Everyone’s aware, or at least they should be, that commenting on links you see on Facebook is equivalent to yelling into an echo chamber with thousands of other people at once. It’s a complete waste of time. Almost as much as actually reading the slow-loading clickbait trash from sites like answers.com.
For a website seemingly priding itself on providing answers, Answers Celebs provides shockingly few of them; Boy George calling Madonna “a vile, hideous human being” is hardly one of The 10 Meanest Musician-to-Musician Insults Ever. It’s hardly mean, hardly an insult, and Boy George is hardly a musician. In fact, in my opinion Boy George has spent more time doing community service than producing quality hits (that’s what a quality takedown looks like, for any aspiring gossip columnists/ Boy George celebrity roastmasters out there). So just for you, lovely reader, I’ve compiled the top ten most gruesome acts of vicious, musician-on-musician violence this side of MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch. All for you right here, right now, and free of charge. Yes, there will be Morrissey. No, I will not take the easy way out and post the time he hated on Saint Madge. It’s called flogging a dead horse for a reason, and it’s not just because Madonna has large front teeth (Answers, you really should have your notebooks out by now). And as long as this list exists, there’s no reason to share that other one any longer, right?
TEN: NICK CAVE ON RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS
I just called Answers out for copying off a four-year-old post from Flavorwire, but this one’s too good not to mention. Nick Cave is, in the truest sense of the word, an artist: he writes books, he does spoken word, he’s known to write screenplays and film scores, he acts and, for the purpose of this list, he makes music. He’s also Australian, perhaps the one and only link he sees to Red Hot Chili Peppers (Flea’s from Australia too, look it up!). I’ve never found the source of this one, but it’s pretty indicative of how Nick Cave views their differences:
“I’m forever near a stereo saying, ‘What the fuck is this garbage?’ And the answer is always the Red Hot Chili Peppers.”
NINE: PETER HOOK ON BERNARD SUMNER
The arguments over the lasting legacy of Joy Division between former bandmates Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook that have played out the past few years have come to feel like a post-punk meeting of the unstoppable force and the immovable object. The cycle typically goes something like this: Peter Hook says or does something moderately contentious, regarding his time in Joy Division or New Order, Bernard Sumner does the same but with his own spin on it. Hook somehow responds, and Sumner issues a response to Hook’s response, and the indie-music conscious follows along until we’re caught in some sort of time loop that, when zoomed far enough out, looks something like the Unknown Pleasures cover.
To anyone who found that last paragraph pretentious, look at it this way: Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook used to get along and play music together, but now they don’t. Instead, they play mostly the same songs in mostly the same way, like British versions of the Heat Miser and Snow Miser.
That said, I tend to find myself on Peter Hook’s side of the back-and-forth. At the end of the day, if nothing else, I find he does a better version of “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by himself than whatever this is, and that’s good enough for me. Here’s Hooky’s icy reply to New Order announcing the Joy Division Twitter account last year:
— Peter Hook (@peter_hook1) September 17, 2014
EIGHT: TED LEO ON JUSTIN VERNON
As you would expect after reading the above, Twitter’s become the go-to medium for curt, snide remarks in the digital age. The short 140 character per-tweet limit and its immense popularity with “verifieds” and “normies” alike has cultivated the perfect storm of petty celebrity pull quotes. It used to be that you’d have to wait to pick up a weekly tabloid to see Cher’s latest dumb comment on Donald Trump. Now, thanks to Twitter, you only have to wait for one of them to check their phone. So thanks to Twitter, virtually everyone’s now plugged into everyone else, with the ability to instantaneously opine on anything. Which is kind of 1984 scary, but that’s nothing compared to this sweet zing on Bon Iver!
Back in 2012,
Joss Whedon lookalike Kanye West collaborator Justin Vernon of Bon Iver had some choice words for the RIAA, who were recognizing the indie music outfit with four nominations at that year’s Grammy Awards ceremony. Vernon declined a request for his group to play live that year, saying that the organizers wanted him to share the stage with other musicians. In Vernon’s own words, Bon Iver and any potential collaborators “were being asked to play music that had nothing to do with that [record that we made].” Those collaborators? Most likely The Beach Boys, playing alongside commercial music genius Brian Wilson for the first time in decades. Despite his anti-award show convictions, Vernon still managed to show up to accept the group’s award for Best New Artist. Vernon said by declining to perform, Bon Iver “kind of said ‘fuck you’ a little bit” to show organizers. All of this set off the bullshit meters of Ted Leo, myself and, well, just five other like-minded people:
Unrelated (and NSFW for language): if you “kinda said ‘Fuck you’ a little bit,” you probably didn’t actually say anything like that at all.
