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Why Do Pop Stars Tend to be Fey?
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From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:

The much-discussed death of Prince last week brings up an old question: Why do pop stars tend to be rather fey?

Granted, using Prince as an example of any statistical pattern is a dubious enterprise. Prince went through life as a sample size of one.

Read the whole thing there.

 
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  1. Agree with the article, but two quibbles:

    1. Freddie Mercury wasn’t gay, he was bi—or, more clearly, he was just into whatever sexual thrill was coming around. His lead guitarist and co-writer on many of the songs–the astrophysicist guy–has stated that Freddie wasn’t gay, because astrophysicist/guitarist dude was his roommate for many years, and saw him banging away happily at many a groupie. Think Charlie Sheen or some Roman Emperor–basically, when sexual access comes so easy, people lose interest in the common, and up the ante a lot to get their thrills. See also: Mick Jagger.

    Freddie just had the bad luck of jumping into bed with men just after it exploded as ok (thanks to gay rights’ movements of the 70s) but just as it was emerging that doing so was more than just risking a bit of itchiness or burning while peeing.

    2. Much of the feyness also probably comes from having to do the deed with record company executives in order to get radio play/promoted albums. Albums are just advertising to most good rock stars—money comes from tours, not albums, because the the record companies structure album deals heavily in their favor. But that advertising can be very helpful in turning a nobody into an arena-selling out artist quickly, or pumping you up from mid-level festival band to headliner.

    But so many record companies and MTV and such are run by homosexuals who demand the same kind of favors from wanna-bes as do the studios for Hollywood movies. Actors are trained to pretend to be something that they’re not, but musicians don’t have that training, so the effects of their ass-for-albums deals shows up more clearly on them.

    • Replies: @Daniel H
    @whorefinder

    >>Freddie Mercury wasn’t gay, he was bi—or, more clearly, he was just into whatever sexual thrill was coming around.

    Wrong. Bisexuality in men doesn't exist. I don't care how many chicks he banged, the fact that he had sex with dudes is sure sign that he was gay, 100% gay.

    Replies: @jon, @whorefinder

    , @Peter Akuleyev
    @whorefinder


    But so many record companies and MTV and such are run by homosexuals who demand the same kind of favors from wanna-bes as do the studios for Hollywood movies.
     
    Maybe in your sexual fantasies, but not so much in reality.

    Replies: @whorefinder

  2. Here’s an ancillary question: why do male pop stars so very often have unusually high vocal ranges, to the point that some sound almost feminine? And why, even in opera, are the tenors the glamor boys instead of the basses? Why isn’t what seems to be the more masculine trait — i.e. a deep voice — rewarded with greater adulation?

    • Replies: @whorefinder
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Much of the "teen idol" phase girls go through is because they genuinely fear the masculine power they are witnessing in their male peers during puberty. They recognize that the boys are getting much stronger than them--and the more booming and deep the voice, the stronger the boy usually is. Plus Dad----the most powerful male in her life, if he's around---usually has the a voice deeper than all her peers.

    All of this combines to make the girl want, at first, a less-masculine boyfriend--someone who has just enough testosterone to attract her, but whose voice is high enough to tell her "it's ok, he's pretty harmless, he's not super strong." The teen idol boys fulfill this function. Later, when she's more sure of herself, she'll turn to a more masculine man---unless she's in arrested development and stays with the pretty boys forever (which is becoming more common as Dads don't stay around, screwing up her normal attraction for men with masculine power).

    Replies: @cthulhu, @flyingtiger

    , @Anonymous
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Yes, indeed! I first noticed this in the 1970's. (The sixties still had a substantial number of male pop singers with bass and baritone voices.)

    Perhaps pop music rewards quick thrills. (One only has 3 minutes to sell the song.) And shrill voices parts make this easier.

    , @Mark Caplan
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Every opera needs a cruel, callous villain. I suppose an ultra-masculine baritone or bass is thought to be more credible in that role. So that leaves a high-voice part for the hero.

    In Handel's hit opera Julius Caesar (1724), Handel wrote Caesar's part for a castrato. In performance today, a female mezzo-soprano or male counter-tenor sing the part. The opera was written for a British audience.

    Replies: @Jonathan Mason, @Uncle Remus

    , @James O'Meara
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    "Why isn’t what seems to be the more masculine trait — i.e. a deep voice — rewarded with greater adulation?"

    Because .... IF you think that deep voice = by "nature" ("trait"), then the counter-tenor exhibits more skill. Nor is it "natural" to lift weights or train for marathons. Hence, the heroes of Baroque operas == Caesar, King David, etc. -- would be counter-tenors.

    The ability to sing in higher registers also symbolizes spiritual attainment, unifying male and female -- the Divine Androgyne. Not just in classical; think the black Church, gospel, R&B, etc. This gets back to Little Richard, hence M. Jackson, Prince, etc. don't seem "odd" to the black audience.

    , @stillCARealist
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Easy. Higher notes are easier to sing louder. Plus, rock music is written to be screamed, not sung.

    David Bowie had a low voice and it sounded fairly masculine, but he didn't really get his chops going until he moved up an octave and started straining and shrieking. Same with Phil Collins and Elton John and Billy Joel. My age shows.

    also, a male tenor belting out the melody allows a female to accompany in an alto range comfortably. It's a nice combo to listen to.

    Replies: @bomag, @Larry, San Francisco

    , @keypusher
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    I googled this and found some interesting stuff. (I recommend Quora.) But don't overlook the obvious: high notes seem to be preferred in lots of genres and styles. Opera has been mentioned, where the male lead is almost always a tenor, but think also of lead guitars and how many concertos get written for violins compared to for violas, cellos and basses.

    , @Anonym
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    I think the popularity of tenors has got a lot to do with the ability to sing a song in a range that just plain sounds better and more interesting. No matter how much I would like to play the identity politics game of baritone vs tenor, that the baritones are being held down "by the Man", I don't think it's matched by reality.

    Certainly there is a subset of great music that requires a tenor voice. There are great songs that only require baritone. But judging by karaoke songbooks and the abject pointlessness of trying to shoehorn a baritone voice into the tenor range (necessitating choosing songs for baritones), I get the impression that the tenors have more of the best songs.

    Maybe this necessity for a tenor drives the feyness. Are higher registers associated with homosexuality?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    , @Anon
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    The human voice is the last part of your body to reach maturity. Opera singers are not advised to sing Grand Opera until after age 35 because up until then your voice is still 'growing' and maturing. Your voice gradually drops in pitch as you age as an adult. If you're a male who is recording at age 20, you'll have a higher voice than you'll possess at age 40 or 50. This is why older singers often have trouble hitting the high notes in the hit songs they sang in their youth. They acquire a new, lower range to compensate.

    If you have a sound recorder, I recommend recording your voice and keeping it around for many years, then listening to it again. My parents have some old tapes recorded back in the 1970s, and it's very odd to hear them because their voices sound so high and young compared to the way they sound now.

    A deepening voice as you age probably has much to do biological programming. A low pitch sounds authoritative, and the aged are wiser than the young. The pitch is meant to signal, 'listen, learn, and obey.'

    Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist, @Dave Pinsen, @Glaivester

  3. @The Last Real Calvinist
    Here's an ancillary question: why do male pop stars so very often have unusually high vocal ranges, to the point that some sound almost feminine? And why, even in opera, are the tenors the glamor boys instead of the basses? Why isn't what seems to be the more masculine trait -- i.e. a deep voice -- rewarded with greater adulation?

    Replies: @whorefinder, @Anonymous, @Mark Caplan, @James O'Meara, @stillCARealist, @keypusher, @Anonym, @Anon

    Much of the “teen idol” phase girls go through is because they genuinely fear the masculine power they are witnessing in their male peers during puberty. They recognize that the boys are getting much stronger than them–and the more booming and deep the voice, the stronger the boy usually is. Plus Dad—-the most powerful male in her life, if he’s around—usually has the a voice deeper than all her peers.

    All of this combines to make the girl want, at first, a less-masculine boyfriend–someone who has just enough testosterone to attract her, but whose voice is high enough to tell her “it’s ok, he’s pretty harmless, he’s not super strong.” The teen idol boys fulfill this function. Later, when she’s more sure of herself, she’ll turn to a more masculine man—unless she’s in arrested development and stays with the pretty boys forever (which is becoming more common as Dads don’t stay around, screwing up her normal attraction for men with masculine power).

    • Replies: @cthulhu
    @whorefinder

    How does your theory explain Geddy Lee of Rush, the band beloved of nerds who came of age in the '70s and never got laid? (I'm serious about the nerd angle; I think that the core audience for Rush is engineers. Fortunately I got bowled over by the Who and the Allman Brothers before I got to college and found all of the Rush fanatics among my classmates.)

    Replies: @unpc downunder, @Brutusale, @whorefinder

    , @flyingtiger
    @whorefinder

    You may be on to something. A woman once told me that when she saw the Road Warrior movie when she was ten, the Mel Gibson character terrified her. When she saw the movie again, she saw Mel Gibson's character as strong and caring. He would be her idea male.

  4. Interesting. I wrote something after Prince’s death arguing that cultural icons are much *less fey* than they used to be, perhaps as a result of the opening of officially recognized alternative sexual identities.

    https://spottedtoad.wordpress.com/2016/04/23/shakespeares-prince/

  5. The flamboyant male performer certainly has deep roots – 19th century superstars like Liszt and Paganini would probably strike us as fey today. I bet Mozart performing live would as well. On the other hand at the court of the Sun King Prince would have seemed fairly normal. Somehow the music and stage world seem to have preserved the tradition of male peacocking that otherwise died out with the Industrial Revolution in more sober spheres of life such as business and politics.

  6. It seems Steve overanalyzes things.

    • Replies: @njguy73
    @AndrewR

    Yeah, that's kinda his thing.

  7. “Fey” means unworldly; rock stars are supposed to be able to tap into truths that are obscured from the rest of us, which they reveal using music, a language which few of us can speak but which we all understand, since it goes straight to our emotions.

    The root meaning of “fey” is “fated to die soon”; I don’t need to go through all the deaths of pop stars to make that point.

    • Replies: @Marty
    @Anon7

    Actually, normal people use "fey" to mean some combination of effeminate and pretentious. If your definition is the official one, then that's an interesting divergence between the academy and daily life. Anyone ever call Evel Knievel fey?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  8. The corollary of fey performers having better looking female offspring is that ultra-masculine men often have masculine looking ones – not a good look on a girl.

    • Replies: @whorefinder
    @Jack D

    Brady Quinn's sister and Bill Cowher's daughters come to mind.

    Replies: @Marcus

    , @syonredux
    @Jack D


    The corollary of fey performers having better looking female offspring is that ultra-masculine men often have masculine looking ones – not a good look on a girl.
     
    On the other hand, a lot of what goes into being good-looking (clear skin, facial symmetry, etc) is non-gender specific....

    Replies: @SteveO

    , @markflag
    @Jack D

    Tell that to Jenner.

  9. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Once someone becomes famous they can no longer lead normal lives but travel around with bodyguards, hangers-on, staff and various suckups, becoming increasingly isolated within a golden cage. Adoring fans become a nuisance and even pose a hazard. Presley, Jackson, Prince and others just went off into drug abuse and psychological quirkiness. It’s hard to stay sane under those circumstances.

    • Replies: @njguy73
    @anonymous

    Alan Moore (V for Vendetta, Watchmen) on fame:

    "I tend to think that what fame has done is to replace the sea as the element of choice of adventure for young people. If you were a dashing young man in the 19th century you would probably have wanted to run away to sea, just as in the 20th century you might decide that you want to run away and form a pop band. The difference is that in the 19th century, before running away to sea, you would have had at least some understanding of the element that you were dealing with and would have perhaps, say, learned to swim ... The thing is that there is no manual for how to cope with fame. So you'll get some, otherwise likeable young person, who has done one good comic book, one good film, one good record, suddenly told that they are a genius, who believes it and who runs out laughing and splashing into the billows of celebrity, and whose heroin-sodden corpse is washed up a few weeks later in the shallows of the tabloids."

  10. @The Last Real Calvinist
    Here's an ancillary question: why do male pop stars so very often have unusually high vocal ranges, to the point that some sound almost feminine? And why, even in opera, are the tenors the glamor boys instead of the basses? Why isn't what seems to be the more masculine trait -- i.e. a deep voice -- rewarded with greater adulation?

    Replies: @whorefinder, @Anonymous, @Mark Caplan, @James O'Meara, @stillCARealist, @keypusher, @Anonym, @Anon

    Yes, indeed! I first noticed this in the 1970’s. (The sixties still had a substantial number of male pop singers with bass and baritone voices.)

    Perhaps pop music rewards quick thrills. (One only has 3 minutes to sell the song.) And shrill voices parts make this easier.

  11. David Bowie often told a story of how his band members during his Ziggy Stardust days were very much “lads” and hated they makeup he had them wear. He said that they quickly found out the makeup made it easier for them to get girls and stopped complaining.

  12. “And compared with the average violinist, he resembled Jack Nicholson playing Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa in that Danny DeVito movie.”

    A magnificent, unjustly neglected movie. Worth watch Hoffa tell Bobby K “Fuck you and fuck your family. Fuck the President!” or words to that effect. Also to see DeVito as a proto-Mike Ehrentraut in his dealing with NYC Italian mobsters.

  13. @The Last Real Calvinist
    Here's an ancillary question: why do male pop stars so very often have unusually high vocal ranges, to the point that some sound almost feminine? And why, even in opera, are the tenors the glamor boys instead of the basses? Why isn't what seems to be the more masculine trait -- i.e. a deep voice -- rewarded with greater adulation?

    Replies: @whorefinder, @Anonymous, @Mark Caplan, @James O'Meara, @stillCARealist, @keypusher, @Anonym, @Anon

    Every opera needs a cruel, callous villain. I suppose an ultra-masculine baritone or bass is thought to be more credible in that role. So that leaves a high-voice part for the hero.

    In Handel’s hit opera Julius Caesar (1724), Handel wrote Caesar’s part for a castrato. In performance today, a female mezzo-soprano or male counter-tenor sing the part. The opera was written for a British audience.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    @Mark Caplan


    In Handel’s hit opera Julius Caesar (1724), Handel wrote Caesar’s part for a castrato. In performance today, a female mezzo-soprano or male counter-tenor sing the part. The opera was written for a British audience.
     
    I guess there is a current shortage of castrati due to namby-pamby legal restrictions on gelding young choristers, though with the current epidemic of self-castration for purposes of gender conversion, these roles may again be filled by those for whom they were originally intended.

    However the historical Julius Caesar was also apparently an epileptic, so it might be harder to find a fitting castrato.

    Replies: @Kylie

    , @Uncle Remus
    @Mark Caplan

    It was well known in Handel's day that Julius Caesar was bisexual. At Caesar's triumph in September of 46 for the dedication of his forum, celebrating his victories in Gaul, Egypt, Pontos and Africa, his soldiers chanted songs referring to his adulteries with women, and to his youthful liason with King Nicomedes of Bithynia. He was rumored to be a passive partner in homosexual affairs, and was known as "every woman's man, and every man's woman". It was fully appropriate for Handel to write the part for a castrato.

  14. What’s the big surprise?

    If you’re already hyper-masculine, you can get women that way. Why bother to practice something.

    If you’re not you’ll have to find another way. Music will do.

    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    @anony-mouse

    How much practicing do you think Aerosmith and in particular Steve Tyler did though. Didn't Aerosmith's guitarist once say (in response to a question about why their shows had so many incidents of fan misbehavior), "Maybe if we could play our instruments better we'd attract a better class of fans."

    Replies: @anon

    , @Mark F.
    @anony-mouse

    Hyper-masculine guys also have an easy time having sex with men. Many gay men do not like effeminate men in bed.

    Replies: @Jonathan Mason, @njguy73

  15. but then the super showmen Jerry Lee Lewis and Keith Emerson were straight

    Jerry Lee still is, as far as I know.

    • Replies: @duncsbaby
    @Psmith

    The Killer will out live us all.

  16. @Jack D
    The corollary of fey performers having better looking female offspring is that ultra-masculine men often have masculine looking ones - not a good look on a girl.

    Replies: @whorefinder, @syonredux, @markflag

    Brady Quinn’s sister and Bill Cowher’s daughters come to mind.

    • Replies: @Marcus
    @whorefinder

    Or Bruce Willis'.. egads!

  17. @The Last Real Calvinist
    Here's an ancillary question: why do male pop stars so very often have unusually high vocal ranges, to the point that some sound almost feminine? And why, even in opera, are the tenors the glamor boys instead of the basses? Why isn't what seems to be the more masculine trait -- i.e. a deep voice -- rewarded with greater adulation?

    Replies: @whorefinder, @Anonymous, @Mark Caplan, @James O'Meara, @stillCARealist, @keypusher, @Anonym, @Anon

    “Why isn’t what seems to be the more masculine trait — i.e. a deep voice — rewarded with greater adulation?”

    Because …. IF you think that deep voice = by “nature” (“trait”), then the counter-tenor exhibits more skill. Nor is it “natural” to lift weights or train for marathons. Hence, the heroes of Baroque operas == Caesar, King David, etc. — would be counter-tenors.

    The ability to sing in higher registers also symbolizes spiritual attainment, unifying male and female — the Divine Androgyne. Not just in classical; think the black Church, gospel, R&B, etc. This gets back to Little Richard, hence M. Jackson, Prince, etc. don’t seem “odd” to the black audience.

  18. A decent Taki’s column, though the subject does not interest me much.

    On the other hand, it gave you an excuse to use a photo of Liv Tyler, and that’s always of interest. 🙂

  19. @anony-mouse
    What's the big surprise?

    If you're already hyper-masculine, you can get women that way. Why bother to practice something.

    If you're not you'll have to find another way. Music will do.

    Replies: @Sam Haysom, @Mark F.

    How much practicing do you think Aerosmith and in particular Steve Tyler did though. Didn’t Aerosmith’s guitarist once say (in response to a question about why their shows had so many incidents of fan misbehavior), “Maybe if we could play our instruments better we’d attract a better class of fans.”

    • Replies: @anon
    @Sam Haysom

    I listen to whole lot of classic rock doing my menial job and lord do they play the Aerosmith. I've known much of their oeuvre, or at least the big hits, for 30 or 40 years, but classic rock plays them so much that there is a familiarity now that I never had before. And I have to say the thing that most stands out is how rudimentary so many of their songs were. Back in the Saddle, Same Old Song and Dance, Train Kept a Rollin are all just a couple of repeated basic riff/progression loops .

    It's a wonder they were able to have such a long and successful career. I guess they always had an interesting edge in how they played those simple songs though. Like the Rolling Stones, there was always kind of a high-wire thrill that that the whole thing sounded like it was going to break down in chaos any second but somehow manages to keep together. Also, they did have some rather ground-breaking songs like Walk This Way, and the overplayed but soaring Dream On that helped separate themselves from the other thousands of rudimentary rock bands aiming for rock stardom in the 70's.

    Replies: @Seneca

  20. An excellent question Steve. You consistently show why you are one of the worlds greatest thinkers.

  21. • Replies: @t
    @t

    Here's the 2015 NEAP page:

    http://www.nationsreportcard.gov/reading_math_g12_2015/

    , @Jack D
    @t

    Unless you adjust the scores for race, such results are meaningless. The headline might as well have been " U.S. high school seniors slip in whiteness".

    "In math, for example, 47 percent of Asian students and 32 percent of white students scored proficient or above, compared with 7 percent of black students and 12 percent of Hispanic students."

    So in order for the overall average math scores to slip a couple of points, all it takes is a very slight shift in the population distribution towards the brown.

    “The students at the lower end are getting worse,” said Peggy Carr, acting commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, which is responsible for administering the NAEP. “That’s something we need to think about.”

    To think about, but not do anything about.

  22. @t
    OT: U.S. high school seniors slip in math and show no improvement in reading


    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/us-high-school-seniors-slip-in-math-and-show-no-improvement-in-reading/2016/04/26/9b8f033e-0bc8-11e6-8ab8-9ad050f76d7d_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_naep-1230am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

    Replies: @t, @Jack D

  23. • Replies: @jon
    @JohnnyGeo

    It's funny how silent the MSM is on this. An almost middle-aged guy with a receding hairline pretends to be a teenager so he can more easily immigrate to Canada and hang out at a high school, where he almost certainly committed statutory rape, and be a basketball star. Nothing to see here apparently.

    Replies: @Anonymous

  24. This tour might have been the opposite of a Prince show. (OK, so both are compact exhibitionist frontmen.) Awesome montage editing. I’ve got an exact replica of that belt buckle for casual Fridays. Side note: a surfeit of testosterone can get you into trouble offstage if you decide to “punch up” at professional muscle/flab.

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Whoops. Thought that guy was security. Apparently not.

  25. AIDS death toll…rock lost one big star, Freddie Mercury of Queen

    Oh, and don’t forget Easy-E of that great ’90s rock group NWA. They were, after all, inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame two weeks ago.

  26. Priss Factor [AKA "Polly Perkins"] says:

    Musiculine

  27. Tom Petty (“American Girl,” “Free Fallin’”) is a fairly representative rock star.

    Oh, come on, the list of Tom Petty hits is a lot longer than two entries.

    Petty explains in a recent biography, although he was a redneck, he was always an artsy redneck.

    Tom Petty’s sister had a 30-year career as a police officer and command staff with the Gainesville, FL Police Department, rising to Chief of Police (I think). She’s been the Sheriff of Alachua County for a few years now.

  28. @The Last Real Calvinist
    Here's an ancillary question: why do male pop stars so very often have unusually high vocal ranges, to the point that some sound almost feminine? And why, even in opera, are the tenors the glamor boys instead of the basses? Why isn't what seems to be the more masculine trait -- i.e. a deep voice -- rewarded with greater adulation?

    Replies: @whorefinder, @Anonymous, @Mark Caplan, @James O'Meara, @stillCARealist, @keypusher, @Anonym, @Anon

    Easy. Higher notes are easier to sing louder. Plus, rock music is written to be screamed, not sung.

    David Bowie had a low voice and it sounded fairly masculine, but he didn’t really get his chops going until he moved up an octave and started straining and shrieking. Same with Phil Collins and Elton John and Billy Joel. My age shows.

    also, a male tenor belting out the melody allows a female to accompany in an alto range comfortably. It’s a nice combo to listen to.

    • Replies: @bomag
    @stillCARealist


    Higher notes are easier to sing louder.
     
    But we have microphones now.

    The Country genre has carried deep voices then and now: Johnny Cash; Earnest Tubb. Cash had some quirky pop appeal late in his career. Bluegrass has always prized the high tenor.

    Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist

    , @Larry, San Francisco
    @stillCARealist

    Actually, I know that Bowie did do some shrieking but I felt his appeal in his main period of the 70's was that he combined an androgenous image with a very masculine singing style which was becoming less common back then. Comparing his version of Can't Explain
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMQOlVU-yQU

    Ignoring the costumes, his singing style could almost be Sinatra in its testosterone level which is evident when you compare it to the Who's verson
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3h--K5928M

    which sounds much more like a teen age band (although a great teen age band).

    As to Glen Frey well I gotta go with Mojo Nixon:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wm-o7_VVAoU

    I have to agree about Merle Haggard though. He deserved much more recognition. 100 years from now they will still be playing his songs, Prince will be forgotten.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  29. Prince was always, though, a tremendous musician, recognized by age 21 as the most broadly gifted American star since Stevie Wonder.

