It’s happening – just not for The Band. Nope, they’re really not getting back together…BUT…Pretty much every other band is ready to cash in for a bit if that’s alright with you!
I don’t have the gumption to say this trend of beloved bands reuniting, especially in the alt-rock/indie scene of the past 25 years, is something that I am against. In fact quite the opposite – whatever has brought the likes of Pavement, Archers of Loaf, Polvo, Guided by Voices and many other soundtrack staples of my teen & college years back to the road is a welcomed gift I’ll take any day.
Here are some words to some bands who may benefit from a reality check before picking up their reunion check.
A LETTER TO ANY BAND/ARTIST PLANNING TO REUNITE
It’s no business of mine to say the reason to reunite is purely financial, so I won’t. It’s no business of mine to say it’s rather presumptuous to announce “you’re coming to a city near you” and only play a handful of hotspots in the U.S and expect your fans to rack up travel expenses, so I won’t. It’s no business of mine to say maybe it’s not such a great idea to perform just “the hits” to play it safe and make ’em all crowd-pleasers, so I won’t. It’s no business of mine to say you have seen better days in the looks department (some age better than others), so I won’t. Except for Iggy Pop. Please put on a fucking tank-top, sir. Starving kids in Africa want to know where they can send their weekly meal.
I will say this: If you’re ready to rock again – you best get in the same mindset of when you were just starting out as a band and give the audience your sweat. Pretend your sound didn’t influence a generation and act surprised for the loud reception in between tunes. Make believe no one has ever heard of you before even though you know they’ll be collectively be singing louder than you – and they will..and it’ll feel f’n amazing. Let us know you’re alive again.
Now, it’ll really give your fans quite a thrill if you also jump back in the studio and record new material. Don’t half-ass this. Make a full album or don’t bother. Giving your fans one song and that’s it will just give them blue-balls – especially if there’s still magic and you don’t sound like death. You’ve moved on since your last record in ’99 or whatever year you called it quits for reasons X and Y? Hey, guess what – we’ve all moved on – it took awhile, but now we’re into other shit and your new shit just has to sound good enough. We’re not expecting an unmitigated effort. Just remember one thing – you sucked at ballads then and you are guaranteed to suck at ballads now. The last amazing ballad that was penned was Guns’n’Roses’ “November Rain” and it’s sad that G’N’R is a beast that simply refuses to die. Axl Rose – Please die. I digress… You are 100% allowed to write slower songs because you probably don’t have the same chops and musical prowess and most of your retained listening audience now also knows the importance of fiber in their diet.
Do not tell us it’s a reunion and it’s just the lead singer. That’s way lame and actually kind of sad that none of the former band members can bear a few weeks of your antics and arrogance or whatever major character flaws you possess that a few prescriptions couldn’t mellow out. No – you better make sure this reunion tour consists of AT LEAST 75% or more original members. All original members is ideal but essentially we don’t want to see fill-ins (unless they were in bands more famous than yours) in the place of our beloveds. Chances are we know whether they like chunky or creamy and we also know their parents’ names. We’re weird like that but we want to see how well “Mark” aged.
We’ve missed you and maybe you’ve missed us a little too and that’s why you’re back. Or maybe you just missed each other and you don’t mind us watching you get each other off on stage – with your unique brand of music. Hey whatever’s cool – just don’t play with our emotions. Okay, we’ve grown up a bit and we know that nothing lasts forever (Hey what a great line for a ballad…oh that’s right…) so if you gotta leave the party make sure you do the polite thing, be a humble guest and say thanks. That’s right. You just have to thank us and all old wounds will be healed just like that. Clearly, even when you left us in the cold (insert month) rain, like a loyal dog we came running to the door when we smelled your old ass(es) had come back and we’ll even pretend to have an orgasm when you scratch behind our ears. What that means is you can play your reunion show and we’ll show up as we always did, but just remember who licked your peanut-butter covered balls all those years and how great it felt… We’ll do it again if you promise to stick around for awhile. *Lap lap*
Those are the basics. Deal? Deal!
The only exception to these “guidelines” is if you’re the Beach Boys. I’m pretty sure the only thing these septuagenarians are out to celebrate is their limited mobility. Let them give whatever it is they have left – which let’s face it – really isn’t much but it’s admirable to see them try. So if you’re well past the age of retirement and feel like making a little extra Bingo money – you take your sweet time getting on that stage – just make sure you keep your LifeAlert bracelet on so we don’t have to worry, okay?
Yours in R’N’R forever…Signed
So, thanks reuniting bands I’ve seen!