— Theodore F. Leo (@tedleo) February 5, 2012
Also, for anyone whose bullshit meter’s been set off by the mention of Ted Leo on this particular blog: he’s a fantastically talented guy who holds some of the best 80’s music close to his heart: he’s done my favorite covers of “Everybody Wants to Rule The World” and Split Enz’s “Six Months in a Leaky Boat”. And if that’s not enough, he’s currently sharing his stage with Aimee Mann, formerly of ‘Til Tuesday, in The Both.
SEVEN: MARTIN GORE & ANDY FLETCHER ON DEPECHE MODE
Something weird happened between 1984 and 1988: it became cool to like Depeche Mode. The band’s output post-1983 gained leanings that were gloomy as all hell, due in no small part to Martin Gore replacing Vince Clarke (later of Erasure) as the group’s primary songwriter. Gore’s vision for the band, electronic experiments with sparks of pop and industrial music, bears almost no resemblance to Clarke’s synthpop drenched compositions like their first release, “Just Can’t Get Enough”. Subsequently, one ends up looking at and listening to what feels like two different bands. This newer, slimmer Depeche Mode comes off like the biggest band in the universe (see Dave Gahan’s suit in the video above) and the younger Depeche Mode, well, they can come off as a real flock of weirdos (see Dave’s suit here.) Unsurprisingly, in this 2005 interview for The Big Ones, you can hear by the tones of founding members Martin Gore and Andy Fletcher that, despite being interviewed separately, neither has any love lost for “the early stuff”:
Simon Amstell: And the worst [Depeche Mode song]?
Martin Gore: “What’s Your Name?”.
Andy Fletcher: “What’s Your Name?”. Off Speak & Spell, our first album.
Amstell: How did that go?
Gore: “Hey you’re such a pretty boy,-”
Fletcher, unconvincingly: “-Hey you’re such a pretty boy, you’re so pretty. P-R-E-, double-T-Y.”
Amstel: Sounds nice.
SIX: ROBERT SMITH ON SPANDAU BALLET
Anyone who knows me knows I adore The Cure, so it was hard narrowing it down to just one choice Bob dig. But another something weird happened between 1990 and 2015: it became, to my great confusion, cool to listen to Spandau Ballet. Some weeks ago, David Letterman made a remark regarding his departure from The Late Show, that he found himself revered among people who once found him distasteful by simply remaining famous for a long enough period of time. I can only guess the same applies to Spandau Ballet. And whether it’s Phil Dunphy or an EDM DJ, the collective “we” agrees: “True” is not the song we need to hear right now, but it’s the one we deserve. Roll tape on Robert Smith:
“You can’t drink on an eight hour flight, pass out, and then go onstage. Well you can, but…then you’re Spandau Ballet.”
FIVE: LIAM GALLAGHER ON NOEL GALLAGHER
Best to let this one speak for itself. As with any video of either Gallagher speaking candidly, strong language ahead.
FOUR: NOEL GALLAGHER ON LIAM GALLAGHER
THREE: NOEL GALLAGHER ON NOEL GALLAGHER
In 2009, after Liam broke yet another one of Noel’s guitars, Oasis went Champagne Supernova for what looks like the last time. But when The Almighty closes one door, another is sure to open. In this way, Oasis’s breakup gave way to the magnicifent retrospective Time Flies… 1994-2009. I bet you’re wondering, “What’s so great about it? Why did they have to break up to put it out? What’s Noel actually singing in the chorus of ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’?” The answers to these questions lied for a long time only with the most devout Oasis fans. You see, the third disc of the deluxe box set edition was actually a DVD containing every Oasis music video with commentary by Noel Gallagher, and that alone makes the set worth its weight in commemorative gold (What’s The Story) Morning Glory? records.
