Editor: I must take issue with Bob Driver’s most recent op-ed piece in the Seminole Beacon on the state of “Pop Music.” By the fourth paragraph of the piece, Mr. Driver admits that he is “an illiterate when the conversation turns to rap, hip-hop and other noise-ridden varieties of music.” Unfortunately, the term “Pop Music” is used to identify what is popular today. Seeing as how his article’s most recent reference is of a song written in 1965, how is this op-ed current at all? I didn’t get the point of his editorial.
Mr. Driver’s assertion that “Yesterday” by Paul McCartney is a shining example “that demolishes the notion that great works of art must, or should, be the product of years of suffering.” Seeing as how he was not hanging out with Mr. McCartney during that time (Mr. Driver has only met two people in the music industry), how can Mr. Driver say that song was not out of suffering; did he know what was going on in Paul’s head? Just because a piece of art was created in 10 minutes, no one can definitively say what is in an artist’s mind when he actually created the piece, except of course, the artist.
A more interesting note regarding “Yesterday,” The Beatles did not release this song as a single in the U.K. until 1976 because it did not sound like a Beatle’s song. (I would say Paul suffered with that for a while).
Which brings me to “This Land is Your Land.” Seeing as how Mr. Guthrie did endure for years during the “dust bowl” and Mr. Guthrie’s music was an absolute offshoot of traveling the country during that time, I would argue that years of suffering created one of America’s greatest musical pieces. But that song not only celebrated the many great attributes of our country, the song was written as a protest to Kate Smith’s “God Bless America” and of class inequality. Does Mr. Driver know the words to the two controversial verses that were often left off of many “pop” recordings? The verses about the hungry and the no trespassing signs?
My point being. Please do not claim to be illiterate about a subject, and then expound as if nothing great has happened in the music industry in the last 50 years. If you just want to talk contemporary crooners, Harry Connick Jr., Michael Buble and Adele are three of many great vocalists born after 1945. Listen to them Mr. Driver and you will change your opinion about POP music.
I agree with Mr. Driver if he wants to call Miley Cyrus’ performance at the MTV music awards terrible. But to compare her to Ella or Rosemary Clooney? How about saying that her performance was just a very poor pastiche of Cher, Madonna and Britney? They did it before her and are much more talented. Then I can understand the criticism.
I did try Mr. Driver’s exercise and do agree that my life and events have their own soundtrack. But it is music from my era. Genesis’ “Follow You, Follow me” during my wedding vows is the one that sticks out to me. But that was written long after 1965 and played by a rock band. I assume that Mr. Driver has never heard it.