    Is there an unwritten rule that a talented black musician has to be compared to another talented black musician? Stevie Wonder’s talents are often compared to those of Ray Charles. (You’ve got the black+blind+musician trifecta there.)

    I appreciate Prince’s talents and success, but I don’t recall hearing any new music from him since the 1980s. Granted, I’m not that into his kind of music, but AFAIK he was not continuing to produce hits, unless I missed them.

    Glenn Frey, cofounder of the Eagles with Don Henley, was multi-talented as a singer, songwriter, and musician in one of the most successful bands of all time. Frey died in January 2016 and I don’t recall his death getting anywhere near the attention that Prince’s did. Of course Obama, that phony, had to issue a statement about Prince and said he listened to a couple of his songs while warming up for a meeting with the British pie minister, but that’s just his usual “I’m black, y’all” shtick.

    • Replies: @alaska3636
    @Harry Baldwin

    "Is there an unwritten rule that a talented black musician has to be compared to another talented black musician?"

    The same reason that white basketball players in college are compared to white basketball players in the NBA: they have a similar distribution of talents.

    You will notice that folk music is dominantly white and that funk and R&B is dominantly black. The occasional band like Average White Band (this one a double whammy: Scottish white guys playing American Black music), while impressive, doesn't move the average in the same way that Brent Barry winning a slam dunk contest, also impressive, doesn't erase the stereotype of white guys not being able to jump.

    Replies: @ossettian

    , @Harry Baldwin
    @Harry Baldwin

    Oops, "prime minister" not "pie minister," though I like the sound of the former.

    Replies: @Thomas Fuller, @Tacitus2016

    , @poolside
    @Harry Baldwin


    Frey died in January 2016 and I don’t recall his death getting anywhere near the attention that Prince’s did.
     
    I noticed this too.

    Of course, white music fans eagerly accept black musicians and black music, and are quick to "virtue signal" by joining in the public grieving when a black star passes away. White journalists are especially prone to this; better make a big deal out of Prince or else some BLM agitator will accuse me of being racist on Twitter!

    Blacks, of course, could care less an artist like Glenn Frey. He's just another old white guy -- good riddance. And since Frey didn't have the cachet of Bowie ...

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin, @Priss Factor, @SteveO

    , @Triumph104
    @Harry Baldwin

    Glen Frey wasn't a character. Elvis, Michael Jackson, Prince, and even David Bowie are all characters. You can dress up like them for Halloween and do shows impersonating them.

    Whitney Houston wasn't a character but a train wreck and died a day before the Grammys, which explains the attention her death received. Donna Summer was neither a train wreck nor a character and died three months after Houston with little attention.

    , @Hapalong Cassidy
    @Harry Baldwin

    Frey had to share the spotlight with Henley when he was with the Eagles, and the fact that Henley had a way more successful solo career than Frey probably diminished Frey's stature. Whether true or not, it left the impression that Henley was the mastermind behind the Eagles. No matter what one thinks of Prince's music, he never played second banana to anybody.

    , @peterike
    @Harry Baldwin


    Prince was always, though, a tremendous musician, recognized by age 21 as the most broadly gifted American star since Stevie Wonder.

     

    Black privilege. Ohhh, we hear it every time his name is mentioned: Prince played all the instruments! We should be so amazed by this fact.

    Well did anybody care when John Fogerty played all the instruments? Did anyone make a fuss when Paul McCartney played all the instruments? Did we bow down to Todd Rundgren when he played all the instruments?

    No, this musical parlor trick is considered nothing all that special when a white person does it. But since we don't really expect black performers to play any instruments at all, when they play all of them it's like the cow jumping over the moon.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Penny Red

    , @Whoever
    @Harry Baldwin


    Glenn Frey, cofounder of the Eagles with Don Henley, was multi-talented as a singer, songwriter, and musician in one of the most successful bands of all time. Frey died in January 2016 and I don’t recall his death getting anywhere near the attention that Prince’s did.
     
    Pierre Boulez died in January, 2016, as well.
    Yeah, I know. Who?

    Replies: @vinteuil

    , @Daniel H
    @Harry Baldwin

    >>Glenn Frey, cofounder of the Eagles with Don Henley, was multi-talented as a singer, songwriter, and musician in one of the most successful bands of all time. Frey died in January 2016 and I don’t recall his death getting anywhere near the attention that Prince’s did.<<

    The Eagles were brilliant musical craftsman. Their renown will grow with time (and of course, they were superstars in their day) while Prince's will fade away.

  30. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    This tour might have been the opposite of a Prince show. (OK, so both are compact exhibitionist frontmen.) Awesome montage editing. I’ve got an exact replica of that belt buckle for casual Fridays. Side note: a surfeit of testosterone can get you into trouble offstage if you decide to “punch up” at professional muscle/flab.

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Whoops. Thought that guy was security. Apparently not.

  31. Steve Sailer:
    “During the peak decade for rock stars, the ’70s, a particular facial structure emerged as the Platonic ideal for rock stars: a vaguely Asian look with high cheekbones and a narrow jaw. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith is perhaps the canonical example”

    Well, I can’t think of any other example fitting your description. Hair rock had it’s share of thin performers, but it must have been the cocaine they were doing. Although the facial features were all over the place.

    • Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist
    @BB753

    David Coverdale fits that profile now, due to him probably having plastic surgery a few years back to accentuate it. His overall face was rounder when he was younger.

    Jake E Lee had that look due to him being half Japanese (son of San Diego Navy guy and his war bride).

    Tommy Bolin. He was mistaken as a girl all the time.

    A lot of the early 80's west coast hair metal scene had that look.

  32. Because teen age girls, who have a ton of disposable income these days, like fey pop stars. See Bieber, Justin.

  33. @Harry Baldwin
    Prince was always, though, a tremendous musician, recognized by age 21 as the most broadly gifted American star since Stevie Wonder.

    Is there an unwritten rule that a talented black musician has to be compared to another talented black musician? Stevie Wonder's talents are often compared to those of Ray Charles. (You've got the black+blind+musician trifecta there.)

    I appreciate Prince's talents and success, but I don't recall hearing any new music from him since the 1980s. Granted, I'm not that into his kind of music, but AFAIK he was not continuing to produce hits, unless I missed them.

    Glenn Frey, cofounder of the Eagles with Don Henley, was multi-talented as a singer, songwriter, and musician in one of the most successful bands of all time. Frey died in January 2016 and I don't recall his death getting anywhere near the attention that Prince's did. Of course Obama, that phony, had to issue a statement about Prince and said he listened to a couple of his songs while warming up for a meeting with the British pie minister, but that's just his usual "I'm black, y'all" shtick.

    Replies: @alaska3636, @Harry Baldwin, @poolside, @Triumph104, @Hapalong Cassidy, @peterike, @Whoever, @Daniel H

    “Is there an unwritten rule that a talented black musician has to be compared to another talented black musician?”

    The same reason that white basketball players in college are compared to white basketball players in the NBA: they have a similar distribution of talents.

    You will notice that folk music is dominantly white and that funk and R&B is dominantly black. The occasional band like Average White Band (this one a double whammy: Scottish white guys playing American Black music), while impressive, doesn’t move the average in the same way that Brent Barry winning a slam dunk contest, also impressive, doesn’t erase the stereotype of white guys not being able to jump.

    • Replies: @ossettian
    @alaska3636

    The rhythm guitarist in AWB had an astonishing ginger Afro on their 73 OGWT appearance.

  34. @Harry Baldwin
    Prince was always, though, a tremendous musician, recognized by age 21 as the most broadly gifted American star since Stevie Wonder.

    Is there an unwritten rule that a talented black musician has to be compared to another talented black musician? Stevie Wonder's talents are often compared to those of Ray Charles. (You've got the black+blind+musician trifecta there.)

    I appreciate Prince's talents and success, but I don't recall hearing any new music from him since the 1980s. Granted, I'm not that into his kind of music, but AFAIK he was not continuing to produce hits, unless I missed them.

    Glenn Frey, cofounder of the Eagles with Don Henley, was multi-talented as a singer, songwriter, and musician in one of the most successful bands of all time. Frey died in January 2016 and I don't recall his death getting anywhere near the attention that Prince's did. Of course Obama, that phony, had to issue a statement about Prince and said he listened to a couple of his songs while warming up for a meeting with the British pie minister, but that's just his usual "I'm black, y'all" shtick.

    Replies: @alaska3636, @Harry Baldwin, @poolside, @Triumph104, @Hapalong Cassidy, @peterike, @Whoever, @Daniel H

    Oops, “prime minister” not “pie minister,” though I like the sound of the former.

    • Replies: @Thomas Fuller
    @Harry Baldwin

    "Pie Minister" is good – Cameron is getting tubby. Beach shots show an impressive and burgeoning set of moobs. His hair is falling out too, and the comb-over becomes ever more inventive.

    Couldn't happen to a nicer bloke, especially considering his double act last week with that insolent little man whose gratuitous, illogical and entirely worthless opinions about Britain's place in the EU gave such offence and, I might add, aroused a good deal of anti-American sentiment.

    , @Tacitus2016
    @Harry Baldwin

    Here's what a Pie Minister looks like. The end product of something.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maggie_De_Block

  35. True talent often goes unrecognized while flamboyance sells.

    Alain Toussant sadly passed recently. A singer, pianist, songwriter. By the way he was black but that was never what he was all about.

  36. there’s a casting couch filter to get into mainstream pop

    same with young actors

  37. @stillCARealist
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Easy. Higher notes are easier to sing louder. Plus, rock music is written to be screamed, not sung.

    David Bowie had a low voice and it sounded fairly masculine, but he didn't really get his chops going until he moved up an octave and started straining and shrieking. Same with Phil Collins and Elton John and Billy Joel. My age shows.

    also, a male tenor belting out the melody allows a female to accompany in an alto range comfortably. It's a nice combo to listen to.

    Replies: @bomag, @Larry, San Francisco

    Higher notes are easier to sing louder.

    But we have microphones now.

    The Country genre has carried deep voices then and now: Johnny Cash; Earnest Tubb. Cash had some quirky pop appeal late in his career. Bluegrass has always prized the high tenor.

    • Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist
    @bomag

    Aw, hell, why not? We're on a superficial topic, so I just put it out there. Who thinks Kenny Chesney is probably gay?

  38. The rock-star mode actually can be a coherent, even cunning heterosexual package for skinny young men who are never going to be the captain of the football team.

    It certainly worked for Prince (whose severe lack of verticality barred him from getting picked for basketball games as a youth), as evidenced by the long list of lovelies that he romanced: Vanity (aka Denise Matthews), Kim Basinger, Sherilyn Fenn, Apollonia Kotero, Vanessa Marcil, etc

    Interesting to note how Prince was entirely conventional in his taste in women, as evidenced by his lack of interest in West African-looking girls. Foe example, Vanity would have had no problem passing a paper bag test at a “Black” sorority:

  39. @Harry Baldwin
    Prince was always, though, a tremendous musician, recognized by age 21 as the most broadly gifted American star since Stevie Wonder.

    Is there an unwritten rule that a talented black musician has to be compared to another talented black musician? Stevie Wonder's talents are often compared to those of Ray Charles. (You've got the black+blind+musician trifecta there.)

    I appreciate Prince's talents and success, but I don't recall hearing any new music from him since the 1980s. Granted, I'm not that into his kind of music, but AFAIK he was not continuing to produce hits, unless I missed them.

    Glenn Frey, cofounder of the Eagles with Don Henley, was multi-talented as a singer, songwriter, and musician in one of the most successful bands of all time. Frey died in January 2016 and I don't recall his death getting anywhere near the attention that Prince's did. Of course Obama, that phony, had to issue a statement about Prince and said he listened to a couple of his songs while warming up for a meeting with the British pie minister, but that's just his usual "I'm black, y'all" shtick.

    Replies: @alaska3636, @Harry Baldwin, @poolside, @Triumph104, @Hapalong Cassidy, @peterike, @Whoever, @Daniel H

    Frey died in January 2016 and I don’t recall his death getting anywhere near the attention that Prince’s did.

    I noticed this too.

    Of course, white music fans eagerly accept black musicians and black music, and are quick to “virtue signal” by joining in the public grieving when a black star passes away. White journalists are especially prone to this; better make a big deal out of Prince or else some BLM agitator will accuse me of being racist on Twitter!

    Blacks, of course, could care less an artist like Glenn Frey. He’s just another old white guy — good riddance. And since Frey didn’t have the cachet of Bowie …

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    @poolside

    Blacks, of course, could care less an artist like Glenn Frey.

    Well, there was that black cab driver in The Big Lebowski. He was a huge fan.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JlmvtAHhnc

    Replies: @Priss Factor

    , @Priss Factor
    @poolside

    Frey was not a personality.

    Pop Music isn't just about the music but the image.

    Most people hardly know what Frey looked like.

    Prince had a very distinct image. He was a diva. And even after he faded, he knew how to keep the cult going. Bowie did also, which is why his death got huge coverage.

    His very moniker made him a kind of neo-aristocrat. madonna used the same shtick though she should called herself mudonna.

    Replies: @Alec Leamas

    , @SteveO
    @poolside


    And since Frey didn’t have the cachet of Bowie …
     
    And yet, I would guess that the Eagles outsold Prince and Bowie combined, several times over. Certainly their huge number of hits are remembered by more people as the soundtrack to their youth than either of the other two.

    Perhaps that's the problem: The Eagles were too popular to be trendy and "underground", as Bowie was. Despite leaving his sexually ambiguous days behind long ago, Bowie always seemed to have a certain alternative-lifestyle appeal ... or, rather, a certain appeal to the alternative-lifestyle crowd.

    Why Prince would be a bigger deal than Glenn Frey, I can't imagine, unless it was his personal celebrity.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Anon

  40. @Jack D
    The corollary of fey performers having better looking female offspring is that ultra-masculine men often have masculine looking ones - not a good look on a girl.

    Replies: @whorefinder, @syonredux, @markflag

    The corollary of fey performers having better looking female offspring is that ultra-masculine men often have masculine looking ones – not a good look on a girl.

    On the other hand, a lot of what goes into being good-looking (clear skin, facial symmetry, etc) is non-gender specific….

    • Replies: @SteveO
    @syonredux


    On the other hand, a lot of what goes into being good-looking (clear skin, facial symmetry, etc) is non-gender specific….
     
    On the third hand, those factors are more important in women. In a man, a high level of virility can outweigh bad skin or a too-big nose. For example, Richard Burton (the 20th century British actor, not the 19th century British explorer) was widely perceived as sexually magnetic to women in his younger days, and yet he had badly pockmarked skin.

    Replies: @Alec Leamas, @syonredux

  41. @t
    OT: U.S. high school seniors slip in math and show no improvement in reading


    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/us-high-school-seniors-slip-in-math-and-show-no-improvement-in-reading/2016/04/26/9b8f033e-0bc8-11e6-8ab8-9ad050f76d7d_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_naep-1230am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

    Replies: @t, @Jack D

    Unless you adjust the scores for race, such results are meaningless. The headline might as well have been ” U.S. high school seniors slip in whiteness”.

    “In math, for example, 47 percent of Asian students and 32 percent of white students scored proficient or above, compared with 7 percent of black students and 12 percent of Hispanic students.”

    So in order for the overall average math scores to slip a couple of points, all it takes is a very slight shift in the population distribution towards the brown.

    “The students at the lower end are getting worse,” said Peggy Carr, acting commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, which is responsible for administering the NAEP. “That’s something we need to think about.”

    To think about, but not do anything about.

  42. @anony-mouse
    What's the big surprise?

    If you're already hyper-masculine, you can get women that way. Why bother to practice something.

    If you're not you'll have to find another way. Music will do.

    Replies: @Sam Haysom, @Mark F.

    Hyper-masculine guys also have an easy time having sex with men. Many gay men do not like effeminate men in bed.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    @Mark F.


    Many gay men do not like effeminate men in bed.
     
    Women can be a pain in bed too, putting their hair up in nets for the night, worrying about breaking their fingernails, and getting text messages from their mothers.
    , @njguy73
    @Mark F.

    I once heard someone, who I believe was gay, describe the typical gay bar scene as "a hundred bottoms looking for a top."

  43. My wife watches “The Voice,” and I noticed the other night that each of the four coaches was asked to give a personal statement about what Prince meant to them.

    I don’t recall the show doing that when Merle Haggard — arguably more influential and certainly longer lived — passed away.

    It always makes me laugh when black coach Pharrell hears a contestant sing a country song and he says he’s never heard it before.

    • Replies: @John Franklin
    @poolside

    I don't think any of the judges , except maybe one, could even name a Merle Haggard song. Not because he wasn't great, but because they don't listen to traditional country music.

  44. @alaska3636
    @Harry Baldwin

    "Is there an unwritten rule that a talented black musician has to be compared to another talented black musician?"

    The same reason that white basketball players in college are compared to white basketball players in the NBA: they have a similar distribution of talents.

    You will notice that folk music is dominantly white and that funk and R&B is dominantly black. The occasional band like Average White Band (this one a double whammy: Scottish white guys playing American Black music), while impressive, doesn't move the average in the same way that Brent Barry winning a slam dunk contest, also impressive, doesn't erase the stereotype of white guys not being able to jump.

    Replies: @ossettian

    The rhythm guitarist in AWB had an astonishing ginger Afro on their 73 OGWT appearance.

  45. @Harry Baldwin
    Prince was always, though, a tremendous musician, recognized by age 21 as the most broadly gifted American star since Stevie Wonder.

    Is there an unwritten rule that a talented black musician has to be compared to another talented black musician? Stevie Wonder's talents are often compared to those of Ray Charles. (You've got the black+blind+musician trifecta there.)

    I appreciate Prince's talents and success, but I don't recall hearing any new music from him since the 1980s. Granted, I'm not that into his kind of music, but AFAIK he was not continuing to produce hits, unless I missed them.

    Glenn Frey, cofounder of the Eagles with Don Henley, was multi-talented as a singer, songwriter, and musician in one of the most successful bands of all time. Frey died in January 2016 and I don't recall his death getting anywhere near the attention that Prince's did. Of course Obama, that phony, had to issue a statement about Prince and said he listened to a couple of his songs while warming up for a meeting with the British pie minister, but that's just his usual "I'm black, y'all" shtick.

    Replies: @alaska3636, @Harry Baldwin, @poolside, @Triumph104, @Hapalong Cassidy, @peterike, @Whoever, @Daniel H

    Glen Frey wasn’t a character. Elvis, Michael Jackson, Prince, and even David Bowie are all characters. You can dress up like them for Halloween and do shows impersonating them.

    Whitney Houston wasn’t a character but a train wreck and died a day before the Grammys, which explains the attention her death received. Donna Summer was neither a train wreck nor a character and died three months after Houston with little attention.

    • Agree: Harry Baldwin
  46. @Mark Caplan
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Every opera needs a cruel, callous villain. I suppose an ultra-masculine baritone or bass is thought to be more credible in that role. So that leaves a high-voice part for the hero.

    In Handel's hit opera Julius Caesar (1724), Handel wrote Caesar's part for a castrato. In performance today, a female mezzo-soprano or male counter-tenor sing the part. The opera was written for a British audience.

    Replies: @Jonathan Mason, @Uncle Remus

    In Handel’s hit opera Julius Caesar (1724), Handel wrote Caesar’s part for a castrato. In performance today, a female mezzo-soprano or male counter-tenor sing the part. The opera was written for a British audience.

    I guess there is a current shortage of castrati due to namby-pamby legal restrictions on gelding young choristers, though with the current epidemic of self-castration for purposes of gender conversion, these roles may again be filled by those for whom they were originally intended.

    However the historical Julius Caesar was also apparently an epileptic, so it might be harder to find a fitting castrato.

    • Replies: @Kylie
    @Jonathan Mason

    "However the historical Julius Caesar was also apparently an epileptic, so it might be harder to find a fitting castrato."

    I see what you did there.

  47. @Mark F.
    @anony-mouse

    Hyper-masculine guys also have an easy time having sex with men. Many gay men do not like effeminate men in bed.

    Replies: @Jonathan Mason, @njguy73

    Many gay men do not like effeminate men in bed.

    Women can be a pain in bed too, putting their hair up in nets for the night, worrying about breaking their fingernails, and getting text messages from their mothers.

  48. Steve, up until about a year ago, I almost never read your columns. But even I seem to recall, from that exceedingly sparse sampling, that you’ve covered this ground before a long, long time ago on the iSteve blog. The post was a musing about the (often unimpressive) heights of male rock stars, and something about Johnny Ramone being 6’4” and 145 lbs.

    There’s no law against this, of course. You can feel free to blog about whatever topics interest you for as long as people want to read about them—or even longer, if you don’t mind not having an audience. But what is with this never-to-be-exhausted fascination with the nuances of male sexuality? Rock star looks, rock star heights, athletes and steroids, all the typical Sailer fare? The full article at Taki’s left me wondering, “What the heck was the point of this?”

    The proffered evolutionary explanation at the end of the article is characteristic of the just-so-ism that biology has degenerated into. It’s time to consign Darwinism to the drawer of intellectual history where it belongs. The sooner everyone realizes that there was no evolution, the sooner we can begin to be realistic about the problems we’re all ostensibly concerned about.

    As it stands now, it seems that the Geeks’ Alliance of PUAs and HBDers has begotten nothing but a begrudging respect for the PBUHs, leaving little save the hand-wringing to differentiate them from the SJWs. Hey, at least I’ve learned to speak fluent Acronymese!

  49. @poolside
    @Harry Baldwin


    Frey died in January 2016 and I don’t recall his death getting anywhere near the attention that Prince’s did.
     
    I noticed this too.

    Of course, white music fans eagerly accept black musicians and black music, and are quick to "virtue signal" by joining in the public grieving when a black star passes away. White journalists are especially prone to this; better make a big deal out of Prince or else some BLM agitator will accuse me of being racist on Twitter!

    Blacks, of course, could care less an artist like Glenn Frey. He's just another old white guy -- good riddance. And since Frey didn't have the cachet of Bowie ...

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin, @Priss Factor, @SteveO

    Blacks, of course, could care less an artist like Glenn Frey.

    Well, there was that black cab driver in The Big Lebowski. He was a huge fan.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JlmvtAHhnc

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    @Harry Baldwin

    I overlooked the Big Lebow because I got tired of Coen's smartass cleverisms and hyperboles but I must say that is a bonafide instant classic with one of the most memorable characters in recent cinema. It is fun fun fun.

    And Goodman's goy-Jew act. It kills me because there was a guy like that in high school. Teutonic, right of Attila the Hun, gung ho, etc. But he luuuuuuuuuuuuuuved Israel like the SS loved Nazi Germany. Whenever he would go off about Israel and praise Jews, Jewish kids would look at him like this:

    https://youtu.be/UH-CDhLtS7c?t=44s

    Replies: @Anonymous

  50. @Harry Baldwin
    Prince was always, though, a tremendous musician, recognized by age 21 as the most broadly gifted American star since Stevie Wonder.

    Is there an unwritten rule that a talented black musician has to be compared to another talented black musician? Stevie Wonder's talents are often compared to those of Ray Charles. (You've got the black+blind+musician trifecta there.)

    I appreciate Prince's talents and success, but I don't recall hearing any new music from him since the 1980s. Granted, I'm not that into his kind of music, but AFAIK he was not continuing to produce hits, unless I missed them.

    Glenn Frey, cofounder of the Eagles with Don Henley, was multi-talented as a singer, songwriter, and musician in one of the most successful bands of all time. Frey died in January 2016 and I don't recall his death getting anywhere near the attention that Prince's did. Of course Obama, that phony, had to issue a statement about Prince and said he listened to a couple of his songs while warming up for a meeting with the British pie minister, but that's just his usual "I'm black, y'all" shtick.