These commentaries didn’t hit the internet until a good four years after their original release, but I’d go so far as to say they’re a genuine lost masterpiece, this generation’s Basement Tapes. And above all, the best thing Noel Gallagher ever recorded. I say that knowing I’ve watched that commentary highlight reel more times since I first became aware of it last year than I have in the 11 years it’s been since I first heard “Wonderwall” at a particularly disheartening middle school dance. Every second of this video is worth hearing, and while no transcription does Noel’s words justice, I’ve narrowed it down to my favorite bits:
“Oh, I was fuckin’ drunk in this video. Look how pissed I am there.”
“That’s me really pissed.”
“I was- I can’t begin to tell you how pissed I was. I was shit-faced.”
On “Roll With It”:
“This song’s a bit of a throwaway for me…although we did play it on our last tour and people went fuckin’ apeshit for it. And it is- it is a good song to jump up and down to, drunk.”
On “Stand By Me”:
“Maybe the motorbike’s rushing to the radio station to say, “Stop! This is shit.”
“I have to say, after all these videos… if you needed four guys to walk around in slow motion, we were the fucking- we were the best at that.”
TWO: TINA WEYMOUTH ON MINI-KISS
Just so we’re perfectly clear– these are ex-Talking Heads bassist Tina Weymouth’s thoughts on a KISS tribute band that consists exclusively of little people. When prompted to recall the worst gig she had ever played, Weymouth responded:
“Our supreme Spın̈al Tap moment was with Tom Tom Cub. They were celebrating the Howl! Festival in New York. We agreed to do it because we thought it’d be great to do something for the community and the arts. The opening act was a band called Mini Kiss: a group of dwarfs, or midgets … little people, whichever is the politically correct way of saying it … dressed in full outfits and makeup, but with no instruments, lip-synching to Kiss songs. By the time we went on, most of the 30 people had left. The band was almost larger than the audience. And we went out there and played our hearts out. At the end of the gig our crew backed our rental truck into the marquee and every penny we made had to go to the replacement of that.”
I don’t have anything else to say about that, except to again confirm to you that Mini Kiss is a real thing that exists outside of Tina Weymouth’s and my own personal nightmares.
ONE: MORRISSEY ON DAVID BOWIE
It’s old hat at this point to sit back and giggle at the neverending font of ridiculous half-wisdoms that make up Steven Patrick Morrissey. So, what if I told you I didn’t even have a Morrissey quote to stick on this post? Rest assured, there’s still a Mozzer at the end of this book. But you wouldn’t believe it, would you? And that’s how those clickbait hooks get sunk deep in you. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled, after all…
On paper, Morrissey and David Bowie fall into similar lots. They’re both distinctly English, vaguely glam, sexually ambiguous, emotionally charged old men. And to their credit, they were friends once. Here’s Bowie talking a little more about their connection in the 90’s:
So it should come as little surprise that Bowie enlisted Morrissey as his opening act after declaring his admiration after in 1995. And it should come as even less surprise that Morrissey felt overshadowed by Bowie, didn’t show up for the first U.S. date and walked away from the rest of the tour entirely. But in a rare move for Moz, the former Smith attempted to mend fences with Bowie in 2013. Following the announcement that Morrissey would reissue his second album Kill Uncle, Morrissey announced his intent to also re-release non-album single “The Last of The Famous International Playboys”, with this private photograph of him with Bowie circa 1992 on the single’s cover. Cute, right?
Except Bowie blocked Morrissey from using his image for the final release. Possibly because Morrissey left the best Kill Uncle song off the record again, but more likely because Bowie was signed to EMI at the time. Despite Bowie having had no legal rights to the photo, EMI also owns rights to The Smiths catalogue, a fact that Morrissey has made no secret of his displeasure with. So what was that handsome devil to do? He certainly couldn’t have used the original cover. No, what other famous international playboy would make for as spectacular a photograph?
Apparently Rick “Never Gonna Give You Up” Astley. Yup, we all just got Rickrolled by Morrissey.
So I suppose that with this post I’m officially returning from an officially much needed hiatus. Thanks for everyone who’s stuck around for the past year, and I’m really looking forward to maintaining this blog again, even if nobody’s paying super close attention to it. If there’s anything you’d like to see discussed or covered on Standing on The Beach in the future, shoot me a tweet below, or just hurl some insults at me in the comments!