The best Beatle and nine other Hot Takes About Music

I always wanted to be a real music critic. A hardboiled, unshaven take-no-prisoners wordsmith like Lester Bangs, Robert Christgau or Jim DeRogatis. I wanted to be William Miller in Almost Famous.

But I never really quite managed to make that a full-time gig among the many hats I’ve worn in my journalism career, really. I’ve been editor of alternative weekly newspapers back when they still existed, written lots and lots of music reviews and talked about music on the radio and covered concerts, I’ve interviewed Alice Cooper and once had someone from the band Phish call me and yell at my answering machine over a snarky dumb article I wrote about them, and I started this whole crazy writing career off with an internship at music mag Billboard way back in the day, but still… I’m no Lester Bangs. I just sometimes write about music I like.

And now that I’m a gentleman of a certain age, I accept that I’ve lost touch with what the kids are into with their TikToks and suchlike. Although I do try to still discover new stuff now and again, in my heart of hearts, my musical lodestone still remains roughly 1972-1988, I guess. Accept who you are, at a certain point, I reckon.

That doesn’t stop me from having the opinions on music, but I also recognise that at a certain point, yet another middle-aged white guy rambling on about nerdy obsessions about albums that came out decades ago is a bit well, cliche. But sometimes, you gotta let your opinions out or they fester in your brain and cause an aneurysm. None of them are quite worth a post on their own, but the frustrated music writer in me insists on laying them down like it was 1987 and this was a bad column in Spin magazine.

Thus, here’s 10 Hot Takes About Rock Music I Will Not Be Explaining Any Further. Please feel free to discuss and debunk. 

1. George Harrison had the best and most interesting solo career of the Beatles. 

2. I will always choose to listen to The Sex Pistols over The Clash.

3. Almost every Guns N’ Roses song would be better with the final 60-90 seconds cut off. (Seriously, listen to “November Rain” sometime.) 

4. The Rolling Stones should have broken up when Charlie Watts died.

5. I prefer Phil Collins as lead singer of Genesis.

6. I think David Bowie’s techno-jungle 1997 midlife crisis album Earthling is one of his five best albums.

7. I have switched back and forth between loving and hating the Doors at least five times in my music listening lifetime. I still can’t figure out which side I land on. 

8. Frank Zappa was the better musician technically, but Captain Beefheart’s croaky stomps were more sincere and hold up better. 

9. I’ve listened to Prince’s delightfully silly Batman album more times than any of his records other than Purple Rain. 

10. I don’t really care for Pink Floyd

Author: nik dirga

I'm an American journalist who has lived in New Zealand for more than a decade now.

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