    Replies: @alaska3636, @Harry Baldwin, @poolside, @Triumph104, @Hapalong Cassidy, @peterike, @Whoever, @Daniel H

    Frey had to share the spotlight with Henley when he was with the Eagles, and the fact that Henley had a way more successful solo career than Frey probably diminished Frey’s stature. Whether true or not, it left the impression that Henley was the mastermind behind the Eagles. No matter what one thinks of Prince’s music, he never played second banana to anybody.

  51. @Harry Baldwin
    @Harry Baldwin

    Oops, "prime minister" not "pie minister," though I like the sound of the former.

    Replies: @Thomas Fuller, @Tacitus2016

    “Pie Minister” is good – Cameron is getting tubby. Beach shots show an impressive and burgeoning set of moobs. His hair is falling out too, and the comb-over becomes ever more inventive.

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer bloke, especially considering his double act last week with that insolent little man whose gratuitous, illogical and entirely worthless opinions about Britain’s place in the EU gave such offence and, I might add, aroused a good deal of anti-American sentiment.

  52. Priss Factor [AKA "Polly Perkins"] says:
    @Harry Baldwin
    @poolside

    Blacks, of course, could care less an artist like Glenn Frey.

    Well, there was that black cab driver in The Big Lebowski. He was a huge fan.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JlmvtAHhnc

    Replies: @Priss Factor

    I overlooked the Big Lebow because I got tired of Coen’s smartass cleverisms and hyperboles but I must say that is a bonafide instant classic with one of the most memorable characters in recent cinema. It is fun fun fun.

    And Goodman’s goy-Jew act. It kills me because there was a guy like that in high school. Teutonic, right of Attila the Hun, gung ho, etc. But he luuuuuuuuuuuuuuved Israel like the SS loved Nazi Germany. Whenever he would go off about Israel and praise Jews, Jewish kids would look at him like this:

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Priss Factor

    John Goodman's character is based on screenwriter John Milius, who is Jewish. He was born Jewish, while Goodman's character is a convert, but I guess the Coens always just know better.

    Replies: @Priss Factor

  53. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Sam Haysom
    @anony-mouse

    How much practicing do you think Aerosmith and in particular Steve Tyler did though. Didn't Aerosmith's guitarist once say (in response to a question about why their shows had so many incidents of fan misbehavior), "Maybe if we could play our instruments better we'd attract a better class of fans."

    Replies: @anon

    I listen to whole lot of classic rock doing my menial job and lord do they play the Aerosmith. I’ve known much of their oeuvre, or at least the big hits, for 30 or 40 years, but classic rock plays them so much that there is a familiarity now that I never had before. And I have to say the thing that most stands out is how rudimentary so many of their songs were. Back in the Saddle, Same Old Song and Dance, Train Kept a Rollin are all just a couple of repeated basic riff/progression loops .

    It’s a wonder they were able to have such a long and successful career. I guess they always had an interesting edge in how they played those simple songs though. Like the Rolling Stones, there was always kind of a high-wire thrill that that the whole thing sounded like it was going to break down in chaos any second but somehow manages to keep together. Also, they did have some rather ground-breaking songs like Walk This Way, and the overplayed but soaring Dream On that helped separate themselves from the other thousands of rudimentary rock bands aiming for rock stardom in the 70’s.

    • Replies: @Seneca
    @anon

    BTW, the great guitar solo on Train Kept a Rolling was by Steve Hunter (and not the Aerosmith guitarist) and it was unaccredited on the originally Aerosmith album. A guitar magazine interviewed Steve Hunter who has also played with Alice Cooper and Lou Reed, and discovered this fact.

    I am a pretty good amateur guitar player (played semi professionally for many years on the weekends making pocket money ) and when I first heard the solo I was puzzled, because it was a really good solo ( a hell of a lot better than their regular guitar player could do IMO). I thought maybe their guitar player had been practicing a lot LOL.

    Aerosmith wrote some very good and very catchy songs, but when I discovered this failure to properly credit the solo on the album it kinda of turned me off...sort of like stolen valor for a guitar player like me. Maybe non musicians might not think it was a big deal though.

    I think it is great when bands use other musicians or songwriters to help them with an album.

    And sometimes I understand a player might want to remain anonymous for contractual or other reasons, but a band should always give them credit when possible.

  54. I suppose a conspiracy theorist could propose that fey, androgynous rock stars were picked in order to mainstream androgynous cultural heroes and with them pave the way for sexual perversity. Did ghey marriage have its genesis in glam rock?

    But I think the better theory – or at least the equally plausible one – is that music, and particularly the kind of rock music that doesn’t require years of musical training is an alternative path to popularity (both within one’s peer group and possibly beyond) for the athletically useless and those who don’t come from money. Substance abuse is also often an asset rather than a liability for the burgeoning garage rock star. Even though my high school experience was as an athlete in an U.S. Catholic Prep school and a rugby-mad Irish boarding school where the long-haired rock type wasn’t prevalent or even tolerated, I think most of us can recall at some point a skinny long hair rock and roller type being forced into some kind of required athletic feat and marveling at the absolute physical awkwardness and propensity to hurt themselves solely under their own power.

    I think the Linklater film “Dazed and Confused” also hints at a corollary with the commitment pledge distributed to the returning football players – coaches of athletes like to police the athletes’ other interests and activities and steer them away from the drug and party scene, while also liking to fill their free time with other activities under the veil of training to crowd out those other influences. You just won’t have time to be in a garage band if you’re a competitive athlete under the guidance and direction of involved coaches.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Alec Leamas

    Linklater's new movie is about his year as a college scholarship jock (baseball) before he got a health problem with his heart and switched to arty interests. I haven't seen it, but it sounds interesting in part because not many artists have seen jock life from the inside and vice-versa.

    Lord Byron was a little like that: he was an aristocrat with total confidence that he could lead men in battle (he hadn't died of fever, it's possible he would have been crowned King of the Greeks), and he was a fey artist of beautiful looks.

    Not surprisingly, he absolutely electrified Europe.

    Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist, @Jefferson, @Jokah Macpherson

  55. Priss Factor [AKA "Polly Perkins"] says:

    A lot of athletes are big and strong but they are not manly in character.

    Some actually have beta-personalities. I thought Carl Lewis was like the Michael Jackson of track.
    And Michael Jordan was often tongue-tied. He only came alive on the court.
    And some boxers are tough in the ring but lost outside it.
    They are like Moose in Archie comic books.

    Music is artful and seductive, so it can favor the more flamboyant kind of male.
    (Dancing more so) The whole idea of serenade is sort of ‘fey’ if not ‘gay’. Consider BREAKING AWAY.

    And Eddie Murphy’s stuff about Michael Jackson isn’t the most masculine guy in the world.

    http://mic.com/articles/104964/science-finally-explains-why-talented-musicians-are-so-damn-sexy

    Music works like a drug. Humor has the same effect. Without wit and ability to make girls laugh, would Woody Allen have had a chance. And just how did Mel Brooks marry someone like Anne Bancroft?
    Music turns women on. Women fall for guys who make them laugh.

    “Instead, bypass conventional male vs. male competition and specialize in the arts that appeal directly to girls.”

    In all my life, this is the biggest scam pulled on girls by boys. Hang around art schools in college, and I’ve seen some shi*. Dork-ass guys pretending to be ‘creative’ and getting some hot chicks. But this doesn’t work with all women. There’s a class of women who love ‘culture’ and stuff. They fall for this shi* so often, it’s embarrassing.

    Anyway, as the music went more from the mode of serenade to rape fantasy, I think the pretty boy in music might be losing out.

    That madonna had the longest successful career among 80s stars is indicative. She never switched to rap but she remained relevant as long as she acted the whore. You don’t need rap to act the whore.
    But most big 80s male stars didn’t or couldn’t make the transition to rap. To be badass, rap is the standard. So, they became old hat.

    There was a time when white boys and white girls mostly listened to white rock.
    Today, much of white rock is stuff that only white males listen to. Many white girls are into rap and female idol music. Black rap is male ideal, and female idol music(white or black but often not rap) is the female ideal. (Too much rapping makes women lose their feminine qualities).

    Actors have to be feisty. Joe Pesci.

    • Replies: @Kylie
    @Priss Factor

    "Actors have to be feisty. Joe Pesci."

    I simply adore Joe Pesci. He can do it all: drama, comedy and romance. Yes. Romance. He conveys as much suppressed passion in "The Public Eye" as, say, Anthony Hopkins does in "The Remains of the Day". It's very understated, touching performance.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  56. Priss Factor [AKA "Polly Perkins"] says:

    Anyone see Billy Joel’s kid?

  57. Priss Factor [AKA "Polly Perkins"] says:
    @poolside
    @Harry Baldwin


    Frey died in January 2016 and I don’t recall his death getting anywhere near the attention that Prince’s did.
     
    I noticed this too.

    Of course, white music fans eagerly accept black musicians and black music, and are quick to "virtue signal" by joining in the public grieving when a black star passes away. White journalists are especially prone to this; better make a big deal out of Prince or else some BLM agitator will accuse me of being racist on Twitter!

    Blacks, of course, could care less an artist like Glenn Frey. He's just another old white guy -- good riddance. And since Frey didn't have the cachet of Bowie ...

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin, @Priss Factor, @SteveO

    Frey was not a personality.

    Pop Music isn’t just about the music but the image.

    Most people hardly know what Frey looked like.

    Prince had a very distinct image. He was a diva. And even after he faded, he knew how to keep the cult going. Bowie did also, which is why his death got huge coverage.

    His very moniker made him a kind of neo-aristocrat. madonna used the same shtick though she should called herself mudonna.

    • Replies: @Alec Leamas
    @Priss Factor

    Glen Frey was enough of a matinee idol and personality to land acting gigs on one of the biggest TV shows of the 80s next to Don Johnson - he co-starred in three episodes of Miami Vice.

    Prince was one of a kind but proves a theory that I've heard and ruminated on for a while - that is, that artists are their most creative and brilliant as young men. The history of popular music and rock and roll sort of shows that artists peak around 27 (age of death of Hendrix, Morrison and others), after which their music and artistry declines. Someone theorized that it has something to do with getting laid too much and losing some of that drive and tension to create, which is a sublimation of sexual desire and longing.

    My own undeveloped theory is that as the artist gets older and more successful, he gets more autonomy. Autonomy leads to self-indulgence - there's no more push and pull between the artist's expression and what the public wants to hear. Prince seems to be a good example of this - Purple Rain had hallmarks of his weirdness but they were tempered and shaped by the synth-rock-pop sounds that were popular in the 80s to appeal to a mass audience (note he was 26 when the album was released). With commercial success, Prince gained autonomy, eventually breaking from his record label entirely and releasing his music himself - and never again realizing the same degree of commercial popularity. It's clear from listening to Prince's music - even in the form of the extended versions of popular songs that were released on greatest hits albums - that he was tempering his own tastes and musical weirdness before the zenith of his career, and then much less so afterwards. Against the odds, there probably isn't another "Purple Rain" album in all of that unreleased material in his vault.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @The Last Real Calvinist, @Priss Factor

  58. What you are describing is the sigma male. http://tinyurl.com/j7k23gq

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @The Z Blog

    I don't think Ted Cruz is really a good example of some group that also includes fey heterosexual pop stars.

  59. @BB753
    Steve Sailer:
    "During the peak decade for rock stars, the ’70s, a particular facial structure emerged as the Platonic ideal for rock stars: a vaguely Asian look with high cheekbones and a narrow jaw. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith is perhaps the canonical example"

    Well, I can't think of any other example fitting your description. Hair rock had it's share of thin performers, but it must have been the cocaine they were doing. Although the facial features were all over the place.

    Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist

    David Coverdale fits that profile now, due to him probably having plastic surgery a few years back to accentuate it. His overall face was rounder when he was younger.

    Jake E Lee had that look due to him being half Japanese (son of San Diego Navy guy and his war bride).

    Tommy Bolin. He was mistaken as a girl all the time.

    A lot of the early 80’s west coast hair metal scene had that look.

  60. @bomag
    @stillCARealist


    Higher notes are easier to sing louder.
     
    But we have microphones now.

    The Country genre has carried deep voices then and now: Johnny Cash; Earnest Tubb. Cash had some quirky pop appeal late in his career. Bluegrass has always prized the high tenor.

    Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist

    Aw, hell, why not? We’re on a superficial topic, so I just put it out there. Who thinks Kenny Chesney is probably gay?

  61. @Harry Baldwin
    Prince was always, though, a tremendous musician, recognized by age 21 as the most broadly gifted American star since Stevie Wonder.

    Is there an unwritten rule that a talented black musician has to be compared to another talented black musician? Stevie Wonder's talents are often compared to those of Ray Charles. (You've got the black+blind+musician trifecta there.)

    I appreciate Prince's talents and success, but I don't recall hearing any new music from him since the 1980s. Granted, I'm not that into his kind of music, but AFAIK he was not continuing to produce hits, unless I missed them.

    Glenn Frey, cofounder of the Eagles with Don Henley, was multi-talented as a singer, songwriter, and musician in one of the most successful bands of all time. Frey died in January 2016 and I don't recall his death getting anywhere near the attention that Prince's did. Of course Obama, that phony, had to issue a statement about Prince and said he listened to a couple of his songs while warming up for a meeting with the British pie minister, but that's just his usual "I'm black, y'all" shtick.

    Replies: @alaska3636, @Harry Baldwin, @poolside, @Triumph104, @Hapalong Cassidy, @peterike, @Whoever, @Daniel H

    Prince was always, though, a tremendous musician, recognized by age 21 as the most broadly gifted American star since Stevie Wonder.

    Black privilege. Ohhh, we hear it every time his name is mentioned: Prince played all the instruments! We should be so amazed by this fact.

    Well did anybody care when John Fogerty played all the instruments? Did anyone make a fuss when Paul McCartney played all the instruments? Did we bow down to Todd Rundgren when he played all the instruments?

    No, this musical parlor trick is considered nothing all that special when a white person does it. But since we don’t really expect black performers to play any instruments at all, when they play all of them it’s like the cow jumping over the moon.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @peterike

    "Well did anybody care when John Fogerty played all the instruments? Did anyone make a fuss when Paul McCartney played all the instruments? Did we bow down to Todd Rundgren when he played all the instruments?"

    Well, yeah, actually these guys were famous for their skills. Rundgren was kind of a cult figure who only intermittently had hits, but I had lots of guys in the 1970stell me about what a great musician he was.

    , @Penny Red
    @peterike

    No, this musical parlor trick is considered nothing all that special when a white person does it.

    And completely forgettable as Billy Corgan is always left off the list.

  62. Pop stars are the high priests/shamans of mass pop culture, which makes sense of their shape-shifting and their supposed unique access to and interpretations of higher realms of the spiritual – “fey” also meaning “giving an impression of vague unworldliness” and “having supernatural powers of clairvoyance.”

    This lends pop propaganda enormous impact upon the impressionable. In fact, I’ve known many an individual who has patterned his entire life around a single pop act, and have even known several individuals who have patterned their entire lives around a single pop song. Indeed for some of my adolescent and early adult years I, too, was taken in by and patterned my worldview and outlook upon a select few pop acts’ “message.” One of my high school friends continues to insist that merely exposing Moslems to The Rolling Stones and NFL football, and to Bruce Springsteen and all the rest of the West’s pop culture panem et circenses will disabuse Moslems of their Islam, and, to my dismay, I’ve encountered far too many other Westerners who clutch adamantly to that same idiotic expectation.

    Jim Morrison’s grasp of the pop star as shaman shed light on pop star fey, embodied in his “I am the Lizard King: I can do anything.”

    In the West a large proportion of the masses no longer look to the Christian God as the magnetic north of their moral compass, they look instead to manufactured-image pop shamans – even to so-called “news” media and to every sort of television/media programming – that peddle nonstop “Imagine” Universalism-Feelgoodism. It’s arguable that even Pope Francis is just another one of today’s Western “We Are Really All Alike!” Universalist pop star shamans – another master of smartphone-viral public Universalist-Globalist virtue signalling.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Auntie Analogue

    I saw a concert by the first band of Tuvan throat singers from Siberia to tour the west. (I'd heard about Tuvan throat singing from the last book about Richard Feynman who had always wanted to visit Tuva.) Anyway, one member of the band claimed to be a descendant of 57 generations of shamans. So, apparently, being a shaman makes you popular with the ladies.

    Being a pop star was a way to carry on this family tradition, I guess.

    Throat singing isn't traditionally performed with instruments, but these guys had formed a band with electric guitars and drums. Basically, they were playing American lonesome cowboy country music, with clippity-clop rhythms like riding horseback. The name of their album was "60 Horses in My Herd," which is kind of like a rapper boasting to the ladies about his G-6 jet, I guess.

    Replies: @Alec Leamas, @vinny

    , @The Last Real Calvinist
    @Auntie Analogue

    Excellent stuff here; thanks much.

  63. Why fey? They love themselves a lot more than anything else. And that’s kinda gay, when ya think about that.

  64. @whorefinder
    @Jack D

    Brady Quinn's sister and Bill Cowher's daughters come to mind.

    Replies: @Marcus

    Or Bruce Willis’.. egads!

  65. But that’s not for everybody. Indeed, how well did it work out for Tony Montana?

    “Look at that.. a junkie, I got a fucking junkie for a wife.” Still young Michelle Pfeiffer though

  66. @stillCARealist
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Easy. Higher notes are easier to sing louder. Plus, rock music is written to be screamed, not sung.

    David Bowie had a low voice and it sounded fairly masculine, but he didn't really get his chops going until he moved up an octave and started straining and shrieking. Same with Phil Collins and Elton John and Billy Joel. My age shows.

    also, a male tenor belting out the melody allows a female to accompany in an alto range comfortably. It's a nice combo to listen to.

    Replies: @bomag, @Larry, San Francisco

    Actually, I know that Bowie did do some shrieking but I felt his appeal in his main period of the 70’s was that he combined an androgenous image with a very masculine singing style which was becoming less common back then. Comparing his version of Can’t Explain

    Ignoring the costumes, his singing style could almost be Sinatra in its testosterone level which is evident when you compare it to the Who’s verson

    which sounds much more like a teen age band (although a great teen age band).

    As to Glen Frey well I gotta go with Mojo Nixon:

    I have to agree about Merle Haggard though. He deserved much more recognition. 100 years from now they will still be playing his songs, Prince will be forgotten.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Larry, San Francisco

    Bowie's son Duncan Jones is a pretty good movie director, which is a job where an authoritative masculine personality is highly useful because you have to announce decisions constantly as if you know what you are doing. Dear old dad always sounded like a leader of men even while wearing a dress made out of feathers.

  67. Marty [AKA "Near Vicksburg"] says:
    @Anon7
    "Fey" means unworldly; rock stars are supposed to be able to tap into truths that are obscured from the rest of us, which they reveal using music, a language which few of us can speak but which we all understand, since it goes straight to our emotions.

    The root meaning of "fey" is "fated to die soon"; I don't need to go through all the deaths of pop stars to make that point.

    Replies: @Marty

    Actually, normal people use “fey” to mean some combination of effeminate and pretentious. If your definition is the official one, then that’s an interesting divergence between the academy and daily life. Anyone ever call Evel Knievel fey?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Marty

    It's a word that's changing in meaning over the centuries.

    Replies: @Anon7

  68. @poolside
    My wife watches "The Voice," and I noticed the other night that each of the four coaches was asked to give a personal statement about what Prince meant to them.

    I don't recall the show doing that when Merle Haggard -- arguably more influential and certainly longer lived -- passed away.

    It always makes me laugh when black coach Pharrell hears a contestant sing a country song and he says he's never heard it before.

    Replies: @John Franklin

    I don’t think any of the judges , except maybe one, could even name a Merle Haggard song. Not because he wasn’t great, but because they don’t listen to traditional country music.

  69. @Harry Baldwin
    @Harry Baldwin

    Oops, "prime minister" not "pie minister," though I like the sound of the former.

    Replies: @Thomas Fuller, @Tacitus2016

    Here’s what a Pie Minister looks like. The end product of something.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maggie_De_Block

  70. The acid test of any profession’s tendency toward male homosexuality was its AIDS death toll during the ’80s and early ’90s.

    Rob Halford of Judas Priest managed to avoid getting HIV. Being openly gay in NYC/London like fashion designers in the late 70’s was a lot more dangerous than touring through podunkia in the closet.

  71. J Michael Bailey has a big new review article about homo and bisexuality.

    http://psi.sagepub.com/content/17/2/45.full

    He seems to favor a prenatal cause for homosexuality. Against a “gay germ” theory, he notes that the rate of male non-heterosexuality seems to be about the same in every place and time studied.

    He also notes that by far the best predictor of homosexuality in both men and women is childhood gender non-conformity, something noticed by age 5. He notes that the typical male homosexual, looking at childhood gender non-conformity, would rate at the 89th percentile of heterosexuals.

    Looking at it a different way, less than 1% of boys with typical levels of gender conformity will grow up homosexual, but about 60% of boys with high levels of non-conformity will end up gay or bisexual.

    • Replies: @Jefferson
    @Lot

    " Michael Bailey has a big new review article about homo and bisexuality.

    http://psi.sagepub.com/content/17/2/45.full

    He seems to favor a prenatal cause for homosexuality. Against a “gay germ” theory, he notes that the rate of male non-heterosexuality seems to be about the same in every place and time studied.

    He also notes that by far the best predictor of homosexuality in both men and women is childhood gender non-conformity, something noticed by age 5. He notes that the typical male homosexual, looking at childhood gender non-conformity, would rate at the 89th percentile of heterosexuals.

    Looking at it a different way, less than 1% of boys with typical levels of gender conformity will grow up homosexual, but about 60% of boys with high levels of non-conformity will end up gay or bisexual."

    So 40 percent of boys who behave in a feminine matter do not grow up to be Homosexuals?

    Was it just a rebelling phase to piss off their extremely religious Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, or Christian parents?

    Replies: @Anonym

    , @anonymous coward
    @Lot


    he notes that the rate of male non-heterosexuality seems to be about the same in every place and time studied.
     
    Oh really? Who is the brave soul who studied homosexuality in North Korea, Belgian Kongo and ancient Carthage? Or is there, perchance, a bias in the places and times that happened to be studied? (Lemme guess, the only places 'studied' just happened to be the same places that legalize and promote gay 'marriage'.)
  72. The fact that Ted Cruz chose a VP running mate, means that behind closed doors he must know something we don’t know.

    You don’t choose a VP unless you are majority confident that you are going to win your party’s nomination.

    You don’t see John Kasich and Bernie Sanders announcing their VP running mates and that is because they know they will not be running for POTUS in the general election, so there is no point in doing it.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Jefferson

    "You don’t choose a VP unless you are majority confident that you are going to win your party’s nomination."

    Reagan did it in 1976 while in second place headed into a contested convention.

    , @Mr. Anon
    @Jefferson

    "The fact that Ted Cruz chose a VP running mate, means that behind closed doors he must know something we don’t know."

    Yeah, like perhaps: he's in trouble.

    He probably thinks that Fiorina will help him exploit The Donald's supposed woman-problem. However women didn't seem to go for Fiorina when she was running herself. She has the kind of personality that both men and women can find off-putting. Maybe Cruz figures she'll be an asset in California. Well, at least among voters who have never worked for HP.

