Friday, February 4, 2011

Geddy Lee Friday - One Degree of Separation

Apologies - I had queued this post a while ago, and only now am seeing that the video has been removed. I'm not able to find a duplicate online. Funny, there's plenty of DKRC footage out there and only the Rush stuff is missing.

A few weeks ago, music lost a legend. Don Kirshner was not a musician, but a manager who supplied songwriting talent back in the days when writers like Neil Diamond, Carole King, and Gerry Goffin worked in an almost factory-like atmosphere cranking out hit after hit for other acts. If you're a Monkees fanatic like I was back in junior high, you know of Kirshner. He was largely responsible for supplying the bulk of their song catalog before the boys rebelled and demanded the right to play their own music. Kirshner also was involved in turning The Archies into a studio band. "Sugar Sugar," originally written for the Monkees and turned away, was the impetus for that. It's believed after he left The Monkee machine, the sales tanked. I have the post-Kirshner records, too, and while the music is good it was probably a bit ahead of its time. Either that, or their fan base at the time didn't know what the hell to make of it, and moved elsewhere.

Later on, Kirshner produced a late-night music show, "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert." This was a syndicated series, but as I don't recall it I'm guessing it was never picked up in Jacksonville, or else I just wasn't paying attention. The show ran nearly a decade, spanning the 70s, and appeared to be a pre-cursor to shows like "Solid Gold," a harder edged "American Bandstand," if you will. You saw acts like Alice Cooper, KISS, The Sex Pistols, Nugent, and Slade. In 1974, you might have seen a little band called Rush.

There are three things I like about this video, and I don't necessarily mean Ged, Al, and Neil:

1) No lip synching. I do remember "Solid Gold," and that show was totally Milli Vanilli. I think the only person who didn't lip synch was Wayland Flowers - you always saw his lips move when he talked through Madame.

2) Al's look. This is the image I had in my mind when writing Dead Barchetta. The Al you see here is the Lerxst in my book, right down to the slim torso and the Stevie Nicks hair.

3) Ged's suit. Give him some paint cans, drop him off in Brooklyn, and Tony Manero would step aside.  All they need is for Pam Grier to come roaring up in a Mustang to take them to the show.

So now you know the one degree separating Rush from the Monkees. RIP Don, and thanks for the music.

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