradition! Like it or not, Townsend, if you're going to withhold your music because you dislike someone's anti-war stance or because they didn't offer up enough cash, people are going to think you're a sell-out. You made your choice, and you have to live with the consequences.
Of course, Townsend's gonna get away with this, since he is an official Rock God and therefore alot of people are going to think that whatever he says is intelligent and important at bare minimum. Like this blogger Amygdala, for instance, who has interpeted what I see as a whining temper tantrum as a nuanced argument.

Edited to add: I almost titled this post, "Pete Townsend is a whiny bitch." But I thought that was a bit harsh.

27 Comments:

Blogger Mike said...

Very nice blog, hard to come by these days,

If you have a chance, can you visit my how to play guitar site

It has all guitar related stuff.

Thanks

10/02/2005

 
Blogger harvir said...

Hi i am totally blown away with the blogs people have created its so much fun to read alot of good info and you have also one of the best blogs !! Have some time check my link to !!Best home based business idea

10/02/2005

 
Blogger lokokid said...

GOOD content thats what i like and just surfing around on blogs and finding good content is good feeling i am so glued to those blogs dont stop making good content keep it up i am not a pro on making pages but i see if you can visit my site maybe its something that you will like!!Work at home make money

10/03/2005

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found you while surfing for extra money blogs. I like it, good content. Consider this an invitation for you to visit me for a FREE extra money web portal.

Online success,

Hilda Johnson-Slaton
Risk-Free Money Auto Income Generator
www.riskfreemoney.biz

10/09/2005

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hopefully, I will find more quality blogs like this. fantastic!account market money Keep up the good work account market money

10/11/2005

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice Blog

Best Wishes

I have a site 80 million Down Loadable Movies If you have the time stop by.

10/16/2005

 
Blogger Internet Marketer Azhar said...

Hi :)

You have a great blog! I'll be sure to bookmark it and visit regularly, keep up the great work!

Please visit my site if you get some time: to make money from home

10/18/2005

 
Blogger hassan said...

Hi :)

You have a great blog! I'll make sure to bookmark it and visit regularly. Keep up the great work!

Please visit my site if you get some time: Resell Rights eBooks

10/19/2005

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool blog you got! I just added you to my bookmarks!

I have a great article resource you might want to check out.

10/19/2005

 
Blogger musica said...

We Offer The best methods to Stop Premature Ejaculation to learn more please click the next link Premature Ejaculation and visit our web site about Premature Ejaculation or

retrogade ejaculation or
Pre Ejaculation
or Male Ejaculation
or Stop Premature Ejaculation or

Premature Ejaculation cure or
Premature Ejaculation treatment or
Premature Ejaculation help or
prevent Premature Ejaculation
===================================================================================================

Also we Offer:

We offer help for acne cure you can find information in


acne cure or
natural acne cure or
natural cure acne treatment or
acne home cure or
nature cure acne

===================================================================================================

Also we Offer:

We offer help for dog obdience you can find information in

dog trainer or
dog training or
dog obedience

===================================================================================================

Also we Offer:

We offer entertaiment and you can get this visting

Download music or
free Download music or
free music Download or
mp3 Download music or
mp3 music download or

Download music or
free Download music or
free music Download or
mp3 Download music or
mp3 music download or

===================================================================================================

Also we Offer:

We offer help in penis enlargement visit

Penis enlargement or
Penis enlargement pills or
Penis growth

===================================================================================================

Also we Offer:

We offer help in search engine position visit

search engine positioning or
search engine position or
internet marketing or
blog submitter or
blog or
blogger

===================================================================================================

Also we Offer:

We offer help in Travel bargain visit

travel bargains or
discount travel or
discount airfare or
airline tickets or
cheap hotels

10/19/2005

 
Blogger Swingin80 said...

Cool blog you have. I have a play money related site. Check it out if you get a chance. The URL is play money

10/19/2005

 
Blogger Shia Source said...

Hi :)

You have a great blog! Keep up the good work! I'll be sure to visit regularly.

Please visit my site if you get some time: Shia

10/20/2005

 
Anonymous Cheap Airline Tickets With Military Discount said...

I have been blogging around for some time today when I came across your site. I just wanted to let you know that I think it is a great looking site and keep up the good work.

Regards
Cheap Airline Tickets With Military Discount

1/27/2006

 
Anonymous Cheap Tickets Student Airline Fares said...

I have been blogging around for some time today when I came across your site. I just wanted to let you know that I think it is a great looking site and keep up the good work.

Regards
Cheap Tickets Student Airline Fares

1/28/2006

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved your blog. Why not try this site movies to download for free.

1/29/2006

 
Anonymous Cheap Airline Tickets To Florida said...

I have been blogging around for some time today when I came across your site. I just wanted to let you know that I think it is a great looking site and keep up the good work.

Regards
Cheap Airline Tickets To Florida

1/29/2006

 
Anonymous penis enlargement said...

Hey, you sure have a nice site here with some very interesting stuff. I have already bookmarked it.

It's a shame I spend so much time blog surfing that I often forget my own. Crazy me. :) But its so addictive and fun.

Anyway, a lot of people are trying to make cash online nowadays, so I thought I'd help you out with a site that has some great tools.

penis enlargement
Not bad to sit around doing nothing while your bank balance keeps growing. :)

1/29/2006

 
Blogger Acne Cure said...

Hi, Thanks for your interesting blog. Keep up the great work! I also have a site & blog about adult acne, please feel free to visit.

2/06/2006

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MOVIES,HBO and SHOW TIME: Hey Guys, I found a cool site that Saves me a bunch on Premium Movie Channels. Beats My Cable Hands Down, and it's ALL DIGITAL. Check this site out .**Movies**

2/07/2006

 
Anonymous geoff clark said...

Earn residual income for a lifetime.

2/08/2006

 
Anonymous geoff clark said...

If you have the desire to earn lifetime residual income, visit http://geokath1.net

2/10/2006

 
Blogger Eddie said...

Greetings, I was reading some blogs and came across your blog. I'm quite impressed , with how it has a good feel. This is one to watch.

Regards,

what is a time share

2/11/2006

 
Anonymous Stamps1305 said...

Information and best buys on products and services of all kinds. Stamps1305

2/13/2006

 
Anonymous New Business Opportunity said...

Thanks for the Blog. I really enjoyed it.

As you are interested in New Business Opportunity, I thought you may like to check out a new opportunity:

http://www.inforatreat.com/dvd

It is a great new way of making money. There is lots of advice even if you don't purchase. So hope you like it.

All the Best

New Business Opportunity

2/14/2006

 
Blogger cashapache said...

Hey, I like cash free too!
http://thinkrich.greenzappers.com

3/01/2006

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I think you have a great blog here, if you get a chance, check mine out. It's about bittorrent movie download bittorrent movie download. Let me know what you think

6/14/2006

 
Anonymous Scott Arthur Edwards said...

Check this out for FREE...

This opportunity says:

"Your Ad" Will Be Instantly Displayed on Thousands of Websites and Read By Over 10 Million People Per Week For FREE, and It Only Takes 60 Seconds To Get Started!

To find out more visit: make a living online site. It successfully exposes FREE information covering Traffic and make a living online related stuff.

9/09/2006

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home