    Replies: @Sailer has an interesting life

    , @Intelligent Dasein
    @Jefferson


    You don’t choose a VP unless you are majority confident that you are going to win your party’s nomination.
     
    Hasenpfeffer. Choosing a running mate is the ultimate media stunt and the perfect opportunity to generate some spark of interest for a lost-cause campaign. There are plenty of selfish and delusional motives, believable enough of the parties involved, to explain this. Ted Cruz has a long history of absolutely asinine moves. This is very much in character for him.

    You don’t see John Kasich and Bernie Sanders announcing their VP running mates and that is because...
     
    ...they're still borderline sane. Hillary hasn't chosen a running mate either, even though, per your own thesis, she is the presumptive nominee (because Bernie isn't). Any campaign that still has a prayer of victory wouldn't pick a veep in this environment. They would save it for a more opportune moment.

    Cruz got mathematically eliminated last night. Strictly speaking, he no longer has a campaign. His continuing presidential run is now just a delusion that the news media are playing along with, probably only for the ratings. After Cruz gets spanked in Indiana next week, they'll stop paying attention to him. He won't be able to draw a crowd even if he sets himself on fire (which isn't a bad idea).
  73. @Harry Baldwin
    Prince was always, though, a tremendous musician, recognized by age 21 as the most broadly gifted American star since Stevie Wonder.

    Is there an unwritten rule that a talented black musician has to be compared to another talented black musician? Stevie Wonder's talents are often compared to those of Ray Charles. (You've got the black+blind+musician trifecta there.)

    I appreciate Prince's talents and success, but I don't recall hearing any new music from him since the 1980s. Granted, I'm not that into his kind of music, but AFAIK he was not continuing to produce hits, unless I missed them.

    Glenn Frey, cofounder of the Eagles with Don Henley, was multi-talented as a singer, songwriter, and musician in one of the most successful bands of all time. Frey died in January 2016 and I don't recall his death getting anywhere near the attention that Prince's did. Of course Obama, that phony, had to issue a statement about Prince and said he listened to a couple of his songs while warming up for a meeting with the British pie minister, but that's just his usual "I'm black, y'all" shtick.

    Replies: @alaska3636, @Harry Baldwin, @poolside, @Triumph104, @Hapalong Cassidy, @peterike, @Whoever, @Daniel H

    Glenn Frey, cofounder of the Eagles with Don Henley, was multi-talented as a singer, songwriter, and musician in one of the most successful bands of all time. Frey died in January 2016 and I don’t recall his death getting anywhere near the attention that Prince’s did.

    Pierre Boulez died in January, 2016, as well.
    Yeah, I know. Who?

    • Replies: @vinteuil
    @Whoever

    Wow - Boulez died last January? And I only found out about it now?

    In a way, that's kind of comforting: his brand of serialism was a total, unmitigated disaster for "classical" music. As a composer, he fully deserved to die forgotten & unlamented.

    On the other hand, he could be a pretty good conductor. His Petrushka wasn't bad at all.

  74. @Lot
    J Michael Bailey has a big new review article about homo and bisexuality.

    http://psi.sagepub.com/content/17/2/45.full

    He seems to favor a prenatal cause for homosexuality. Against a "gay germ" theory, he notes that the rate of male non-heterosexuality seems to be about the same in every place and time studied.

    He also notes that by far the best predictor of homosexuality in both men and women is childhood gender non-conformity, something noticed by age 5. He notes that the typical male homosexual, looking at childhood gender non-conformity, would rate at the 89th percentile of heterosexuals.

    Looking at it a different way, less than 1% of boys with typical levels of gender conformity will grow up homosexual, but about 60% of boys with high levels of non-conformity will end up gay or bisexual.

    Replies: @Jefferson, @anonymous coward

    ” Michael Bailey has a big new review article about homo and bisexuality.

    http://psi.sagepub.com/content/17/2/45.full

    He seems to favor a prenatal cause for homosexuality. Against a “gay germ” theory, he notes that the rate of male non-heterosexuality seems to be about the same in every place and time studied.

    He also notes that by far the best predictor of homosexuality in both men and women is childhood gender non-conformity, something noticed by age 5. He notes that the typical male homosexual, looking at childhood gender non-conformity, would rate at the 89th percentile of heterosexuals.

    Looking at it a different way, less than 1% of boys with typical levels of gender conformity will grow up homosexual, but about 60% of boys with high levels of non-conformity will end up gay or bisexual.”

    So 40 percent of boys who behave in a feminine matter do not grow up to be Homosexuals?

    Was it just a rebelling phase to piss off their extremely religious Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, or Christian parents?

    • Replies: @Anonym
    @Jefferson

    Maybe the other 40% are trapped in the closet.

    Or maybe it is like the female thing, a lot of tomboys don't grow up to be lesbians.

  75. I couldn’t think of any other mega-stars besides Freddie Mercury but the B-52’s (“Love Shack”, …um….) guitarist also died of AIDS. I’m sure there were a few other B-list musicians I don’t know about.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Jokah Macpherson

    The bass player for Free who wrote "All Right Now." And a number of disco musicians.

    Others claim to have gotten it from shooting smack (a guy in Ratt) or from transfusion (Tom Fogerty, John's brother, in Creedence).

    Replies: @PiltdownMan

  76. @The Last Real Calvinist
    Here's an ancillary question: why do male pop stars so very often have unusually high vocal ranges, to the point that some sound almost feminine? And why, even in opera, are the tenors the glamor boys instead of the basses? Why isn't what seems to be the more masculine trait -- i.e. a deep voice -- rewarded with greater adulation?

    Replies: @whorefinder, @Anonymous, @Mark Caplan, @James O'Meara, @stillCARealist, @keypusher, @Anonym, @Anon

    I googled this and found some interesting stuff. (I recommend Quora.) But don’t overlook the obvious: high notes seem to be preferred in lots of genres and styles. Opera has been mentioned, where the male lead is almost always a tenor, but think also of lead guitars and how many concertos get written for violins compared to for violas, cellos and basses.

  77. @Jokah Macpherson
    I couldn't think of any other mega-stars besides Freddie Mercury but the B-52's ("Love Shack", ...um....) guitarist also died of AIDS. I'm sure there were a few other B-list musicians I don't know about.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    The bass player for Free who wrote “All Right Now.” And a number of disco musicians.

    Others claim to have gotten it from shooting smack (a guy in Ratt) or from transfusion (Tom Fogerty, John’s brother, in Creedence).

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    @Steve Sailer



    ...And a number of disco musicians.
     

     
    I don't recall that disco musicians who eventually died of AIDS/HIV ever particularly hid the fact that they were gay and often fey. In fact, that was a positive selling point and big part of the zeitgeist of the disco years. Sylvester was probably the most famous of them on those two counts. The various anonymous members of the revolving cast of the Village People who shuffled off this mortal coil back in those early 1980s years qualify too.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyAHULpMXKQ

  78. @poolside
    @Harry Baldwin


    Frey died in January 2016 and I don’t recall his death getting anywhere near the attention that Prince’s did.
     
    I noticed this too.

    Of course, white music fans eagerly accept black musicians and black music, and are quick to "virtue signal" by joining in the public grieving when a black star passes away. White journalists are especially prone to this; better make a big deal out of Prince or else some BLM agitator will accuse me of being racist on Twitter!

    Blacks, of course, could care less an artist like Glenn Frey. He's just another old white guy -- good riddance. And since Frey didn't have the cachet of Bowie ...

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin, @Priss Factor, @SteveO

    And since Frey didn’t have the cachet of Bowie …

    And yet, I would guess that the Eagles outsold Prince and Bowie combined, several times over. Certainly their huge number of hits are remembered by more people as the soundtrack to their youth than either of the other two.

    Perhaps that’s the problem: The Eagles were too popular to be trendy and “underground”, as Bowie was. Despite leaving his sexually ambiguous days behind long ago, Bowie always seemed to have a certain alternative-lifestyle appeal … or, rather, a certain appeal to the alternative-lifestyle crowd.

    Why Prince would be a bigger deal than Glenn Frey, I can’t imagine, unless it was his personal celebrity.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    @SteveO

    "Despite leaving his sexually ambiguous days behind long ago, Bowie always seemed to have a certain alternative-lifestyle appeal … or, rather, a certain appeal to the alternative-lifestyle crowd."

    Bowie was so in-tune with the zeitgeist that in the go-go 90s, when Wall Street became hip, he securitized his song royalty income with "Bowie Bonds":

    Bowie Bonds

    It proved to be a deft maneuver, making him $ 55 million when they were issued in 1997, and insulated him from the collapse of CD sales that came about due to the rise of file-sharing in the 2000s.

    , @Anon
    @SteveO

    I've heard a fair amount of both Prince and Glenn Frey from the car radio back in the day, but if you were to ask what either man looked like, the only one I could identify is Prince. Frey is a mental blank to me despite his fame. If Prince is a peacock, the Glenn Frey is a wren.

    This is why building an image and being a 'character' is so important to marketing music. It helps define your brand to the buyer so your record stands out on a shelf among all the competition. 'Characters' always hog the pages in the music press because they're more interesting to write about than normal guys who just make music, and that too, helps sell their brand and makes the competition seem unremarkable.

    Ultimately, the opposite of flamboyant is dull. The opposite of fey is boring. If you're selling yourself and your talent as something special, you can't afford to be too normal because people associate normal with average.

  79. @The Last Real Calvinist
    Here's an ancillary question: why do male pop stars so very often have unusually high vocal ranges, to the point that some sound almost feminine? And why, even in opera, are the tenors the glamor boys instead of the basses? Why isn't what seems to be the more masculine trait -- i.e. a deep voice -- rewarded with greater adulation?

    Replies: @whorefinder, @Anonymous, @Mark Caplan, @James O'Meara, @stillCARealist, @keypusher, @Anonym, @Anon

    I think the popularity of tenors has got a lot to do with the ability to sing a song in a range that just plain sounds better and more interesting. No matter how much I would like to play the identity politics game of baritone vs tenor, that the baritones are being held down “by the Man”, I don’t think it’s matched by reality.

    Certainly there is a subset of great music that requires a tenor voice. There are great songs that only require baritone. But judging by karaoke songbooks and the abject pointlessness of trying to shoehorn a baritone voice into the tenor range (necessitating choosing songs for baritones), I get the impression that the tenors have more of the best songs.

    Maybe this necessity for a tenor drives the feyness. Are higher registers associated with homosexuality?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Anonym

    Placido Domingo is a natural baritone who sang tenor because that's where the big bucks are.

    Higher pitched stuff is more exciting: e.g., Robert Plant's vocal on Stairway to Heaven goes up as the song gets faster and more exciting.

  80. @Jefferson
    The fact that Ted Cruz chose a VP running mate, means that behind closed doors he must know something we don't know.

    You don't choose a VP unless you are majority confident that you are going to win your party's nomination.

    You don't see John Kasich and Bernie Sanders announcing their VP running mates and that is because they know they will not be running for POTUS in the general election, so there is no point in doing it.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Mr. Anon, @Intelligent Dasein

    “You don’t choose a VP unless you are majority confident that you are going to win your party’s nomination.”

    Reagan did it in 1976 while in second place headed into a contested convention.

  81. @Marty
    @Anon7

    Actually, normal people use "fey" to mean some combination of effeminate and pretentious. If your definition is the official one, then that's an interesting divergence between the academy and daily life. Anyone ever call Evel Knievel fey?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    It’s a word that’s changing in meaning over the centuries.

    • Replies: @Anon7
    @Steve Sailer

    "It’s a word that’s changing in meaning over the centuries."

    Actually, no. The OED, my trusty Webster's 1890, Random House 1969, and Webster's New Unabridged 1989 all agree on the meaning of the word.

    Changing over the last few years, maybe.

    One person submitting to Urban Dictionary thinks the derivation might be "Fairly gAY":


    fairly gay, as applied to a heterosexual male with homosexual stereotypical traits
    Just because your fiance has a shoe obsession and plucks his eyebrows doesn't mean he's gay; rather, he's fey.
     

    Replies: @random observer

  82. @Jefferson
    @Lot

    " Michael Bailey has a big new review article about homo and bisexuality.

    http://psi.sagepub.com/content/17/2/45.full

    He seems to favor a prenatal cause for homosexuality. Against a “gay germ” theory, he notes that the rate of male non-heterosexuality seems to be about the same in every place and time studied.

    He also notes that by far the best predictor of homosexuality in both men and women is childhood gender non-conformity, something noticed by age 5. He notes that the typical male homosexual, looking at childhood gender non-conformity, would rate at the 89th percentile of heterosexuals.

    Looking at it a different way, less than 1% of boys with typical levels of gender conformity will grow up homosexual, but about 60% of boys with high levels of non-conformity will end up gay or bisexual."

    So 40 percent of boys who behave in a feminine matter do not grow up to be Homosexuals?

    Was it just a rebelling phase to piss off their extremely religious Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, or Christian parents?

    Replies: @Anonym

    Maybe the other 40% are trapped in the closet.

    Or maybe it is like the female thing, a lot of tomboys don’t grow up to be lesbians.

  83. @syonredux
    @Jack D


    The corollary of fey performers having better looking female offspring is that ultra-masculine men often have masculine looking ones – not a good look on a girl.
     
    On the other hand, a lot of what goes into being good-looking (clear skin, facial symmetry, etc) is non-gender specific....

    Replies: @SteveO

    On the other hand, a lot of what goes into being good-looking (clear skin, facial symmetry, etc) is non-gender specific….

    On the third hand, those factors are more important in women. In a man, a high level of virility can outweigh bad skin or a too-big nose. For example, Richard Burton (the 20th century British actor, not the 19th century British explorer) was widely perceived as sexually magnetic to women in his younger days, and yet he had badly pockmarked skin.

    • Replies: @Alec Leamas
    @SteveO

    I concur with the consensus about Burton.

    , @syonredux
    @SteveO


    On the third hand, those factors are more important in women. In a man, a high level of virility can outweigh bad skin or a too-big nose.
     
    Sure. Factors like fame, wealth, and power play a big role in stimulating the female libido*. Still, all other factors being equal, being good-looking is a definite plus.




    *After all, Ric Ocasek

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ric_Ocasek#/media/File:Ric-Ocasek.jpg

    bagged Paulina Porizkova

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAO60aTAyEA

    Replies: @Brutusale

  84. @Anonym
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    I think the popularity of tenors has got a lot to do with the ability to sing a song in a range that just plain sounds better and more interesting. No matter how much I would like to play the identity politics game of baritone vs tenor, that the baritones are being held down "by the Man", I don't think it's matched by reality.

    Certainly there is a subset of great music that requires a tenor voice. There are great songs that only require baritone. But judging by karaoke songbooks and the abject pointlessness of trying to shoehorn a baritone voice into the tenor range (necessitating choosing songs for baritones), I get the impression that the tenors have more of the best songs.

    Maybe this necessity for a tenor drives the feyness. Are higher registers associated with homosexuality?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Placido Domingo is a natural baritone who sang tenor because that’s where the big bucks are.

    Higher pitched stuff is more exciting: e.g., Robert Plant’s vocal on Stairway to Heaven goes up as the song gets faster and more exciting.

  85. @Larry, San Francisco
    @stillCARealist

    Actually, I know that Bowie did do some shrieking but I felt his appeal in his main period of the 70's was that he combined an androgenous image with a very masculine singing style which was becoming less common back then. Comparing his version of Can't Explain
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMQOlVU-yQU

    Ignoring the costumes, his singing style could almost be Sinatra in its testosterone level which is evident when you compare it to the Who's verson
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3h--K5928M

    which sounds much more like a teen age band (although a great teen age band).

    As to Glen Frey well I gotta go with Mojo Nixon:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wm-o7_VVAoU

    I have to agree about Merle Haggard though. He deserved much more recognition. 100 years from now they will still be playing his songs, Prince will be forgotten.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Bowie’s son Duncan Jones is a pretty good movie director, which is a job where an authoritative masculine personality is highly useful because you have to announce decisions constantly as if you know what you are doing. Dear old dad always sounded like a leader of men even while wearing a dress made out of feathers.

  86. @Auntie Analogue
    Pop stars are the high priests/shamans of mass pop culture, which makes sense of their shape-shifting and their supposed unique access to and interpretations of higher realms of the spiritual - "fey" also meaning "giving an impression of vague unworldliness" and "having supernatural powers of clairvoyance."

    This lends pop propaganda enormous impact upon the impressionable. In fact, I've known many an individual who has patterned his entire life around a single pop act, and have even known several individuals who have patterned their entire lives around a single pop song. Indeed for some of my adolescent and early adult years I, too, was taken in by and patterned my worldview and outlook upon a select few pop acts' "message." One of my high school friends continues to insist that merely exposing Moslems to The Rolling Stones and NFL football, and to Bruce Springsteen and all the rest of the West's pop culture panem et circenses will disabuse Moslems of their Islam, and, to my dismay, I've encountered far too many other Westerners who clutch adamantly to that same idiotic expectation.

    Jim Morrison's grasp of the pop star as shaman shed light on pop star fey, embodied in his "I am the Lizard King: I can do anything."

    In the West a large proportion of the masses no longer look to the Christian God as the magnetic north of their moral compass, they look instead to manufactured-image pop shamans - even to so-called "news" media and to every sort of television/media programming - that peddle nonstop "Imagine" Universalism-Feelgoodism. It's arguable that even Pope Francis is just another one of today's Western "We Are Really All Alike!" Universalist pop star shamans - another master of smartphone-viral public Universalist-Globalist virtue signalling.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @The Last Real Calvinist

    I saw a concert by the first band of Tuvan throat singers from Siberia to tour the west. (I’d heard about Tuvan throat singing from the last book about Richard Feynman who had always wanted to visit Tuva.) Anyway, one member of the band claimed to be a descendant of 57 generations of shamans. So, apparently, being a shaman makes you popular with the ladies.

    Being a pop star was a way to carry on this family tradition, I guess.

    Throat singing isn’t traditionally performed with instruments, but these guys had formed a band with electric guitars and drums. Basically, they were playing American lonesome cowboy country music, with clippity-clop rhythms like riding horseback. The name of their album was “60 Horses in My Herd,” which is kind of like a rapper boasting to the ladies about his G-6 jet, I guess.

    • Replies: @Alec Leamas
    @Steve Sailer

    You're probably on to something here, with the rock star - particularly the frontman - fulfilling the modern version of the archetype of the pre-historic oral storyteller, many of the stories of which were chanted or sung it is believed.

    I wonder of those guys had status on par with the warriors and hunters of their band/tribe/clan and therefore got laid? In which case we're just acting out tens of thousands of years of fireside culture with updated technology.

    Replies: @ReaderfromGreece

    , @vinny
    @Steve Sailer

    Steve, have you seen the documentary GENGHIS BLUES? If you've seen Tuvan throat singers, you may enjoy it.

  87. Speaking of Freddie Mercury, a recent study found that while he sang as a tenor, his speaking voice was a baritone. It also found he was using vocal techniques similar to Tuvan throat singers.

    http://consequenceofsound.net/2016/04/new-scientific-study-confirms-the-audience-freddie-mercury-had-an-unparalleled-singing-voice/

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Mike Perry

    Mercury really was outstanding at "vocal ornamentation." When I moved to Chicago in 1982 I literally couldn't give away my Queen albums because people were tired of his bag of tricks, but he had a giant bag of tricks and is well-appreciated now.

    Replies: @Jefferson, @Brutusale

  88. @peterike
    @Harry Baldwin


    Prince was always, though, a tremendous musician, recognized by age 21 as the most broadly gifted American star since Stevie Wonder.

     

    Black privilege. Ohhh, we hear it every time his name is mentioned: Prince played all the instruments! We should be so amazed by this fact.

    Well did anybody care when John Fogerty played all the instruments? Did anyone make a fuss when Paul McCartney played all the instruments? Did we bow down to Todd Rundgren when he played all the instruments?

    No, this musical parlor trick is considered nothing all that special when a white person does it. But since we don't really expect black performers to play any instruments at all, when they play all of them it's like the cow jumping over the moon.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Penny Red

    “Well did anybody care when John Fogerty played all the instruments? Did anyone make a fuss when Paul McCartney played all the instruments? Did we bow down to Todd Rundgren when he played all the instruments?”

    Well, yeah, actually these guys were famous for their skills. Rundgren was kind of a cult figure who only intermittently had hits, but I had lots of guys in the 1970stell me about what a great musician he was.

  89. @Mike Perry
    Speaking of Freddie Mercury, a recent study found that while he sang as a tenor, his speaking voice was a baritone. It also found he was using vocal techniques similar to Tuvan throat singers.

    http://consequenceofsound.net/2016/04/new-scientific-study-confirms-the-audience-freddie-mercury-had-an-unparalleled-singing-voice/

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Mercury really was outstanding at “vocal ornamentation.” When I moved to Chicago in 1982 I literally couldn’t give away my Queen albums because people were tired of his bag of tricks, but he had a giant bag of tricks and is well-appreciated now.

    • Replies: @Jefferson
    @Steve Sailer

    "Mercury really was outstanding at “vocal ornamentation.” When I moved to Chicago in 1982 I literally couldn’t give away my Queen albums because people were tired of his bag of tricks, but he had a giant bag of tricks and is well-appreciated now."

    The vast majority of Queen's best songs were from pre-1982/pre-MTV days. Queen is more known as a 1970s band than a 1980s band.

    , @Brutusale
    @Steve Sailer

    The secret sauce of Queen's "vocal ornamentation" was Roger Taylor.

  90. “Guitarists may tend to be more masculine than keyboardists”

    I’ve always considered drummers to be most masculine, followed by bassists. Unless my memory fails me, I can’t think of a single flamboyantly gay drummer.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Flinders Petrie

    The Clash were organized by Mick Jones who was trying to put together a masculine band. (He was partners with Chrissie Hynde, future leader of the Pretenders, for a few months. She had lots of talent but he wanted a blokes' band so they broke up.) First he recruited a big rugged guy who hung out with artists, Paul Simonon, who couldn't play an instrument, but who fit the look Jones had in mind. So Jones taught Simonon to play bass.

    Then Jones recruited Joe Strummer, who looked like a shorter version of Simonon. Strummer could play rhythm guitar and shout-sing.

    Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy, @Harry Baldwin, @Steve Sailer, @Former Darfur

  91. @The Z Blog
    What you are describing is the sigma male. http://tinyurl.com/j7k23gq

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    I don’t think Ted Cruz is really a good example of some group that also includes fey heterosexual pop stars.

  92. @Alec Leamas
    I suppose a conspiracy theorist could propose that fey, androgynous rock stars were picked in order to mainstream androgynous cultural heroes and with them pave the way for sexual perversity. Did ghey marriage have its genesis in glam rock?

    But I think the better theory - or at least the equally plausible one - is that music, and particularly the kind of rock music that doesn't require years of musical training is an alternative path to popularity (both within one's peer group and possibly beyond) for the athletically useless and those who don't come from money. Substance abuse is also often an asset rather than a liability for the burgeoning garage rock star. Even though my high school experience was as an athlete in an U.S. Catholic Prep school and a rugby-mad Irish boarding school where the long-haired rock type wasn't prevalent or even tolerated, I think most of us can recall at some point a skinny long hair rock and roller type being forced into some kind of required athletic feat and marveling at the absolute physical awkwardness and propensity to hurt themselves solely under their own power.

