1 March 07 from glenn mcdonald 4
Well, he may have felt he needed songwriting help, but I never did.
Anyway, thanks. It's an interesting quality of the web that things like my essay about his death can sit around waiting until somebody else needs them. I'll be very curious to see how long it remains practical to find old stuff, though. Maybe information-finding can stay ahead of information-growth. Maybe not.
Or, more likely, this will turn out to have been the wrong question...
23 February 07 from Jaibe 3
I haven't seen the Kohl's commercial (no TV & wrong country) but I think you are being a little harsh on UT/Green Day. There is a fair amount of energy there once they get going, esp. given their age. It's amazing that punk can be so mainstream in the US now, though of course the Skids were top 40 in the UK even in their own time. It's hard to believe The Skids are three times older now than the Beatles were when The Skids came out.
Anyway, I'm actually writing because I ran into your reflection on Stuart Adamson while I was contemplating his suicide. I've just updated his Wikipedia page (although I don't have a legit image so the one there may get nuked if the blogger I took it from doesn't write back in the next week! If you can help out with any creative commons images that would be great.) I really liked your page, but for one thing (! not to be picky!) -- the line "as if he needed songwriting help of any sort," really struck me. He obviously needed *something* he wasn't getting, and he hadn't really had a co-band-leader since he fell out with Jobson. Which was about when he got married the first time -- certainly about the time he started having children. Maybe having a creative partner was really important to him. Or maybe I'm overly denegrating the amount of collaboration he got with BC. But I read in an interview I can no longer find to cite, one of the BC guys saying how shocked he was by the extent of Stuart's problems, but that the band never had anything to do with each other's personal lives --- that's why we stayed together so long.
On the other hand, the main thing he was never really getting was the acknowledgement he deserved, relative to the talent he had. It must have grated given his philosophy, since on the one hand he wanted to glorify *every* person, but on the other he hated to see things like class effect people's perception of others. Or maybe it just comes down to that basic fact, you really don't make that much money as even a top-40 musician (unless you really camp in the top 10 for weeks), and it may have really helped him lose his sense of self that he couldn't support himself & his family financially anymore. So maybe he was just working with another succesful writer just in a general attempt to be succesful again.
One of the things I liked about your old article is you do a really good rumination about how much & to what extent any of this matters to people who don't know someone personally. But honestly, people aren't very different from each other, and the interesting thing about celebreties (especially smart ones with smart friends & fans) is you can get a lot more perspectives on their lives & minds, and therefore a much more complete picture of the person, than you can even on close friends or relatives. The internet is full of quotes from a variety of people given over a large range of years, and of course there is the music. So if you're trying to understand something about human behaviour, about your friends and yourself, maybe it does matter to you what someone you don't know, but could understand, does.
By the way, I would say that moving to America was his first act of suicide. Throwing as much of yourself away as you can while still trying to hold up your bare obligations. I wouldn't say that about every expatriot, but for one who so heavily self-identified with Scotland, it might have been.
11 October 06 from glenn mcdonald 2
The Kohl's commercial makes me yelp with pain and outrage. It's an inoffensive-enough version, but ye gods whyever did anybody feel it was necessary or desirable to re-record the song at all?
I just watched the video of the U2/Green Day thing, and had to go back and listen to the original again to reassure myself that it wasn't as uninteresting as the new version. What happened to the urgency?
I want to hear the Killers do "Angle Park". I'm pretty sure that'd turn out a lot better than either of these things.
9 October 06 from Michael 1
glenn, any thoughts on the covers of "In a Big Country" (for a Kohl's commercial, of all things) and "The Saints are Coming" (by U2/Green Day")?