Friday, April 11, 2008

TRS Guide to Wolf Trap Summer Concert Series

You could call today the first real day of spring. It's warm enough to start sweating, there's a gentle breeze coming off the Potomac, my allergies are killing me. It's about this time each year I start to scope the area's various concert sheds for possible evening spent sitting in the grass staring at a large TV screen. Wolf Trap Filene Center's summer schedule just came out, and I thought some of the lineup worth discussing.

It could be said, from the schedule's first appearances, that Wolf Trap is where rock and roll legends go to die. Sure, James Taylor, Jethro Tull, Poco, Chicago, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash are all there and they're fine enough. They'll all perform their greatest hits compilation, while mixing in a few new songs that no one actually likes but that your boss or your uncle delude themselves into enjoying. There's nothing wrong with these tours, and Wolf Trap is good about keeping tickets at reasonable prices.

There is, however -- in this humble, but died-in-the-wool Rockist's opinion -- something quite wrong with trotting out a band of session men in royal blue zoot-suits, huddling them around the son of one of the original members, calling them The Four Tops, and asking us to shell out our hard-earned cash to see it. Of course, none of these travesties equals the crap Mike Love peddles around as The Beach Boys each summer. Remember, this is the Mike Love that outspokenly derided Pet Sounds as "Brian [Wilson]'s ego music", stating that they not "f*** with the formula". Pet Sounds! That's pure Rockist blasphemy. Anyway, of the original Beach Boys, only Love remains, and in the midst of sullying the legendary band's name with performances of "Kokomo" on Full House, he also continues to sue the hell out of his cousin Brian Wilson for more songwriting royalties. We here at Rockist would like to go on record and state that if you pay money to go see them play at Wolf Trap this summer, you are contributing to the legal attack fund that is Mike Love's Beach Boy Enterprises, Inc.

Somehow, someway, that is not even the worst crime against rock and roll's storied history being perpetuated this summer at Wolf Trap (which, as many of you know, is operated by our national park service). And frankly, it's not even close. On Saturday, August 23, we have this:

It Was Forty Years Ago Today
A Tribute to the Greatest Album in Rock & Roll History
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
performing all their hits, plus the album in its entirety

Instead of a rant here, why don't we just play a little game in the comments? It's called "Can You Name All the Rockist Indiscretions?" Have at it.
*Also, if anyone would like to try their hand and putting Taylor Hicks' face on John Lennon's body, circa 1967-68, please email it to us.


Rob said...

I was having a discussion last night on why a lot of "hip" people dislike the Beach Boys but love Pet Sounds and I couldn't give a good answer. I mean, "Sloop John B" and "God Only Knows" are great songs... but why is everyone humping BW's leg? Does this make me less of a Rockist? In GH's eyes, probably yes. But who really cares? BTW - Mike Love sucks by keeping the Beach Boys around. It's like Pigpen touring as the Grateful Dead... ugly.

Tom said...

Yeesh. An entire summer of concerts, and the only one I have any desire to see is Lyle Lovett. Well, and Backstreet, of course.

Mark F. said...

What I can't understand is why Todd Rundgren (and even Denny Laine) are lending legitimacy to that manufactured, no-talent, third-rate Elvis wannabe Taylor Hicks!