    I think the Linklater film "Dazed and Confused" also hints at a corollary with the commitment pledge distributed to the returning football players - coaches of athletes like to police the athletes' other interests and activities and steer them away from the drug and party scene, while also liking to fill their free time with other activities under the veil of training to crowd out those other influences. You just won't have time to be in a garage band if you're a competitive athlete under the guidance and direction of involved coaches.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Linklater’s new movie is about his year as a college scholarship jock (baseball) before he got a health problem with his heart and switched to arty interests. I haven’t seen it, but it sounds interesting in part because not many artists have seen jock life from the inside and vice-versa.

    Lord Byron was a little like that: he was an aristocrat with total confidence that he could lead men in battle (he hadn’t died of fever, it’s possible he would have been crowned King of the Greeks), and he was a fey artist of beautiful looks.

    Not surprisingly, he absolutely electrified Europe.

    • Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist
    @Steve Sailer

    Re: artistic jocks. My cousin played some with this guy while he was a top SEC quartback. He turned down a shot at the NFL to become a very successful songwriter.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    , @Jefferson
    @Steve Sailer

    "Linklater’s new movie is about his year as a college scholarship jock (baseball) before he got a health problem with his heart and switched to arty interests. I haven’t seen it, but it sounds interesting in part because not many artists have seen jock life from the inside and vice-versa."

    Everybody Wants Some is like Dazed And Confused, except with more country, new wave, hip hop, and disco music. Dazed was pure rock.

    Both films have the token Black guy with the afro, in an otherwise all White crowd.

    , @Jokah Macpherson
    @Steve Sailer

    Country musicians, unsurprisingly, tend to be an exception to the lack of jock crossover. Tim McGraw's father was a major league pitcher, and similarly to Linklater, Toby Keith had a stint working the oil rigs before he made it big as an artist.

    Replies: @Marty

  93. @SteveO
    @poolside


    And since Frey didn’t have the cachet of Bowie …
     
    And yet, I would guess that the Eagles outsold Prince and Bowie combined, several times over. Certainly their huge number of hits are remembered by more people as the soundtrack to their youth than either of the other two.

    Perhaps that's the problem: The Eagles were too popular to be trendy and "underground", as Bowie was. Despite leaving his sexually ambiguous days behind long ago, Bowie always seemed to have a certain alternative-lifestyle appeal ... or, rather, a certain appeal to the alternative-lifestyle crowd.

    Why Prince would be a bigger deal than Glenn Frey, I can't imagine, unless it was his personal celebrity.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Anon

    “Despite leaving his sexually ambiguous days behind long ago, Bowie always seemed to have a certain alternative-lifestyle appeal … or, rather, a certain appeal to the alternative-lifestyle crowd.”

    Bowie was so in-tune with the zeitgeist that in the go-go 90s, when Wall Street became hip, he securitized his song royalty income with “Bowie Bonds”:

    Bowie Bonds

    It proved to be a deft maneuver, making him $ 55 million when they were issued in 1997, and insulated him from the collapse of CD sales that came about due to the rise of file-sharing in the 2000s.

  94. @Jefferson
    The fact that Ted Cruz chose a VP running mate, means that behind closed doors he must know something we don't know.

    You don't choose a VP unless you are majority confident that you are going to win your party's nomination.

    You don't see John Kasich and Bernie Sanders announcing their VP running mates and that is because they know they will not be running for POTUS in the general election, so there is no point in doing it.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Mr. Anon, @Intelligent Dasein

    “The fact that Ted Cruz chose a VP running mate, means that behind closed doors he must know something we don’t know.”

    Yeah, like perhaps: he’s in trouble.

    He probably thinks that Fiorina will help him exploit The Donald’s supposed woman-problem. However women didn’t seem to go for Fiorina when she was running herself. She has the kind of personality that both men and women can find off-putting. Maybe Cruz figures she’ll be an asset in California. Well, at least among voters who have never worked for HP.

    • Replies: @Sailer has an interesting life
    @Mr. Anon

    You probably think that you are smart and worth listening to. You are wrong. You are worthless.

  95. @Flinders Petrie
    "Guitarists may tend to be more masculine than keyboardists"

    I've always considered drummers to be most masculine, followed by bassists. Unless my memory fails me, I can't think of a single flamboyantly gay drummer.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    The Clash were organized by Mick Jones who was trying to put together a masculine band. (He was partners with Chrissie Hynde, future leader of the Pretenders, for a few months. She had lots of talent but he wanted a blokes’ band so they broke up.) First he recruited a big rugged guy who hung out with artists, Paul Simonon, who couldn’t play an instrument, but who fit the look Jones had in mind. So Jones taught Simonon to play bass.

    Then Jones recruited Joe Strummer, who looked like a shorter version of Simonon. Strummer could play rhythm guitar and shout-sing.

    • Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy
    @Steve Sailer

    I remember being surprised to learn that Simonon didn't know how to play when he joined the Clash. After all, how could someone with his limited musical ability play the complex bass line from "Rock the Casbah"? Except that he didn't - drummer Topper Headon played it (Headon also wrote the music to that song).

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    , @Harry Baldwin
    @Steve Sailer

    Paul Simonon, who couldn’t play an instrument, but who fit the look Jones had in mind.

    Apparently, the look is more important than you would expect. I'm thinking of Ian Stewart, a Scottish keyboardist and co-founder of the Rolling Stones. Keith Richards described meeting Stewart thus: "He used to play boogie-woogie piano in jazz clubs, apart from his regular job. He blew my head off too, when he started to play. I never heard a white piano player play like that before."

    He was removed from the line-up in May 1963 at the request of manager Andrew Loog Oldham, who said that the older, burly, and square-jawed Stewart did not fit the image. He remained as road manager and pianist and was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the rest of the band in 1989.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    , @Steve Sailer
    @Steve Sailer

    Specifically, Mick Jones had an idea in his head of what he wanted the other guys in the band to look like, while he would supply musical abilityl

    Replies: @Lagertha, @Lagertha, @Dave Pinsen

    , @Former Darfur
    @Steve Sailer

    For a variety of reasons, most guys do not want to be in rock and roll bands with women. There are a lot of logistics issues that are no big deal when you are actually at the successful stage, but in the touring-in-a-van phase, it's a serious problem. Plus there is always that sex thing going.

    So women who want to be in a rock and roll band have a limited number of choices. They can start a girl band, except that most other female musicians you will encounter in most places are even worse than most of the guys. They can have a husband or a "significant other" male in the band, then they are "the power couple", but that's also awkward. Chrissie did it the hard way, but, she's Chrissie, a case-hardened sort with little care of what would have happened had it not worked out.

    Replies: @Former Darfur

  96. @Steve Sailer
    @Alec Leamas

    Linklater's new movie is about his year as a college scholarship jock (baseball) before he got a health problem with his heart and switched to arty interests. I haven't seen it, but it sounds interesting in part because not many artists have seen jock life from the inside and vice-versa.

    Lord Byron was a little like that: he was an aristocrat with total confidence that he could lead men in battle (he hadn't died of fever, it's possible he would have been crowned King of the Greeks), and he was a fey artist of beautiful looks.

    Not surprisingly, he absolutely electrified Europe.

    Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist, @Jefferson, @Jokah Macpherson

    Re: artistic jocks. My cousin played some with this guy while he was a top SEC quartback. He turned down a shot at the NFL to become a very successful songwriter.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @yaqub the mad scientist

    Thanks. Besides Jim Weatherly, there's Mike Reid who made All-Pro a couple of times in the NFL in the 1970s, then had a #1 country hit as a singer in 1990, and is now in the Nashville songwriters hall of fame.

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/page/music1502029/mike-reid-nfl-all-pro-turned-country-music-hitmaker

    Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist, @alaska3636

  97. @yaqub the mad scientist
    @Steve Sailer

    Re: artistic jocks. My cousin played some with this guy while he was a top SEC quartback. He turned down a shot at the NFL to become a very successful songwriter.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Thanks. Besides Jim Weatherly, there’s Mike Reid who made All-Pro a couple of times in the NFL in the 1970s, then had a #1 country hit as a singer in 1990, and is now in the Nashville songwriters hall of fame.

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/page/music1502029/mike-reid-nfl-all-pro-turned-country-music-hitmaker

    • Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist
    @Steve Sailer

    It's been remarked that music and sports are the two quickest ways of the ghetto, and Jamaica is well known for soccer players who mix with musicians. Bob Marley's entourage pretty much were expected to play pickup games when he wasn't touring.

    There was a poet who chaired the Writing program at U of Arkansas, James Whitehead, who wrote a successful novel in the early '70's Joiner, about an intellectual football player.

    , @alaska3636
    @Steve Sailer

    You can't forget the legendary jazz bass of journeyman, NBA power-forward Wayman Tisdale.

    Here's his version of Get Down On It
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7Vuxvaw2k8

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @The preferred nomenclature is...

  98. @Steve Sailer
    @Alec Leamas

    Linklater's new movie is about his year as a college scholarship jock (baseball) before he got a health problem with his heart and switched to arty interests. I haven't seen it, but it sounds interesting in part because not many artists have seen jock life from the inside and vice-versa.

    Lord Byron was a little like that: he was an aristocrat with total confidence that he could lead men in battle (he hadn't died of fever, it's possible he would have been crowned King of the Greeks), and he was a fey artist of beautiful looks.

    Not surprisingly, he absolutely electrified Europe.

    Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist, @Jefferson, @Jokah Macpherson

    “Linklater’s new movie is about his year as a college scholarship jock (baseball) before he got a health problem with his heart and switched to arty interests. I haven’t seen it, but it sounds interesting in part because not many artists have seen jock life from the inside and vice-versa.”

    Everybody Wants Some is like Dazed And Confused, except with more country, new wave, hip hop, and disco music. Dazed was pure rock.

    Both films have the token Black guy with the afro, in an otherwise all White crowd.

  99. Musician/poet seems to be a longstanding evolutionary strategy for bagging babes, all the way back to prehistory. I think Steve’s point boils down to “why aren’t the musicians also conventionally manly?” One can imagine that if the musician/poet attracted women, and conventionally manly men also attracts babes, wouldn’t a manly musician attract epic amounts of women? There’s enough of a supply of candidates for the position that even if the combination were rare a candidate would still emerge. As with 350 lb left tackles that do 4.4 40’s, there would be at least a few genetic freaks that would rise to the task, or work extra-hard in the gym and pharmacy to make themselves fit the role. Many rappers are buff, but they seem to market their music to young men. Likewise for some other buff musicians, like Henry Rollins.

    Maybe there’s a difference on the women’s demand side. Women are attracted to musicians, and to manly men, but not manly musicians.

    Are there any manly-guy musicians who appeal to women?

    • Replies: @prosa123
    @Boomstick

    "Are there any manly-guy musicians who appeal to women?"

    I would imagine many male country & western performers fall into that category.

    , @Hapalong Cassidy
    @Boomstick

    In spite of his liberal tomfoolery, Bruce Springsteen always struck me as a manly musician who appealed to women. Same with his glam metal counterpart Jon Bon Jovi. Yeah, he had the hair spray and the spandex, but he had a masculine-sounding voice and wasn't waif-thin. In fact he was rather jacked up physically - a trait which seems to have been passed to his son, who plays football at Notre Dame.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @yaqub the mad scientist, @Dave Pinsen

    , @Anonymous
    @Boomstick

    Are there any manly-guy musicians who appeal to women?

    Replying as a woman, a sincere question: What discounts one as a manly-guy musician? Gushy love songs? Long hair? Eyeliner? Emotional performances? Do Eddie Vedder, Trent Reznor, Maynard James Keenan, Nick Cave, Serj Tankian (incidentally, his wife is beautiful), and Josh Homme count? They all have their ardent female admirers.

    Replies: @Boomstick

  100. Cheech & Chong hit on all these themes…in 1974.

    Thrown off the basketball team for acting like a queen.
    Disowned by his father for wearing his sister’s pantyhose.
    Only knows 3 chords.
    A short Mexican, but he got the hot blonde because he’s the singer/guitarist. Chong, the drummer, got the freak girl.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJW67QN24SA&list=RDVJW67QN24SA#t=116

    • Replies: @Jefferson
    @Brutusale

    "A short Mexican, but he got the hot blonde because he’s the singer/guitarist."

    Blonde Gringas on average don't seem to be sexually into Aztec looking Mexican men very much. But a lot of blonde Gringas are open to dating Mexican men who look like they can pass for a swarthy Antonio Banderas type Spaniard, in other words the off White/Whitish looking ones. They don't look Nordic WASP, but they don't look Mayan either.

  101. @Jonathan Mason
    @Mark Caplan


    In Handel’s hit opera Julius Caesar (1724), Handel wrote Caesar’s part for a castrato. In performance today, a female mezzo-soprano or male counter-tenor sing the part. The opera was written for a British audience.
     
    I guess there is a current shortage of castrati due to namby-pamby legal restrictions on gelding young choristers, though with the current epidemic of self-castration for purposes of gender conversion, these roles may again be filled by those for whom they were originally intended.

    However the historical Julius Caesar was also apparently an epileptic, so it might be harder to find a fitting castrato.

    Replies: @Kylie

    “However the historical Julius Caesar was also apparently an epileptic, so it might be harder to find a fitting castrato.”

    I see what you did there.

  102. @Steve Sailer
    @yaqub the mad scientist

    Thanks. Besides Jim Weatherly, there's Mike Reid who made All-Pro a couple of times in the NFL in the 1970s, then had a #1 country hit as a singer in 1990, and is now in the Nashville songwriters hall of fame.

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/page/music1502029/mike-reid-nfl-all-pro-turned-country-music-hitmaker

    Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist, @alaska3636

    It’s been remarked that music and sports are the two quickest ways of the ghetto, and Jamaica is well known for soccer players who mix with musicians. Bob Marley’s entourage pretty much were expected to play pickup games when he wasn’t touring.

    There was a poet who chaired the Writing program at U of Arkansas, James Whitehead, who wrote a successful novel in the early ’70’s Joiner, about an intellectual football player.

  103. @Jefferson
    The fact that Ted Cruz chose a VP running mate, means that behind closed doors he must know something we don't know.

    You don't choose a VP unless you are majority confident that you are going to win your party's nomination.

    You don't see John Kasich and Bernie Sanders announcing their VP running mates and that is because they know they will not be running for POTUS in the general election, so there is no point in doing it.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Mr. Anon, @Intelligent Dasein

    You don’t choose a VP unless you are majority confident that you are going to win your party’s nomination.

    Hasenpfeffer. Choosing a running mate is the ultimate media stunt and the perfect opportunity to generate some spark of interest for a lost-cause campaign. There are plenty of selfish and delusional motives, believable enough of the parties involved, to explain this. Ted Cruz has a long history of absolutely asinine moves. This is very much in character for him.

    You don’t see John Kasich and Bernie Sanders announcing their VP running mates and that is because…

    …they’re still borderline sane. Hillary hasn’t chosen a running mate either, even though, per your own thesis, she is the presumptive nominee (because Bernie isn’t). Any campaign that still has a prayer of victory wouldn’t pick a veep in this environment. They would save it for a more opportune moment.

    Cruz got mathematically eliminated last night. Strictly speaking, he no longer has a campaign. His continuing presidential run is now just a delusion that the news media are playing along with, probably only for the ratings. After Cruz gets spanked in Indiana next week, they’ll stop paying attention to him. He won’t be able to draw a crowd even if he sets himself on fire (which isn’t a bad idea).

  104. MTV. MTV with Mark Goodman. Prince. Little Red Corvette. 1984 (i think i’m about right about that year). This was when a song, even a good one, got monetized, immediately and impatiently, with a visual TV commercial.

    I can’t put my finger on it, but there is something askew with always accompanying a song with a visual presentation. Gerne leak, or something,.

    • Replies: @carol
    @jJay

    Yes, I really didn't like have someone else's visual impressions of a song imposed on my listening. Especially the more juvenile "plots" that hapless bands and their promoters came up with. Monsters and stuff.

    But I tolerated MTV because it caused so much new music to be brought out to fill the time. I think I like 80s music more than that from the 60s when I was a teen and more impressionable. The 80s stuff was dark without all that Wrecking Crew phoniness about it.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen

  105. @anon
    @Sam Haysom

    I listen to whole lot of classic rock doing my menial job and lord do they play the Aerosmith. I've known much of their oeuvre, or at least the big hits, for 30 or 40 years, but classic rock plays them so much that there is a familiarity now that I never had before. And I have to say the thing that most stands out is how rudimentary so many of their songs were. Back in the Saddle, Same Old Song and Dance, Train Kept a Rollin are all just a couple of repeated basic riff/progression loops .

    It's a wonder they were able to have such a long and successful career. I guess they always had an interesting edge in how they played those simple songs though. Like the Rolling Stones, there was always kind of a high-wire thrill that that the whole thing sounded like it was going to break down in chaos any second but somehow manages to keep together. Also, they did have some rather ground-breaking songs like Walk This Way, and the overplayed but soaring Dream On that helped separate themselves from the other thousands of rudimentary rock bands aiming for rock stardom in the 70's.

    Replies: @Seneca

    BTW, the great guitar solo on Train Kept a Rolling was by Steve Hunter (and not the Aerosmith guitarist) and it was unaccredited on the originally Aerosmith album. A guitar magazine interviewed Steve Hunter who has also played with Alice Cooper and Lou Reed, and discovered this fact.

    I am a pretty good amateur guitar player (played semi professionally for many years on the weekends making pocket money ) and when I first heard the solo I was puzzled, because it was a really good solo ( a hell of a lot better than their regular guitar player could do IMO). I thought maybe their guitar player had been practicing a lot LOL.

    Aerosmith wrote some very good and very catchy songs, but when I discovered this failure to properly credit the solo on the album it kinda of turned me off…sort of like stolen valor for a guitar player like me. Maybe non musicians might not think it was a big deal though.

    I think it is great when bands use other musicians or songwriters to help them with an album.

    And sometimes I understand a player might want to remain anonymous for contractual or other reasons, but a band should always give them credit when possible.

  106. @Steve Sailer
    @yaqub the mad scientist

    Thanks. Besides Jim Weatherly, there's Mike Reid who made All-Pro a couple of times in the NFL in the 1970s, then had a #1 country hit as a singer in 1990, and is now in the Nashville songwriters hall of fame.

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/page/music1502029/mike-reid-nfl-all-pro-turned-country-music-hitmaker

    Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist, @alaska3636

    You can’t forget the legendary jazz bass of journeyman, NBA power-forward Wayman Tisdale.

    Here’s his version of Get Down On It

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @alaska3636

    Yankee outfielder Bernie Williams is enjoying a pleasant retirement as a jazzman.

    Paul Robeson was an all American football player and then became a famous singer.

    Athletes tend to be very good dancers. Athleticism and a sense of rhythm tend to go together.

    But generally it's extremely hard to be both an athlete and a musical star. Partly it's the time commitment, partly it's just it requires different aspects of personality.

    Replies: @Triumph104, @Clifford Brown, @whorefinder

    , @The preferred nomenclature is...
    @alaska3636

    Wayman Tisdale's father was a well-known preacher in a large Tulsa Black Church. There is a freeway in Tulsa named after his father (which before was named after an Indian tribe). His brother has been the pastor since his father's passing. Wayman was a good man.

  107. @Priss Factor
    A lot of athletes are big and strong but they are not manly in character.

    Some actually have beta-personalities. I thought Carl Lewis was like the Michael Jackson of track.
    And Michael Jordan was often tongue-tied. He only came alive on the court.
    And some boxers are tough in the ring but lost outside it.
    They are like Moose in Archie comic books.

    Music is artful and seductive, so it can favor the more flamboyant kind of male.
    (Dancing more so) The whole idea of serenade is sort of 'fey' if not 'gay'. Consider BREAKING AWAY.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVXvjKv1d50

    And Eddie Murphy's stuff about Michael Jackson isn't the most masculine guy in the world.

    http://mic.com/articles/104964/science-finally-explains-why-talented-musicians-are-so-damn-sexy

    Music works like a drug. Humor has the same effect. Without wit and ability to make girls laugh, would Woody Allen have had a chance. And just how did Mel Brooks marry someone like Anne Bancroft?
    Music turns women on. Women fall for guys who make them laugh.

    "Instead, bypass conventional male vs. male competition and specialize in the arts that appeal directly to girls."

    In all my life, this is the biggest scam pulled on girls by boys. Hang around art schools in college, and I've seen some shi*. Dork-ass guys pretending to be 'creative' and getting some hot chicks. But this doesn't work with all women. There's a class of women who love 'culture' and stuff. They fall for this shi* so often, it's embarrassing.

    Anyway, as the music went more from the mode of serenade to rape fantasy, I think the pretty boy in music might be losing out.

    That madonna had the longest successful career among 80s stars is indicative. She never switched to rap but she remained relevant as long as she acted the whore. You don't need rap to act the whore.
    But most big 80s male stars didn't or couldn't make the transition to rap. To be badass, rap is the standard. So, they became old hat.

    There was a time when white boys and white girls mostly listened to white rock.
    Today, much of white rock is stuff that only white males listen to. Many white girls are into rap and female idol music. Black rap is male ideal, and female idol music(white or black but often not rap) is the female ideal. (Too much rapping makes women lose their feminine qualities).

    Actors have to be feisty. Joe Pesci.

    Replies: @Kylie

    “Actors have to be feisty. Joe Pesci.”

    I simply adore Joe Pesci. He can do it all: drama, comedy and romance. Yes. Romance. He conveys as much suppressed passion in “The Public Eye” as, say, Anthony Hopkins does in “The Remains of the Day”. It’s very understated, touching performance.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Kylie

    How many times have we brought up Joe Pesci's 5 minutes come out of retirement scene in "The Good Shepherd?" The only actor with a higher power to weight ratio on his resume than Pesci was John Cazale, Meryl Streep's fiance, who died of cancer after five movies, all of them nominated for Best Picture Oscar.

  108. Steve,

    I thought you might like to know that Al Pastor style Mexican food is a remnant of Lebanese immigrants.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_pastor

    Do you think Carlos Slim enjoys shawarma?

  109. @Priss Factor
    @poolside

    Frey was not a personality.

    Pop Music isn't just about the music but the image.

    Most people hardly know what Frey looked like.

    Prince had a very distinct image. He was a diva. And even after he faded, he knew how to keep the cult going. Bowie did also, which is why his death got huge coverage.

    His very moniker made him a kind of neo-aristocrat. madonna used the same shtick though she should called herself mudonna.

    Replies: @Alec Leamas

    Glen Frey was enough of a matinee idol and personality to land acting gigs on one of the biggest TV shows of the 80s next to Don Johnson – he co-starred in three episodes of Miami Vice.

    Prince was one of a kind but proves a theory that I’ve heard and ruminated on for a while – that is, that artists are their most creative and brilliant as young men. The history of popular music and rock and roll sort of shows that artists peak around 27 (age of death of Hendrix, Morrison and others), after which their music and artistry declines. Someone theorized that it has something to do with getting laid too much and losing some of that drive and tension to create, which is a sublimation of sexual desire and longing.

    My own undeveloped theory is that as the artist gets older and more successful, he gets more autonomy. Autonomy leads to self-indulgence – there’s no more push and pull between the artist’s expression and what the public wants to hear. Prince seems to be a good example of this – Purple Rain had hallmarks of his weirdness but they were tempered and shaped by the synth-rock-pop sounds that were popular in the 80s to appeal to a mass audience (note he was 26 when the album was released). With commercial success, Prince gained autonomy, eventually breaking from his record label entirely and releasing his music himself – and never again realizing the same degree of commercial popularity. It’s clear from listening to Prince’s music – even in the form of the extended versions of popular songs that were released on greatest hits albums – that he was tempering his own tastes and musical weirdness before the zenith of his career, and then much less so afterwards. Against the odds, there probably isn’t another “Purple Rain” album in all of that unreleased material in his vault.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Alec Leamas

    Good points.

