It turns out some smash hit tracks are kryptonite to the musicians that recorded them
England is reeling in the wake of Glastonbury Festival 2014, such a large congregation that it is temporarilly the third largest city in the south of the country. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to Glastonbury to see their favourite musicians roll out the big hits in front of heaving crowds, the same thing happening at other festivals around the world over Summer each year.
The biggest bands perform on those giant stages, soaking up the adoration heaped on them. It seems however, that in some cases at least, the artists don’t feel the same way about their most recognised tracks as their fans. In fact, many star musicians have expressed exasperation at being compelled to churn out the same routine endlessly, trapped by their own success and unable to play anything new or original.
To name but a few, here are some examples of bands who would do anything to distance themselves from a track considered by others to be a smash hit…
Matriarch diva Madonna has announced in the past that it would take at least $30 million to convince her to perform Like A Virgin again, the iconic Slash from Guns N Roses admits that he always hated Sweet Child O Mine and the Beastie Boys have put forth that the track which catapulted them onto MTV, Fight For Your Right, was a meant to be a sarcastic parody of the very people who adopted it as their anthem. Mike D has said “There were tons of guys singing along to Fight for Your Right who were oblivious to the fact it was a total goof on them.”
Robert Plant, the genius behind rock legends Led Zeppelin, has openly denounced the song the inspired countless teenagers to pick up a guitar, Stairway To Heaven. Plant was so touched when a radio station in Oregon decided to never play the track again that he donated, unsurprising considering he has been quoted as saying “I’d break out in hives if I had to sing that song in every show.”
Creep, the seminal work by moody english rockers Radiohead, is a thorn in the side of lead singer Thom Yorke. Following it’s release in 1992, Yorke began to refer to it instead as Crap and hurled obscenities at fans who requested it at their gigs. He even went so far as to say that they had “sucked Satan’s cock” when they recorded the track.
Finally, and perhaps ultimately, the intrepid Vanille Ice once marched into the MTV headquarters to smash the master copy of Ice Ice Baby, ensuring that it could never be played again. Unfortunately for him, and luckily for us, he failed.
It’s a sad fact but an unsurprising one, that musicians can learn to resent their previous success that restricts any development as an artist. The industry is ultimately governed by money and so bands are inevitably at the mercy of consumer demand. Here’s a tip for Thom Yorke: if you don’t like the game, why are you playing?
Via The Guardian