April 10th, 2015

Rock And Roll March Madness - We Have A Champion

When Jezebel did their March Madness this year the battles were between Internet and real life situations. In the championship round "Netflix Binge Watching" came close to beating "Sex." Sex did win but  not by that much. And I wasn't surprised.

Sex is often more fun than Netflix, but it's also a lot more dangerous. Netflix is much safer and we live in a world where people seem more concerned with being safe than having fun.  This is why we don't have lawn darts anymore. This is why people can't even smoke in some public parks anymore. It's why we have trigger warnings.

Which brings me to this year's Rock And Roll March Madness Champion - Queen.

Queen may not be the sexiest or most challenging band out there but it is certainly the safest. You can put on either Greatest Hits album at a dinner party or in a bar and people will hum along and people will not complain. There is nothing wrong with that or the band itself. Brian May plays guitar well and Mercury had some pipes on him. If they often sounded like they were making show tunes or paint by numbers anthems, that's because they were smart enough to know that's what people like and don't feel threatened by.

Sure, you could argue the Rolling Stones have deeper blues roots, but Mick and Keith were always challenging people - generally by being mock racist, sexist or homophobic, and those types of challenges don't play very well in the society we've managed to create.

The Clash, Joan Jett, Nirvana and Patti Smith may be a lot more intellectually interesting, but they force you to think and challenge the world around you and after a hard day's work a lot of people don't find that much fun.

The bottom line is that  most people just want nice safe songs they can sing along to - and Queen delivered that over and over again. In other words, they are fun, and maybe that's all rock and roll is meant to be.

After all, they are the champions, my friends.