    Another angle is that major artists and even philosophers tend to have a unique angle or insight that emerges from their individual personalities. If they get the opportunity and have the skills to expound on this in early manhood, they may not have a second big new thing left in them.

    Replies: @jJay, @Daniel H

    , @The Last Real Calvinist
    @Alec Leamas


    The history of popular music and rock and roll sort of shows that artists peak around 27 (age of death of Hendrix, Morrison and others), after which their music and artistry declines.

     

    It's interesting that 27 is also the exact age at which Bill James and other sports statisticians identify as the likely peak of athletic performance. There are of course outliers (a al Barry Bonds the Cabeza Grande , but for most athletes, you're on a downhill slide from 28 on.

    Replies: @Jefferson

    , @Priss Factor
    @Alec Leamas

    "Prince was one of a kind but proves a theory that I’ve heard and ruminated on for a while – that is, that artists are their most creative and brilliant as young men. The history of popular music and rock and roll sort of shows that artists peak around 27 (age of death of Hendrix, Morrison and others), after which their music and artistry declines. Someone theorized that it has something to do with getting laid too much and losing some of that drive and tension to create, which is a sublimation of sexual desire and longing."

    It depends on the kind of art form.

    Pop Music is mostly about youth, aggression, and sexiness, so young people have an edge.

    Classical music is richer, so the artist finds depth as he ages. Many seem to hit their peak in middle ages. Sibelius composed the greatest symphony ever when he was 50. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._5_(Sibelius)

    Also, some artists have one really good fresh idea and fail to grow.

    Other artists tend to evolve and find new meanings in their vision.

    Ingmar Bergman is a strange case. He wrote some of his best works late in life but they were mostly directed by others: Best Intentions, Faithless, Sunday's Children, Private Confessions.

    Later Chabrol was better than earlier Chabrol even though Les Cousins was an audacious start.

    Some works need maturity and reflection for depth and meaning.

    Pop music is mostly about sensations.

    Also, the lifestyle of the Rock stars tend to burn them out early.

    Replies: @Kylie

  110. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist
    Here's an ancillary question: why do male pop stars so very often have unusually high vocal ranges, to the point that some sound almost feminine? And why, even in opera, are the tenors the glamor boys instead of the basses? Why isn't what seems to be the more masculine trait -- i.e. a deep voice -- rewarded with greater adulation?

    Replies: @whorefinder, @Anonymous, @Mark Caplan, @James O'Meara, @stillCARealist, @keypusher, @Anonym, @Anon

    The human voice is the last part of your body to reach maturity. Opera singers are not advised to sing Grand Opera until after age 35 because up until then your voice is still ‘growing’ and maturing. Your voice gradually drops in pitch as you age as an adult. If you’re a male who is recording at age 20, you’ll have a higher voice than you’ll possess at age 40 or 50. This is why older singers often have trouble hitting the high notes in the hit songs they sang in their youth. They acquire a new, lower range to compensate.

    If you have a sound recorder, I recommend recording your voice and keeping it around for many years, then listening to it again. My parents have some old tapes recorded back in the 1970s, and it’s very odd to hear them because their voices sound so high and young compared to the way they sound now.

    A deepening voice as you age probably has much to do biological programming. A low pitch sounds authoritative, and the aged are wiser than the young. The pitch is meant to signal, ‘listen, learn, and obey.’

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist
    @Anon


    The human voice is the last part of your body to reach maturity. Opera singers are not advised to sing Grand Opera until after age 35 because up until then your voice is still ‘growing’ and maturing. Your voice gradually drops in pitch as you age as an adult. If you’re a male who is recording at age 20, you’ll have a higher voice than you’ll possess at age 40 or 50. This is why older singers often have trouble hitting the high notes in the hit songs they sang in their youth. They acquire a new, lower range to compensate.

     

    Interesting stuff. It certainly fits with my own experience.

    I was a tenor in choir all through high school and college, but have noticed that my vocal range now fits more comfortably with baritone parts.

    Another thing I've noticed, since I do quite a lot of voiceover work, is that my speaking voice has gotten better, more resonant and indeed lower pitched, as I've hit my mid- to late 40s. It seems a lot of pro voiceover guys are not young; they've got more weathered, lower-pitched, even gravelly voices that seem to convey experience and trustworthiness.

    Or at least that's been the traditional pattern. Now I hear, on podcasts such as Radiolab and 99% Invisible, which I listen to occasionally, voiceover/radio guys who have really affected, nasally, high-pitched, vocal-fry infested girlie voices. Is this yet another a sign of a decaying culturing in which calm voices of reason and trust are devalued, or is it just because girlie-voiced guys can get on podcasts now whereas in the past they'd have been laughed out of radio and TV studios?

    , @Dave Pinsen
    @Anon

    "This is why older singers often have trouble hitting the high notes in the hit songs they sang in their youth. They acquire a new, lower range to compensate."

    Robert Plant is a good example of this.

    Replies: @anonymous-antimarxist

    , @Glaivester
    @Anon


    Your voice gradually drops in pitch as you age as an adult. If you’re a male who is recording at age 20, you’ll have a higher voice than you’ll possess at age 40 or 50.
     
    Which answers the question of why the heroic star parts tend to be tenors. People want the star of their opera, musical, etc., to be the young guy, with the older people in support positions or as the powerful antagonist. A deeper voice says older, which is not as conducive to being a romantic lead, and most of these stories tend to have an element of romantic love to them.
  111. @Boomstick
    Musician/poet seems to be a longstanding evolutionary strategy for bagging babes, all the way back to prehistory. I think Steve's point boils down to "why aren't the musicians also conventionally manly?" One can imagine that if the musician/poet attracted women, and conventionally manly men also attracts babes, wouldn't a manly musician attract epic amounts of women? There's enough of a supply of candidates for the position that even if the combination were rare a candidate would still emerge. As with 350 lb left tackles that do 4.4 40's, there would be at least a few genetic freaks that would rise to the task, or work extra-hard in the gym and pharmacy to make themselves fit the role. Many rappers are buff, but they seem to market their music to young men. Likewise for some other buff musicians, like Henry Rollins.

    Maybe there's a difference on the women's demand side. Women are attracted to musicians, and to manly men, but not manly musicians.

    Are there any manly-guy musicians who appeal to women?

    Replies: @prosa123, @Hapalong Cassidy, @Anonymous

    “Are there any manly-guy musicians who appeal to women?”

    I would imagine many male country & western performers fall into that category.

  112. @Boomstick
    Musician/poet seems to be a longstanding evolutionary strategy for bagging babes, all the way back to prehistory. I think Steve's point boils down to "why aren't the musicians also conventionally manly?" One can imagine that if the musician/poet attracted women, and conventionally manly men also attracts babes, wouldn't a manly musician attract epic amounts of women? There's enough of a supply of candidates for the position that even if the combination were rare a candidate would still emerge. As with 350 lb left tackles that do 4.4 40's, there would be at least a few genetic freaks that would rise to the task, or work extra-hard in the gym and pharmacy to make themselves fit the role. Many rappers are buff, but they seem to market their music to young men. Likewise for some other buff musicians, like Henry Rollins.

    Maybe there's a difference on the women's demand side. Women are attracted to musicians, and to manly men, but not manly musicians.

    Are there any manly-guy musicians who appeal to women?

    Replies: @prosa123, @Hapalong Cassidy, @Anonymous

    In spite of his liberal tomfoolery, Bruce Springsteen always struck me as a manly musician who appealed to women. Same with his glam metal counterpart Jon Bon Jovi. Yeah, he had the hair spray and the spandex, but he had a masculine-sounding voice and wasn’t waif-thin. In fact he was rather jacked up physically – a trait which seems to have been passed to his son, who plays football at Notre Dame.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    Springsteen is absurdly strong in the upper body for a musician. I saw him in his 50s at Dodger Stadium grab hold of a reinforced mike stand and turn himself upside down with his feet way up in the air and hold this pose. I figure one of his kids was taking gymnastics lessons and he figured, "I could do that."

    , @yaqub the mad scientist
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    I've read in a couple of places where one of the little things that set Led Zeppelin apart as a game changer band was how waif Jimmy Page had rounded up a huge, muscular singer and drummer from out of town. At that point, "Small Faces" was appropriate for a lot of British bands who had grown up at the end of war-era food rationing. Plant and Bonham literally towered over a lot of their peers, and were serious high-T personalities.

    Replies: @Alec Leamas, @Dave Pinsen, @The preferred nomenclature is...

    , @Dave Pinsen
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    Springsteen has a son who's a fireman in NJ.

  113. @SteveO
    @syonredux


    On the other hand, a lot of what goes into being good-looking (clear skin, facial symmetry, etc) is non-gender specific….
     
    On the third hand, those factors are more important in women. In a man, a high level of virility can outweigh bad skin or a too-big nose. For example, Richard Burton (the 20th century British actor, not the 19th century British explorer) was widely perceived as sexually magnetic to women in his younger days, and yet he had badly pockmarked skin.

    Replies: @Alec Leamas, @syonredux

    I concur with the consensus about Burton.

  114. @Brutusale
    Cheech & Chong hit on all these themes...in 1974.

    Thrown off the basketball team for acting like a queen.
    Disowned by his father for wearing his sister's pantyhose.
    Only knows 3 chords.
    A short Mexican, but he got the hot blonde because he's the singer/guitarist. Chong, the drummer, got the freak girl.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJW67QN24SA&list=RDVJW67QN24SA#t=116

    Replies: @Jefferson

    “A short Mexican, but he got the hot blonde because he’s the singer/guitarist.”

    Blonde Gringas on average don’t seem to be sexually into Aztec looking Mexican men very much. But a lot of blonde Gringas are open to dating Mexican men who look like they can pass for a swarthy Antonio Banderas type Spaniard, in other words the off White/Whitish looking ones. They don’t look Nordic WASP, but they don’t look Mayan either.

  115. @Alec Leamas
    @Priss Factor

    Glen Frey was enough of a matinee idol and personality to land acting gigs on one of the biggest TV shows of the 80s next to Don Johnson - he co-starred in three episodes of Miami Vice.

    Prince was one of a kind but proves a theory that I've heard and ruminated on for a while - that is, that artists are their most creative and brilliant as young men. The history of popular music and rock and roll sort of shows that artists peak around 27 (age of death of Hendrix, Morrison and others), after which their music and artistry declines. Someone theorized that it has something to do with getting laid too much and losing some of that drive and tension to create, which is a sublimation of sexual desire and longing.

    My own undeveloped theory is that as the artist gets older and more successful, he gets more autonomy. Autonomy leads to self-indulgence - there's no more push and pull between the artist's expression and what the public wants to hear. Prince seems to be a good example of this - Purple Rain had hallmarks of his weirdness but they were tempered and shaped by the synth-rock-pop sounds that were popular in the 80s to appeal to a mass audience (note he was 26 when the album was released). With commercial success, Prince gained autonomy, eventually breaking from his record label entirely and releasing his music himself - and never again realizing the same degree of commercial popularity. It's clear from listening to Prince's music - even in the form of the extended versions of popular songs that were released on greatest hits albums - that he was tempering his own tastes and musical weirdness before the zenith of his career, and then much less so afterwards. Against the odds, there probably isn't another "Purple Rain" album in all of that unreleased material in his vault.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @The Last Real Calvinist, @Priss Factor

    Good points.

    Another angle is that major artists and even philosophers tend to have a unique angle or insight that emerges from their individual personalities. If they get the opportunity and have the skills to expound on this in early manhood, they may not have a second big new thing left in them.

    • Agree: Alec Leamas
    • Replies: @jJay
    @Steve Sailer

    Even in my time, recently deceased David Bowie and Lou Reed were writing cabaret songs and light ditties in their late teens. Not your cup of tea perhaps, but starting early is very important.

    , @Daniel H
    @Steve Sailer

    I have heard the same regarding mathematicians. Most famous mathematicians peaked in their early twenties, and just coasted for the rest of their lives. There are exceptions.

    Replies: @carol, @PiltdownMan

  116. @Auntie Analogue
    Pop stars are the high priests/shamans of mass pop culture, which makes sense of their shape-shifting and their supposed unique access to and interpretations of higher realms of the spiritual - "fey" also meaning "giving an impression of vague unworldliness" and "having supernatural powers of clairvoyance."

    This lends pop propaganda enormous impact upon the impressionable. In fact, I've known many an individual who has patterned his entire life around a single pop act, and have even known several individuals who have patterned their entire lives around a single pop song. Indeed for some of my adolescent and early adult years I, too, was taken in by and patterned my worldview and outlook upon a select few pop acts' "message." One of my high school friends continues to insist that merely exposing Moslems to The Rolling Stones and NFL football, and to Bruce Springsteen and all the rest of the West's pop culture panem et circenses will disabuse Moslems of their Islam, and, to my dismay, I've encountered far too many other Westerners who clutch adamantly to that same idiotic expectation.

    Jim Morrison's grasp of the pop star as shaman shed light on pop star fey, embodied in his "I am the Lizard King: I can do anything."

    In the West a large proportion of the masses no longer look to the Christian God as the magnetic north of their moral compass, they look instead to manufactured-image pop shamans - even to so-called "news" media and to every sort of television/media programming - that peddle nonstop "Imagine" Universalism-Feelgoodism. It's arguable that even Pope Francis is just another one of today's Western "We Are Really All Alike!" Universalist pop star shamans - another master of smartphone-viral public Universalist-Globalist virtue signalling.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @The Last Real Calvinist

    Excellent stuff here; thanks much.

  117. @AndrewR
    It seems Steve overanalyzes things.

    Replies: @njguy73

    Yeah, that’s kinda his thing.

  118. @anonymous
    Once someone becomes famous they can no longer lead normal lives but travel around with bodyguards, hangers-on, staff and various suckups, becoming increasingly isolated within a golden cage. Adoring fans become a nuisance and even pose a hazard. Presley, Jackson, Prince and others just went off into drug abuse and psychological quirkiness. It's hard to stay sane under those circumstances.

    Replies: @njguy73

    Alan Moore (V for Vendetta, Watchmen) on fame:

    “I tend to think that what fame has done is to replace the sea as the element of choice of adventure for young people. If you were a dashing young man in the 19th century you would probably have wanted to run away to sea, just as in the 20th century you might decide that you want to run away and form a pop band. The difference is that in the 19th century, before running away to sea, you would have had at least some understanding of the element that you were dealing with and would have perhaps, say, learned to swim … The thing is that there is no manual for how to cope with fame. So you’ll get some, otherwise likeable young person, who has done one good comic book, one good film, one good record, suddenly told that they are a genius, who believes it and who runs out laughing and splashing into the billows of celebrity, and whose heroin-sodden corpse is washed up a few weeks later in the shallows of the tabloids.”

  119. @alaska3636
    @Steve Sailer

    You can't forget the legendary jazz bass of journeyman, NBA power-forward Wayman Tisdale.

    Here's his version of Get Down On It
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7Vuxvaw2k8

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @The preferred nomenclature is...

    Yankee outfielder Bernie Williams is enjoying a pleasant retirement as a jazzman.

    Paul Robeson was an all American football player and then became a famous singer.

    Athletes tend to be very good dancers. Athleticism and a sense of rhythm tend to go together.

    But generally it’s extremely hard to be both an athlete and a musical star. Partly it’s the time commitment, partly it’s just it requires different aspects of personality.

    • Replies: @Triumph104
    @Steve Sailer

    Wayman Tisdale played in the NBA for 13 seasons and won a 1984 Olympic gold medal. After retiring he released eight jazz albums. He died in 2009 at 44.

    Joe Pesci released an album in 1998.

    https://youtu.be/JmziCLuiMpA

    , @Clifford Brown
    @Steve Sailer

    And then you have Deion Luywnn Sanders who played for the NFL and numerous professional baseball teams. On top of all that, Deion had an interesting musical career.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJWSm13LBh8

    , @whorefinder
    @Steve Sailer

    Bernie Williams has been rumored to have carried on extra marital affairs by, ahem, the playing for the other team.

    His early marriage, quiet nature, and fixation with jazz have long contributed to these rumors. (These days, fixation with jazz is either for white nerds (think Woody Allen) or a certain "type" of man who appreciates "the arts." Blacks as a whole don't care about it---it's old people music--and few blacks know it was a popular form of black music and well praised. But this certain "type" of man loved the revival of Chicago on Broadway at the time.)

    And then some gay guy came out and wrote an article about having a long-term relationship with a then-current big-name MLB player on a major East Coast team (that was as specific as the article got). This was written in the late 90s/early 2000s, when Bernie was playing for the Yankees and was well-known; he seemed the most likely candidate.

    Replies: @Penny Red

  120. @Alec Leamas
    @Priss Factor

    Glen Frey was enough of a matinee idol and personality to land acting gigs on one of the biggest TV shows of the 80s next to Don Johnson - he co-starred in three episodes of Miami Vice.

    Prince was one of a kind but proves a theory that I've heard and ruminated on for a while - that is, that artists are their most creative and brilliant as young men. The history of popular music and rock and roll sort of shows that artists peak around 27 (age of death of Hendrix, Morrison and others), after which their music and artistry declines. Someone theorized that it has something to do with getting laid too much and losing some of that drive and tension to create, which is a sublimation of sexual desire and longing.

    My own undeveloped theory is that as the artist gets older and more successful, he gets more autonomy. Autonomy leads to self-indulgence - there's no more push and pull between the artist's expression and what the public wants to hear. Prince seems to be a good example of this - Purple Rain had hallmarks of his weirdness but they were tempered and shaped by the synth-rock-pop sounds that were popular in the 80s to appeal to a mass audience (note he was 26 when the album was released). With commercial success, Prince gained autonomy, eventually breaking from his record label entirely and releasing his music himself - and never again realizing the same degree of commercial popularity. It's clear from listening to Prince's music - even in the form of the extended versions of popular songs that were released on greatest hits albums - that he was tempering his own tastes and musical weirdness before the zenith of his career, and then much less so afterwards. Against the odds, there probably isn't another "Purple Rain" album in all of that unreleased material in his vault.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @The Last Real Calvinist, @Priss Factor

    The history of popular music and rock and roll sort of shows that artists peak around 27 (age of death of Hendrix, Morrison and others), after which their music and artistry declines.

    It’s interesting that 27 is also the exact age at which Bill James and other sports statisticians identify as the likely peak of athletic performance. There are of course outliers (a al Barry Bonds the Cabeza Grande , but for most athletes, you’re on a downhill slide from 28 on.

    • Replies: @Jefferson
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    "but for most athletes, you’re on a downhill slide from 28 on."

    The best player in The NBA right now is Stephen Curry who is 28 years old and is nowhere close to being on a downhill slide. He is a beast on the court and no one is in his league at the moment.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @The Last Real Calvinist

  121. @Mark F.
    @anony-mouse

    Hyper-masculine guys also have an easy time having sex with men. Many gay men do not like effeminate men in bed.

    Replies: @Jonathan Mason, @njguy73

    I once heard someone, who I believe was gay, describe the typical gay bar scene as “a hundred bottoms looking for a top.”

  122. @Steve Sailer
    @Auntie Analogue

    I saw a concert by the first band of Tuvan throat singers from Siberia to tour the west. (I'd heard about Tuvan throat singing from the last book about Richard Feynman who had always wanted to visit Tuva.) Anyway, one member of the band claimed to be a descendant of 57 generations of shamans. So, apparently, being a shaman makes you popular with the ladies.

    Being a pop star was a way to carry on this family tradition, I guess.

    Throat singing isn't traditionally performed with instruments, but these guys had formed a band with electric guitars and drums. Basically, they were playing American lonesome cowboy country music, with clippity-clop rhythms like riding horseback. The name of their album was "60 Horses in My Herd," which is kind of like a rapper boasting to the ladies about his G-6 jet, I guess.

    Replies: @Alec Leamas, @vinny

    You’re probably on to something here, with the rock star – particularly the frontman – fulfilling the modern version of the archetype of the pre-historic oral storyteller, many of the stories of which were chanted or sung it is believed.

    I wonder of those guys had status on par with the warriors and hunters of their band/tribe/clan and therefore got laid? In which case we’re just acting out tens of thousands of years of fireside culture with updated technology.

    • Replies: @ReaderfromGreece
    @Alec Leamas

    From the view of presentism, Orpheas and Sappho (who was an oral poet/singer) were major rockstars of their day. I don't remember the word, but one of Orpheus' most common epithets literally means 'celebrity' or 'famed person'. Fun fact: Based on ancient sources, there is a decent chance that he was a real-life historical person, so legendary was he that his story got entangled with myths (as it seems to happen with many celebrities throughout history).

  123. @Steve Sailer
    @Mike Perry

    Mercury really was outstanding at "vocal ornamentation." When I moved to Chicago in 1982 I literally couldn't give away my Queen albums because people were tired of his bag of tricks, but he had a giant bag of tricks and is well-appreciated now.

    Replies: @Jefferson, @Brutusale

    “Mercury really was outstanding at “vocal ornamentation.” When I moved to Chicago in 1982 I literally couldn’t give away my Queen albums because people were tired of his bag of tricks, but he had a giant bag of tricks and is well-appreciated now.”

    The vast majority of Queen’s best songs were from pre-1982/pre-MTV days. Queen is more known as a 1970s band than a 1980s band.

  124. @Steve Sailer
    @Flinders Petrie

    The Clash were organized by Mick Jones who was trying to put together a masculine band. (He was partners with Chrissie Hynde, future leader of the Pretenders, for a few months. She had lots of talent but he wanted a blokes' band so they broke up.) First he recruited a big rugged guy who hung out with artists, Paul Simonon, who couldn't play an instrument, but who fit the look Jones had in mind. So Jones taught Simonon to play bass.

    Then Jones recruited Joe Strummer, who looked like a shorter version of Simonon. Strummer could play rhythm guitar and shout-sing.

    Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy, @Harry Baldwin, @Steve Sailer, @Former Darfur

    I remember being surprised to learn that Simonon didn’t know how to play when he joined the Clash. After all, how could someone with his limited musical ability play the complex bass line from “Rock the Casbah”? Except that he didn’t – drummer Topper Headon played it (Headon also wrote the music to that song).

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    Headon was real good, although he had drug problems. Unlike Simonon, he wasn't added to the band until after the successful first album -- the Clash auditioned 100+ drummers and picked the best one.

  125. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @SteveO
    @poolside


    And since Frey didn’t have the cachet of Bowie …
     
    And yet, I would guess that the Eagles outsold Prince and Bowie combined, several times over. Certainly their huge number of hits are remembered by more people as the soundtrack to their youth than either of the other two.

    Perhaps that's the problem: The Eagles were too popular to be trendy and "underground", as Bowie was. Despite leaving his sexually ambiguous days behind long ago, Bowie always seemed to have a certain alternative-lifestyle appeal ... or, rather, a certain appeal to the alternative-lifestyle crowd.

    Why Prince would be a bigger deal than Glenn Frey, I can't imagine, unless it was his personal celebrity.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Anon

    I’ve heard a fair amount of both Prince and Glenn Frey from the car radio back in the day, but if you were to ask what either man looked like, the only one I could identify is Prince. Frey is a mental blank to me despite his fame. If Prince is a peacock, the Glenn Frey is a wren.

    This is why building an image and being a ‘character’ is so important to marketing music. It helps define your brand to the buyer so your record stands out on a shelf among all the competition. ‘Characters’ always hog the pages in the music press because they’re more interesting to write about than normal guys who just make music, and that too, helps sell their brand and makes the competition seem unremarkable.

    Ultimately, the opposite of flamboyant is dull. The opposite of fey is boring. If you’re selling yourself and your talent as something special, you can’t afford to be too normal because people associate normal with average.

  126. @Hapalong Cassidy
    @Boomstick

    In spite of his liberal tomfoolery, Bruce Springsteen always struck me as a manly musician who appealed to women. Same with his glam metal counterpart Jon Bon Jovi. Yeah, he had the hair spray and the spandex, but he had a masculine-sounding voice and wasn't waif-thin. In fact he was rather jacked up physically - a trait which seems to have been passed to his son, who plays football at Notre Dame.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @yaqub the mad scientist, @Dave Pinsen

    Springsteen is absurdly strong in the upper body for a musician. I saw him in his 50s at Dodger Stadium grab hold of a reinforced mike stand and turn himself upside down with his feet way up in the air and hold this pose. I figure one of his kids was taking gymnastics lessons and he figured, “I could do that.”

  127. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Boomstick
    Musician/poet seems to be a longstanding evolutionary strategy for bagging babes, all the way back to prehistory. I think Steve's point boils down to "why aren't the musicians also conventionally manly?" One can imagine that if the musician/poet attracted women, and conventionally manly men also attracts babes, wouldn't a manly musician attract epic amounts of women? There's enough of a supply of candidates for the position that even if the combination were rare a candidate would still emerge. As with 350 lb left tackles that do 4.4 40's, there would be at least a few genetic freaks that would rise to the task, or work extra-hard in the gym and pharmacy to make themselves fit the role. Many rappers are buff, but they seem to market their music to young men. Likewise for some other buff musicians, like Henry Rollins.

    Maybe there's a difference on the women's demand side. Women are attracted to musicians, and to manly men, but not manly musicians.

    Are there any manly-guy musicians who appeal to women?

    Replies: @prosa123, @Hapalong Cassidy, @Anonymous

    Are there any manly-guy musicians who appeal to women?

    Replying as a woman, a sincere question: What discounts one as a manly-guy musician? Gushy love songs? Long hair? Eyeliner? Emotional performances? Do Eddie Vedder, Trent Reznor, Maynard James Keenan, Nick Cave, Serj Tankian (incidentally, his wife is beautiful), and Josh Homme count? They all have their ardent female admirers.

    • Replies: @Boomstick
    @Anonymous

    As a straight male, maybe part of the confusion arises from the peacock nature of pop singers, some of which normal males can interpret as fey.

    Let's take Van Halen, a party band beloved of male knucklehead Camaro owners everywhere. Is David Lee Roth a manly guy? In the band's heyday he was quite athletic, and availed himself of an unlimited supply of groupies. But there was also the hair and flamboyant costumes and eyeliner. I think the "Ain't Talkin' About Love" stuff gave them cred with the Camaro owners and let them discount the spandex.

    (There are rumors DLR is bi, but I suspect that's just catty band infighting.)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzhb42pX52o

  128. @The Last Real Calvinist
    @Alec Leamas


    The history of popular music and rock and roll sort of shows that artists peak around 27 (age of death of Hendrix, Morrison and others), after which their music and artistry declines.

     

    It's interesting that 27 is also the exact age at which Bill James and other sports statisticians identify as the likely peak of athletic performance. There are of course outliers (a al Barry Bonds the Cabeza Grande , but for most athletes, you're on a downhill slide from 28 on.

    Replies: @Jefferson

    “but for most athletes, you’re on a downhill slide from 28 on.”

    The best player in The NBA right now is Stephen Curry who is 28 years old and is nowhere close to being on a downhill slide. He is a beast on the court and no one is in his league at the moment.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Jefferson

    But what are the odds Curry will be better next season? Probably less than 25%.

    But Curry was better this year than last year when he was MVP so the future is unwritten for him. He's very interesting because he invented for himself a new thing: shooting from immense distances. It could be just a fluke unique skill, or it could turn out to be a historic breakthrough that leads to lots of imitators, the way Babe Ruth around 1920 changed baseball.

    Replies: @alaska3636, @keypusher

    , @The Last Real Calvinist
    @Jefferson


    The best player in The NBA right now is Stephen Curry who is 28 years old and is nowhere close to being on a downhill slide. He is a beast on the court and no one is in his league at the moment.

     

    As Steve has said, it's unlikely Curry will ever be better than he was this year. He had a year for the ages.

    Curry's taken a while to reach the peak of his powers because he didn't fully understand what he could do in his initial years in the NBA, plus he had recurring injuries that slowed him down. It also took some time and a track record for his coaches to fully unleash him, i.e. not flip out when he'd pull up for a 29-footer with two guys open closer to the basket. He really has invented a new way of playing guard in the NBA, which is quite an accomplishment.

    As much as I'd like to see Curry continue to develop into an even better player, remember that it's not just long-distance shooting that defines him -- he's also incredible on acrobatic drives to the hoop in which he connects with uncanny regularity on super-high-degree-of-difficulty layups and floaters. It's this side of his game, which keeps defenders honest, that's likely to decline well before the long-range bombing.

    Replies: @Jefferson

  129. @Hapalong Cassidy
    @Steve Sailer

    I remember being surprised to learn that Simonon didn't know how to play when he joined the Clash. After all, how could someone with his limited musical ability play the complex bass line from "Rock the Casbah"? Except that he didn't - drummer Topper Headon played it (Headon also wrote the music to that song).

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Headon was real good, although he had drug problems. Unlike Simonon, he wasn’t added to the band until after the successful first album — the Clash auditioned 100+ drummers and picked the best one.

  130. @Anon
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    The human voice is the last part of your body to reach maturity. Opera singers are not advised to sing Grand Opera until after age 35 because up until then your voice is still 'growing' and maturing. Your voice gradually drops in pitch as you age as an adult. If you're a male who is recording at age 20, you'll have a higher voice than you'll possess at age 40 or 50. This is why older singers often have trouble hitting the high notes in the hit songs they sang in their youth. They acquire a new, lower range to compensate.

    If you have a sound recorder, I recommend recording your voice and keeping it around for many years, then listening to it again. My parents have some old tapes recorded back in the 1970s, and it's very odd to hear them because their voices sound so high and young compared to the way they sound now.

    A deepening voice as you age probably has much to do biological programming. A low pitch sounds authoritative, and the aged are wiser than the young. The pitch is meant to signal, 'listen, learn, and obey.'

    Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist, @Dave Pinsen, @Glaivester

    The human voice is the last part of your body to reach maturity. Opera singers are not advised to sing Grand Opera until after age 35 because up until then your voice is still ‘growing’ and maturing. Your voice gradually drops in pitch as you age as an adult. If you’re a male who is recording at age 20, you’ll have a higher voice than you’ll possess at age 40 or 50. This is why older singers often have trouble hitting the high notes in the hit songs they sang in their youth. They acquire a new, lower range to compensate.

    Interesting stuff. It certainly fits with my own experience.

    I was a tenor in choir all through high school and college, but have noticed that my vocal range now fits more comfortably with baritone parts.

    Another thing I’ve noticed, since I do quite a lot of voiceover work, is that my speaking voice has gotten better, more resonant and indeed lower pitched, as I’ve hit my mid- to late 40s. It seems a lot of pro voiceover guys are not young; they’ve got more weathered, lower-pitched, even gravelly voices that seem to convey experience and trustworthiness.

    Or at least that’s been the traditional pattern. Now I hear, on podcasts such as Radiolab and 99% Invisible, which I listen to occasionally, voiceover/radio guys who have really affected, nasally, high-pitched, vocal-fry infested girlie voices. Is this yet another a sign of a decaying culturing in which calm voices of reason and trust are devalued, or is it just because girlie-voiced guys can get on podcasts now whereas in the past they’d have been laughed out of radio and TV studios?

  131. I, too, thought of the relative silence over Glenn Frey’s death, given his band sold more records than Prince and Bowie combined. And the Eagles had just put out their outstanding two-part documentary, too.

    My explanation: The Eagles are middlebrow. They’re just too popular to get serious critical attention. It’s much like the difference between Mad Men and NCIS. Mad Men was a critical darling, has had millions of words dedicated to each recap and analysis by TV critics. Likewise Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and the rest of the soap opera currently known as the Golden Age of Television. Mad Men’s finale didn’t beat reruns of I Love Lucy, but that’s ok. If everyone watched it, it’d be NCIS. Ignored, critically, but the most-watched scripted show on TV for nine years running.

    So every single TV anchor, news reporter, had to show they were part of the in-club by bragging about how cool they were for worshipping Prince. It’s how they separate themselves from the little people.

    BTW, no one got more women than the Eagles at the Third Encore, and a less effeminate group of guys never existed.

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist
    @education realist

    Good points, and also The Eagles were in the rare position, unlike most bands, of essentially having two frontmen, i.e. Frey and Henley -- to this day I still can't quite mentally separate them. That's not helpful to the individual fame of either.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    , @Alec Leamas
    @education realist

    Eh, I think it's probably because the Eagles broke up before MTV took off. But recall Bowie doing several of the original "I want my MTV" bits around the time of his more clean-cut pop phase:

    https://youtu.be/pZuj2dbIfyA

    Prince, of course, transmuted an entire album into visual narrative form.

    Frey's biggest solo hits were set to visuals from Beverly Hills Cop or Miami Vice, which is probably how most people conceive of them - part of a movie or TV show soundtrack, rather than songs qua songs by a particular artist. "Video killed the radio star" indeed.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen

    , @Steve Sailer
    @education realist

    The Eagles would be a good example of non-fey rock stars, except that, despite selling so many records and making so much money on the comeback tour trail, they weren't quite individual rock stars, perhaps because there was a certain lack of mystery about them.

    Replies: @JimB

    , @Intelligent Dasein
    @education realist

    Of all the musicians who have died this year, Glenn Frey's death is the only one that actually hit me. I could not have cared less about Prince. I acknowledge and respect David Bowie, but I had no emotional connection with him. Merle Haggard wasn't really on my radar screen, since I don't and never have listened to country music. Poor Percy Sledge had the misfortune to die a week before Prince and went totally unremarked.

    I think part of the explanation for the relative lack of mourning has to do with the sheer success of The Eagles. I don't disagree with your middlebrow thesis, but I would phrase the matter a different way. The Eagles are so omnipresent and so universally admired that they've become a cultural institution in their own right which far transcends, and is quite capable of surviving, the individual members. Glenn Frey's death was like the Bishop of Madrid dying in Cervantes' Spain. You doff your hat to the guy's funeral procession, but nobody would have thought that the Catholic Church itself would be at all harmed by the loss.

    With Prince it is quite different. In his case, the personality, the glitz, the show business is really all there is. When that's gone, the whole shebang is spent and exhausted. It belonged only to the temporal realm, to the here and now, to the melodramatic side of life. Like a flower it soon fades and decays. The amount of mourning that a popular musician receives at his passing is probably inversely proportional to his long-term impact. Glenn Frey translated his life's energy into a durable institution. The Eagles will still be played 50 years from now; I doubt anybody will even know who Prince was by that time.

    , @Hapalong Cassidy
    @education realist

    Another example of "middlebrow" is AC/DC. They've never gotten any love from the critics, in spite of being one of the most popular bands of all time. Indeed, the top three selling albums of all time are The Eagles Greatest Hits, Michael Jackson's Thriller, and AC/DC's Back in Black.

  132. @Jefferson
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    "but for most athletes, you’re on a downhill slide from 28 on."

    The best player in The NBA right now is Stephen Curry who is 28 years old and is nowhere close to being on a downhill slide. He is a beast on the court and no one is in his league at the moment.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @The Last Real Calvinist

    But what are the odds Curry will be better next season? Probably less than 25%.

    But Curry was better this year than last year when he was MVP so the future is unwritten for him. He’s very interesting because he invented for himself a new thing: shooting from immense distances. It could be just a fluke unique skill, or it could turn out to be a historic breakthrough that leads to lots of imitators, the way Babe Ruth around 1920 changed baseball.

    • Replies: @alaska3636
    @Steve Sailer

    JR Smith of the Cavaliers can hit from distance; lot's of guys in the NBA can. It is mostly a leg strength thing for anybody who is a good shooter technically. Curry's real talent is inimitable: he can shoot off the bounce and off balance with incredible efficiency. Steve Nash could do this but he wasn't as athletically gifted as Curry.

    Actually, a lot of white guys under 6 feet tall can do this but they lack all the other intangibles (height and speed) to make the NBA.

    , @keypusher
    @Steve Sailer

    I think Curry will be a Babe Ruth figure. Bill James pointed out that hitters before Ruth's time were taught not to uppercut, because a fly ball was an easy out. No one cared what Ruth did, though, because he was a pitcher. And then he started hitting home runs, the Yankees got him, and baseball was never the same.

    No one can do what Curry can at the moment, but that's largely because (as with Ruth) no one has been trying. Well, now everyone from age 5 up who can shoot a basketball is going to start trying.

  133. @Hapalong Cassidy
    @Boomstick

    In spite of his liberal tomfoolery, Bruce Springsteen always struck me as a manly musician who appealed to women. Same with his glam metal counterpart Jon Bon Jovi. Yeah, he had the hair spray and the spandex, but he had a masculine-sounding voice and wasn't waif-thin. In fact he was rather jacked up physically - a trait which seems to have been passed to his son, who plays football at Notre Dame.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @yaqub the mad scientist, @Dave Pinsen

    I’ve read in a couple of places where one of the little things that set Led Zeppelin apart as a game changer band was how waif Jimmy Page had rounded up a huge, muscular singer and drummer from out of town. At that point, “Small Faces” was appropriate for a lot of British bands who had grown up at the end of war-era food rationing. Plant and Bonham literally towered over a lot of their peers, and were serious high-T personalities.

    • Replies: @Alec Leamas
    @yaqub the mad scientist

    Apparently Robert Plant is morphing into Miguel Ángel Jiménez in his old age.

    , @Dave Pinsen
    @yaqub the mad scientist

    The Cult got reinvigorated this century when they brought on John Tempesta, a beast of a metal drummer. I shook his hand after a show once and was surprised to see he was like 5'7". He walked off with a model who was taller than him.

    , @The preferred nomenclature is...
    @yaqub the mad scientist

    I've stood 15 feet from Plant as he performed in a small club about 10 years ago. Dude's got a HUGE head.

  134. @Steve Sailer
    @Auntie Analogue

    I saw a concert by the first band of Tuvan throat singers from Siberia to tour the west. (I'd heard about Tuvan throat singing from the last book about Richard Feynman who had always wanted to visit Tuva.) Anyway, one member of the band claimed to be a descendant of 57 generations of shamans. So, apparently, being a shaman makes you popular with the ladies.

    Being a pop star was a way to carry on this family tradition, I guess.

    Throat singing isn't traditionally performed with instruments, but these guys had formed a band with electric guitars and drums. Basically, they were playing American lonesome cowboy country music, with clippity-clop rhythms like riding horseback. The name of their album was "60 Horses in My Herd," which is kind of like a rapper boasting to the ladies about his G-6 jet, I guess.

    Replies: @Alec Leamas, @vinny

    Steve, have you seen the documentary GENGHIS BLUES? If you’ve seen Tuvan throat singers, you may enjoy it.

  135. @Steve Sailer
    @Alec Leamas

    Good points.

    Another angle is that major artists and even philosophers tend to have a unique angle or insight that emerges from their individual personalities. If they get the opportunity and have the skills to expound on this in early manhood, they may not have a second big new thing left in them.

    Replies: @jJay, @Daniel H

    Even in my time, recently deceased David Bowie and Lou Reed were writing cabaret songs and light ditties in their late teens. Not your cup of tea perhaps, but starting early is very important.

  136. @education realist
    I, too, thought of the relative silence over Glenn Frey's death, given his band sold more records than Prince and Bowie combined. And the Eagles had just put out their outstanding two-part documentary, too.

    My explanation: The Eagles are middlebrow. They're just too popular to get serious critical attention. It's much like the difference between Mad Men and NCIS. Mad Men was a critical darling, has had millions of words dedicated to each recap and analysis by TV critics. Likewise Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and the rest of the soap opera currently known as the Golden Age of Television. Mad Men's finale didn't beat reruns of I Love Lucy, but that's ok. If everyone watched it, it'd be NCIS. Ignored, critically, but the most-watched scripted show on TV for nine years running.

    So every single TV anchor, news reporter, had to show they were part of the in-club by bragging about how cool they were for worshipping Prince. It's how they separate themselves from the little people.

    BTW, no one got more women than the Eagles at the Third Encore, and a less effeminate group of guys never existed.

    Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist, @Alec Leamas, @Steve Sailer, @Intelligent Dasein, @Hapalong Cassidy

    Good points, and also The Eagles were in the rare position, unlike most bands, of essentially having two frontmen, i.e. Frey and Henley — to this day I still can’t quite mentally separate them. That’s not helpful to the individual fame of either.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    And the Eagles had major contributors beyond Frey and Henley. Lead guitarist Don Felder wrote the music for the song "Hotel California," for example. And they added Joe Walsh, a sizable personality, midway through their run.

  137. @The Last Real Calvinist
    @education realist

    Good points, and also The Eagles were in the rare position, unlike most bands, of essentially having two frontmen, i.e. Frey and Henley -- to this day I still can't quite mentally separate them. That's not helpful to the individual fame of either.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    And the Eagles had major contributors beyond Frey and Henley. Lead guitarist Don Felder wrote the music for the song “Hotel California,” for example. And they added Joe Walsh, a sizable personality, midway through their run.

  138. @Jefferson
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    "but for most athletes, you’re on a downhill slide from 28 on."

    The best player in The NBA right now is Stephen Curry who is 28 years old and is nowhere close to being on a downhill slide. He is a beast on the court and no one is in his league at the moment.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @The Last Real Calvinist

    The best player in The NBA right now is Stephen Curry who is 28 years old and is nowhere close to being on a downhill slide. He is a beast on the court and no one is in his league at the moment.

    As Steve has said, it’s unlikely Curry will ever be better than he was this year. He had a year for the ages.

    Curry’s taken a while to reach the peak of his powers because he didn’t fully understand what he could do in his initial years in the NBA, plus he had recurring injuries that slowed him down. It also took some time and a track record for his coaches to fully unleash him, i.e. not flip out when he’d pull up for a 29-footer with two guys open closer to the basket. He really has invented a new way of playing guard in the NBA, which is quite an accomplishment.

    As much as I’d like to see Curry continue to develop into an even better player, remember that it’s not just long-distance shooting that defines him — he’s also incredible on acrobatic drives to the hoop in which he connects with uncanny regularity on super-high-degree-of-difficulty layups and floaters. It’s this side of his game, which keeps defenders honest, that’s likely to decline well before the long-range bombing.

    • Replies: @Jefferson
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    "As Steve has said, it’s unlikely Curry will ever be better than he was this year. He had a year for the ages."

    I doubt it's unlikely. All of Michael Jordan's championship rings came after the age of 27.

    Michael Jordan was a stronger player in the 1990s than he was in the 1980s.

  139. @Alec Leamas
    @Steve Sailer

    You're probably on to something here, with the rock star - particularly the frontman - fulfilling the modern version of the archetype of the pre-historic oral storyteller, many of the stories of which were chanted or sung it is believed.

    I wonder of those guys had status on par with the warriors and hunters of their band/tribe/clan and therefore got laid? In which case we're just acting out tens of thousands of years of fireside culture with updated technology.

    Replies: @ReaderfromGreece

    From the view of presentism, Orpheas and Sappho (who was an oral poet/singer) were major rockstars of their day. I don’t remember the word, but one of Orpheus’ most common epithets literally means ‘celebrity’ or ‘famed person’. Fun fact: Based on ancient sources, there is a decent chance that he was a real-life historical person, so legendary was he that his story got entangled with myths (as it seems to happen with many celebrities throughout history).

  140. @education realist
    I, too, thought of the relative silence over Glenn Frey's death, given his band sold more records than Prince and Bowie combined. And the Eagles had just put out their outstanding two-part documentary, too.

    My explanation: The Eagles are middlebrow. They're just too popular to get serious critical attention. It's much like the difference between Mad Men and NCIS. Mad Men was a critical darling, has had millions of words dedicated to each recap and analysis by TV critics. Likewise Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and the rest of the soap opera currently known as the Golden Age of Television. Mad Men's finale didn't beat reruns of I Love Lucy, but that's ok. If everyone watched it, it'd be NCIS. Ignored, critically, but the most-watched scripted show on TV for nine years running.

    So every single TV anchor, news reporter, had to show they were part of the in-club by bragging about how cool they were for worshipping Prince. It's how they separate themselves from the little people.

    BTW, no one got more women than the Eagles at the Third Encore, and a less effeminate group of guys never existed.

    Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist, @Alec Leamas, @Steve Sailer, @Intelligent Dasein, @Hapalong Cassidy

    Eh, I think it’s probably because the Eagles broke up before MTV took off. But recall Bowie doing several of the original “I want my MTV” bits around the time of his more clean-cut pop phase:

    Prince, of course, transmuted an entire album into visual narrative form.

    Frey’s biggest solo hits were set to visuals from Beverly Hills Cop or Miami Vice, which is probably how most people conceive of them – part of a movie or TV show soundtrack, rather than songs qua songs by a particular artist. “Video killed the radio star” indeed.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    @Alec Leamas

    There was a tribute to Glenn Frey at a big music award show. I think Jackson Brown stood in for him. He actually got a better tribute there than David Bowie did, who got stuck with a medley.
    Frey also acted in Miami Vice.

  141. @Steve Sailer
    @Flinders Petrie

    The Clash were organized by Mick Jones who was trying to put together a masculine band. (He was partners with Chrissie Hynde, future leader of the Pretenders, for a few months. She had lots of talent but he wanted a blokes' band so they broke up.) First he recruited a big rugged guy who hung out with artists, Paul Simonon, who couldn't play an instrument, but who fit the look Jones had in mind. So Jones taught Simonon to play bass.

    Then Jones recruited Joe Strummer, who looked like a shorter version of Simonon. Strummer could play rhythm guitar and shout-sing.

    Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy, @Harry Baldwin, @Steve Sailer, @Former Darfur

    Paul Simonon, who couldn’t play an instrument, but who fit the look Jones had in mind.

    Apparently, the look is more important than you would expect. I’m thinking of Ian Stewart, a Scottish keyboardist and co-founder of the Rolling Stones. Keith Richards described meeting Stewart thus: “He used to play boogie-woogie piano in jazz clubs, apart from his regular job. He blew my head off too, when he started to play. I never heard a white piano player play like that before.”

    He was removed from the line-up in May 1963 at the request of manager Andrew Loog Oldham, who said that the older, burly, and square-jawed Stewart did not fit the image. He remained as road manager and pianist and was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the rest of the band in 1989.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Harry Baldwin

    Why do the Rolling Stones all look alike?

    The other guy who looks like he should be in the Rolling Stones is Tom Stoppard.

    The funny thing is that Stoppard was in his late 20s when the British Invasion happened and he was only interested in old time 1950s pre-rock standards. He had to laboriously educate himself about rock and roll in later life to meet demands from fans for rock content in his plays. Eventually, in the late 1990s Mick Jagger hired him to write a movie script (Enigma) and they became pals.

  142. @education realist
    I, too, thought of the relative silence over Glenn Frey's death, given his band sold more records than Prince and Bowie combined. And the Eagles had just put out their outstanding two-part documentary, too.

    My explanation: The Eagles are middlebrow. They're just too popular to get serious critical attention. It's much like the difference between Mad Men and NCIS. Mad Men was a critical darling, has had millions of words dedicated to each recap and analysis by TV critics. Likewise Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and the rest of the soap opera currently known as the Golden Age of Television. Mad Men's finale didn't beat reruns of I Love Lucy, but that's ok. If everyone watched it, it'd be NCIS. Ignored, critically, but the most-watched scripted show on TV for nine years running.

    So every single TV anchor, news reporter, had to show they were part of the in-club by bragging about how cool they were for worshipping Prince. It's how they separate themselves from the little people.

    BTW, no one got more women than the Eagles at the Third Encore, and a less effeminate group of guys never existed.

    Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist, @Alec Leamas, @Steve Sailer, @Intelligent Dasein, @Hapalong Cassidy

    The Eagles would be a good example of non-fey rock stars, except that, despite selling so many records and making so much money on the comeback tour trail, they weren’t quite individual rock stars, perhaps because there was a certain lack of mystery about them.

    • Replies: @JimB
    @Steve Sailer

    The Doobie Brothers weren't fey. Black Sabbath wasn't fey, although they dressed like women sometimes. Jethro Tull wasn't fey, although they too were into raiding mummy's closet. The Who were anything but fey. Peter Gabriel was somewhat fey in his 20s, but the rest of Genesis wasn't. Credence Clearwater Rivival wasn't fey. Seems like there is a lot of data contradicting Steve's hypothesis.

    Replies: @JimB, @Steve Sailer

  143. @yaqub the mad scientist
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    I've read in a couple of places where one of the little things that set Led Zeppelin apart as a game changer band was how waif Jimmy Page had rounded up a huge, muscular singer and drummer from out of town. At that point, "Small Faces" was appropriate for a lot of British bands who had grown up at the end of war-era food rationing. Plant and Bonham literally towered over a lot of their peers, and were serious high-T personalities.

    Replies: @Alec Leamas, @Dave Pinsen, @The preferred nomenclature is...

    Apparently Robert Plant is morphing into Miguel Ángel Jiménez in his old age.

  144. @whorefinder
    Agree with the article, but two quibbles:

    1. Freddie Mercury wasn't gay, he was bi---or, more clearly, he was just into whatever sexual thrill was coming around. His lead guitarist and co-writer on many of the songs--the astrophysicist guy--has stated that Freddie wasn't gay, because astrophysicist/guitarist dude was his roommate for many years, and saw him banging away happily at many a groupie. Think Charlie Sheen or some Roman Emperor--basically, when sexual access comes so easy, people lose interest in the common, and up the ante a lot to get their thrills. See also: Mick Jagger.

    Freddie just had the bad luck of jumping into bed with men just after it exploded as ok (thanks to gay rights' movements of the 70s) but just as it was emerging that doing so was more than just risking a bit of itchiness or burning while peeing.

    2. Much of the feyness also probably comes from having to do the deed with record company executives in order to get radio play/promoted albums. Albums are just advertising to most good rock stars---money comes from tours, not albums, because the the record companies structure album deals heavily in their favor. But that advertising can be very helpful in turning a nobody into an arena-selling out artist quickly, or pumping you up from mid-level festival band to headliner.

    But so many record companies and MTV and such are run by homosexuals who demand the same kind of favors from wanna-bes as do the studios for Hollywood movies. Actors are trained to pretend to be something that they're not, but musicians don't have that training, so the effects of their ass-for-albums deals shows up more clearly on them.

    Replies: @Daniel H, @Peter Akuleyev

    >>Freddie Mercury wasn’t gay, he was bi—or, more clearly, he was just into whatever sexual thrill was coming around.

    Wrong. Bisexuality in men doesn’t exist. I don’t care how many chicks he banged, the fact that he had sex with dudes is sure sign that he was gay, 100% gay.

    • Replies: @jon
    @Daniel H


    Bisexuality in men doesn’t exist.
     
    On what do you base that? And how do you explain guys like Jagger and Bowie who are known to have had sex with men, but then ended up settling down with women?

    Replies: @Daniel H

    , @whorefinder
    @Daniel H

    People have known for a long time that sexuality is malleable by circumstances. This is why a variety of cultures (Greeks, Persians, Chinese, Turks, French, etc.) have considered gay behavior as a personal moral failing rather than a sign of permanence. "Born gay" is a modern political tactic by homosexuals in the movement to try to release themselves from personal responsibility and to force others to accept them "because you can't change it".

    The behavior of straight men in prison and, previously, the all-male military should suffice as proof that, when push comes to shove, men will seek alternatives to females.

    Sexual excess has also been known to breed sexual experimentation. Emperors and kings were long known to have dalliances with teen boys and men whilst also having mistresses. Caesar himself-renowned as a great seducer of women-had a very large gay rumor propounded about himself and a foreign king. The more powerful the man, the more women willingly and easily submitted to his hand, and the more he was drawn to further that high through sexual experimentation.

    And how do you explain a clearly "straight" man like Charlie Sheen? He has had sex with trannies and other men. Yet no one would deny his strong sex urge when it comes to women.

  145. @education realist
    I, too, thought of the relative silence over Glenn Frey's death, given his band sold more records than Prince and Bowie combined. And the Eagles had just put out their outstanding two-part documentary, too.

    My explanation: The Eagles are middlebrow. They're just too popular to get serious critical attention. It's much like the difference between Mad Men and NCIS. Mad Men was a critical darling, has had millions of words dedicated to each recap and analysis by TV critics. Likewise Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and the rest of the soap opera currently known as the Golden Age of Television. Mad Men's finale didn't beat reruns of I Love Lucy, but that's ok. If everyone watched it, it'd be NCIS. Ignored, critically, but the most-watched scripted show on TV for nine years running.

    So every single TV anchor, news reporter, had to show they were part of the in-club by bragging about how cool they were for worshipping Prince. It's how they separate themselves from the little people.

    BTW, no one got more women than the Eagles at the Third Encore, and a less effeminate group of guys never existed.

    Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist, @Alec Leamas, @Steve Sailer, @Intelligent Dasein, @Hapalong Cassidy

    Of all the musicians who have died this year, Glenn Frey’s death is the only one that actually hit me. I could not have cared less about Prince. I acknowledge and respect David Bowie, but I had no emotional connection with him. Merle Haggard wasn’t really on my radar screen, since I don’t and never have listened to country music. Poor Percy Sledge had the misfortune to die a week before Prince and went totally unremarked.

    I think part of the explanation for the relative lack of mourning has to do with the sheer success of The Eagles. I don’t disagree with your middlebrow thesis, but I would phrase the matter a different way. The Eagles are so omnipresent and so universally admired that they’ve become a cultural institution in their own right which far transcends, and is quite capable of surviving, the individual members. Glenn Frey’s death was like the Bishop of Madrid dying in Cervantes’ Spain. You doff your hat to the guy’s funeral procession, but nobody would have thought that the Catholic Church itself would be at all harmed by the loss.

    With Prince it is quite different. In his case, the personality, the glitz, the show business is really all there is. When that’s gone, the whole shebang is spent and exhausted. It belonged only to the temporal realm, to the here and now, to the melodramatic side of life. Like a flower it soon fades and decays. The amount of mourning that a popular musician receives at his passing is probably inversely proportional to his long-term impact. Glenn Frey translated his life’s energy into a durable institution. The Eagles will still be played 50 years from now; I doubt anybody will even know who Prince was by that time.

  146. @The Last Real Calvinist
    @Jefferson


    The best player in The NBA right now is Stephen Curry who is 28 years old and is nowhere close to being on a downhill slide. He is a beast on the court and no one is in his league at the moment.

     

    As Steve has said, it's unlikely Curry will ever be better than he was this year. He had a year for the ages.

    Curry's taken a while to reach the peak of his powers because he didn't fully understand what he could do in his initial years in the NBA, plus he had recurring injuries that slowed him down. It also took some time and a track record for his coaches to fully unleash him, i.e. not flip out when he'd pull up for a 29-footer with two guys open closer to the basket. He really has invented a new way of playing guard in the NBA, which is quite an accomplishment.

    As much as I'd like to see Curry continue to develop into an even better player, remember that it's not just long-distance shooting that defines him -- he's also incredible on acrobatic drives to the hoop in which he connects with uncanny regularity on super-high-degree-of-difficulty layups and floaters. It's this side of his game, which keeps defenders honest, that's likely to decline well before the long-range bombing.

    Replies: @Jefferson

    “As Steve has said, it’s unlikely Curry will ever be better than he was this year. He had a year for the ages.”

    I doubt it’s unlikely. All of Michael Jordan’s championship rings came after the age of 27.

    Michael Jordan was a stronger player in the 1990s than he was in the 1980s.

  147. @Harry Baldwin
    Prince was always, though, a tremendous musician, recognized by age 21 as the most broadly gifted American star since Stevie Wonder.

    Is there an unwritten rule that a talented black musician has to be compared to another talented black musician? Stevie Wonder's talents are often compared to those of Ray Charles. (You've got the black+blind+musician trifecta there.)

    I appreciate Prince's talents and success, but I don't recall hearing any new music from him since the 1980s. Granted, I'm not that into his kind of music, but AFAIK he was not continuing to produce hits, unless I missed them.

    Glenn Frey, cofounder of the Eagles with Don Henley, was multi-talented as a singer, songwriter, and musician in one of the most successful bands of all time. Frey died in January 2016 and I don't recall his death getting anywhere near the attention that Prince's did. Of course Obama, that phony, had to issue a statement about Prince and said he listened to a couple of his songs while warming up for a meeting with the British pie minister, but that's just his usual "I'm black, y'all" shtick.

    Replies: @alaska3636, @Harry Baldwin, @poolside, @Triumph104, @Hapalong Cassidy, @peterike, @Whoever, @Daniel H

    >>Glenn Frey, cofounder of the Eagles with Don Henley, was multi-talented as a singer, songwriter, and musician in one of the most successful bands of all time. Frey died in January 2016 and I don’t recall his death getting anywhere near the attention that Prince’s did.<<

    The Eagles were brilliant musical craftsman. Their renown will grow with time (and of course, they were superstars in their day) while Prince's will fade away.

  148. @Steve Sailer
    @Marty

    It's a word that's changing in meaning over the centuries.

    Replies: @Anon7

    “It’s a word that’s changing in meaning over the centuries.”

    Actually, no. The OED, my trusty Webster’s 1890, Random House 1969, and Webster’s New Unabridged 1989 all agree on the meaning of the word.

    Changing over the last few years, maybe.

    One person submitting to Urban Dictionary thinks the derivation might be “Fairly gAY”:

    fairly gay, as applied to a heterosexual male with homosexual stereotypical traits
    Just because your fiance has a shoe obsession and plucks his eyebrows doesn’t mean he’s gay; rather, he’s fey.

    • Replies: @random observer
    @Anon7

    MW online:


    Definition of fey

    1
    1
    a chiefly Scottish : fated to die : doomed

    b : marked by a foreboding of death or calamity

    2
    2
    a : able to see into the future : visionary

    b : marked by an otherworldly air or attitude

    c : crazy, touched

    3
    3
    a : excessively refined : precious

    b : quaintly unconventional : campy

    followed by "Fey is a word that defies its own meaning, since it has yet to even come close to the brink of death after being in our language for well over 800 years. In Old and Middle English it meant "feeble" or "sickly." Those meanings turned out to be fey themselves, but the word lived on in senses related to death, and because a wild or elated state of mind was once believed to portend death, other senses arose from these. The word fay, meaning "fairy" or "elf," may also have had an influence on some senses of "fey." Not until the late 20th century did the word's most recent meanings, "precious" and "campy," find their way onto the pages of the dictionary."

    My Scottish grandmother used the world, usually in some mix of senses one and two, but could understand the third. I dimly recall it being a common expression put in the mouths of elderly Scottish women in literature written by elderly Scottish women [maybe Canadian Margaret Laurence, whose work was foisted on us in high school].

    Funny thing, having learned it that way the word has always run those senses together in my head, with the last being understood as not exactly camp, but a tad feminine.

    I am surprised it is only speculative in the dictionaries- the interconnected meanings of the word caused me to always think there was a connection with the fae, or fairy people, who in the myths of the Celtic fringe always possessed all these qualities.

    Or consider elves, whether in myth or modern fantasy. Always possessing all these qualities.

    The beautiful, the refined of appearance and manner, the otherworldly, the touched, the doomed (or at least haunted); concepts linked in art for centuries now.

    Replies: @Anon7

  149. @Mark Caplan
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Every opera needs a cruel, callous villain. I suppose an ultra-masculine baritone or bass is thought to be more credible in that role. So that leaves a high-voice part for the hero.

    In Handel's hit opera Julius Caesar (1724), Handel wrote Caesar's part for a castrato. In performance today, a female mezzo-soprano or male counter-tenor sing the part. The opera was written for a British audience.

    Replies: @Jonathan Mason, @Uncle Remus

    It was well known in Handel’s day that Julius Caesar was bisexual. At Caesar’s triumph in September of 46 for the dedication of his forum, celebrating his victories in Gaul, Egypt, Pontos and Africa, his soldiers chanted songs referring to his adulteries with women, and to his youthful liason with King Nicomedes of Bithynia. He was rumored to be a passive partner in homosexual affairs, and was known as “every woman’s man, and every man’s woman”. It was fully appropriate for Handel to write the part for a castrato.

  150. @Steve Sailer
    @Alec Leamas

    Good points.

    Another angle is that major artists and even philosophers tend to have a unique angle or insight that emerges from their individual personalities. If they get the opportunity and have the skills to expound on this in early manhood, they may not have a second big new thing left in them.

    Replies: @jJay, @Daniel H

    I have heard the same regarding mathematicians. Most famous mathematicians peaked in their early twenties, and just coasted for the rest of their lives. There are exceptions.

    • Replies: @carol
    @Daniel H

    Also composers seem to peak early on. It takes so much energy and sheer audacity to churn out original works..if the young come by it via drugs, at least they can handle the day to day toll better. Until they OD anyway.

    Novelists can thrive late in life, however.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    , @PiltdownMan
    @Daniel H


    I have heard the same regarding mathematicians. Most famous mathematicians peaked in their early twenties, and just coasted for the rest of their lives. There are exceptions.
     

    It has been long observed that mathematical talent, like many varieties of athletic talent, fades in middle-age. That's the rule and the rest are exceptions. The same is true of physicists, who of course, practice an intellectual discipline completely intertwined with mathematical insight.

    I've had a first-rank physicist confirm this when he was in his early thirties-it's apparently a well known phenomenon. He said twentysomething physicists tend not to take sabbaticals or time out to find themselves. There's just too much urgency to work while the neural circuits are in full flow. And unlike the rest of us, they face their mid-life crises when they are in their mid-to-late thirties.

    Whether this is true of rock musicians, too, is debatable. I think there is a much greater component of "coasting" after career success in youth with successful rock musicians, rather than any innate fading of talent or creativity as with mathematicians. Wealth arrived at early in life does that to most people.

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin

  151. e says:

    On Drudge now:

    http://www.nationalenquirer.com/celebrity/prince-dead-aids-cause-of-death/

    Heard a lot of rumors when he died that Prince had HIV/Aids but didn’t really pay attention to them.
    Will this headline be from the Enquirer that exposed facts in the OJ case or will it be the one that skirts lawsuits by carefully wording its articles?

  152. @Steve Sailer
    @Flinders Petrie

    The Clash were organized by Mick Jones who was trying to put together a masculine band. (He was partners with Chrissie Hynde, future leader of the Pretenders, for a few months. She had lots of talent but he wanted a blokes' band so they broke up.) First he recruited a big rugged guy who hung out with artists, Paul Simonon, who couldn't play an instrument, but who fit the look Jones had in mind. So Jones taught Simonon to play bass.

    Then Jones recruited Joe Strummer, who looked like a shorter version of Simonon. Strummer could play rhythm guitar and shout-sing.

    Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy, @Harry Baldwin, @Steve Sailer, @Former Darfur

    Specifically, Mick Jones had an idea in his head of what he wanted the other guys in the band to look like, while he would supply musical abilityl

    • Replies: @Lagertha
    @Steve Sailer

    I get it. I am such a dummy! - tears in my eyes, btw...but should have expected it, with all the "wonkyness" of my computer last few seconds/minutes... Go on and do good stuff.

    , @Lagertha
    @Steve Sailer

    I'm out - I will read all your amazing posts later, with all the scintillating discussions, - but, f*ck me!, I have to go under the fracking knife, and I am soooo feeling sorry for myself - Lagertha would not admit this, but I am not strong like my Avatar is. Could you not eff with my typing while I'm typing, Steve?

    Melanoma. I am living (have been, for 10 years) with Melanoma - have procedures lined-up next week...but, trying not to feel sorry for myself. On the other hand, I just recently introduced decent people about your blog - very wealthy people, btw. I'll meet you all on the other side.

    Replies: @Auntie Analogue, @Lot

    , @Dave Pinsen
    @Steve Sailer

    At about 2:31, non-fey Billy Duffy of The Cult mentions how Boy George told him in the early '80s that he should join a rock band because he looked the part.
    https://youtu.be/bKiS6uRz8_8

  153. @jJay
    MTV. MTV with Mark Goodman. Prince. Little Red Corvette. 1984 (i think i'm about right about that year). This was when a song, even a good one, got monetized, immediately and impatiently, with a visual TV commercial.

    I can't put my finger on it, but there is something askew with always accompanying a song with a visual presentation. Gerne leak, or something,.

    Replies: @carol

    Yes, I really didn’t like have someone else’s visual impressions of a song imposed on my listening. Especially the more juvenile “plots” that hapless bands and their promoters came up with. Monsters and stuff.

    But I tolerated MTV because it caused so much new music to be brought out to fill the time. I think I like 80s music more than that from the 60s when I was a teen and more impressionable. The 80s stuff was dark without all that Wrecking Crew phoniness about it.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    @carol

    Videos have come a long way and yet they're no longer on TV.
    https://youtu.be/sBzrzS1Ag_g

  154. As a coda to the Glenn Frey conversation, here’s the New Yorker’s take on the “peaceful, queasy feeling”. Nasty to Frey throughout until the last couple sentences.

    • Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist
    @education realist

    I guess I'm neutral about the Eagles, but I can't think of too many major bands that I've heard a lot of people say they hate like them. There was something about them that really put a lot of people off. It's kind of like that hard to explain way some people can't stand Eric Clapton.

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin

    , @The Last Real Calvinist
    @education realist

    That's indeed a nasty, condescending little shot of vituperation; the writer even uses the word 'icky', the bellwether term of disparagement for SWPL disgust at the tastes of lesser whites.

    This essay, and many others like it, might just as well be condensed into 'Let me show you why Donald Trump is going to win the Republican nomination'.

    , @Harry Baldwin
    @education realist

    That's a nasty piece of snark and the writer sounds like a hateful little nonentity.

    I recall a piece in the Village Voice in 1975 when "Lying Eyes" was a huge hit. The author, a woman, was outraged by the judgmental nature of it. "It's our lying eyes we can't hide!" she wrote. The Eagles really irked the feminists.

    Replies: @PiltdownMan

    , @Brutusale
    @education realist

    Whenever I read something like this, I check the author, when Google Image. As Rod Stewart one sang, every picture tells a story, in this case the usual revenge of the ugly people.

    , @random observer
    @education realist

    I just read that Larson piece after hoping against hope she was the same Sarah Larson who used to date Clooney. Alas, no.

    I have no idea what on earth her point was. I really don't. I reached the end and had failed to understand any point larger than "I don't like the Eagles". I could only even get the high-class snark out of it because I had already assumed it was there. Even when she says something is "icky" she doesn't bother to back it up by citing anything icky.

    Has the New Yorker gotten lazier than Slate?

    Replies: @Anonymous

  155. @education realist
    I, too, thought of the relative silence over Glenn Frey's death, given his band sold more records than Prince and Bowie combined. And the Eagles had just put out their outstanding two-part documentary, too.

    My explanation: The Eagles are middlebrow. They're just too popular to get serious critical attention. It's much like the difference between Mad Men and NCIS. Mad Men was a critical darling, has had millions of words dedicated to each recap and analysis by TV critics. Likewise Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, and the rest of the soap opera currently known as the Golden Age of Television. Mad Men's finale didn't beat reruns of I Love Lucy, but that's ok. If everyone watched it, it'd be NCIS. Ignored, critically, but the most-watched scripted show on TV for nine years running.

    So every single TV anchor, news reporter, had to show they were part of the in-club by bragging about how cool they were for worshipping Prince. It's how they separate themselves from the little people.

    BTW, no one got more women than the Eagles at the Third Encore, and a less effeminate group of guys never existed.

    Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist, @Alec Leamas, @Steve Sailer, @Intelligent Dasein, @Hapalong Cassidy

    Another example of “middlebrow” is AC/DC. They’ve never gotten any love from the critics, in spite of being one of the most popular bands of all time. Indeed, the top three selling albums of all time are The Eagles Greatest Hits, Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and AC/DC’s Back in Black.

  156. @Daniel H
    @Steve Sailer

    I have heard the same regarding mathematicians. Most famous mathematicians peaked in their early twenties, and just coasted for the rest of their lives. There are exceptions.

    Replies: @carol, @PiltdownMan

    Also composers seem to peak early on. It takes so much energy and sheer audacity to churn out original works..if the young come by it via drugs, at least they can handle the day to day toll better. Until they OD anyway.

    Novelists can thrive late in life, however.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @carol

    Drugs play a big role in touring -- get up for the show, konk out after the show. That burns you out, though.

    I'm starting to wonder if a big part of the British dominance of the pop charts from 1964 to the early 1980s has something to do with British working class use of amphetamines. The British military handed out a lot of amphetamines during the War to keep soldiers awake (e.g., bombing runs over Germany). Their kids took them but not for the sake of taking drugs, like people take recreational drugs like LSD or cocaine, but as a performance enhancing drug to go out dancing all night.

    I'm now guessing that a lot of the British advantage in touring and stage shows was from using performance enhancing drugs.

    Replies: @syonredux, @syonredux, @stillCARealist

  157. @education realist
    As a coda to the Glenn Frey conversation, here's the New Yorker's take on the "peaceful, queasy feeling". Nasty to Frey throughout until the last couple sentences.

    Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist, @The Last Real Calvinist, @Harry Baldwin, @Brutusale, @random observer

    I guess I’m neutral about the Eagles, but I can’t think of too many major bands that I’ve heard a lot of people say they hate like them. There was something about them that really put a lot of people off. It’s kind of like that hard to explain way some people can’t stand Eric Clapton.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    @yaqub the mad scientist

    Most people who hate the Eagles would probably say "They're too white" or "They're too corporate," the latter translating as mainstream and successful. I remember a rock critic in the 1980s admitting that he liked The Cars and making it sound like a moral failing.

    And there's always going to be a certain percentage of people who just genuinely don't enjoy your work. I never liked the kind of music Michael Jackson made, but I wouldn't say I hate it or it's crap. It's just not for me.

  158. @education realist
    As a coda to the Glenn Frey conversation, here's the New Yorker's take on the "peaceful, queasy feeling". Nasty to Frey throughout until the last couple sentences.

    Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist, @The Last Real Calvinist, @Harry Baldwin, @Brutusale, @random observer

    That’s indeed a nasty, condescending little shot of vituperation; the writer even uses the word ‘icky’, the bellwether term of disparagement for SWPL disgust at the tastes of lesser whites.

    This essay, and many others like it, might just as well be condensed into ‘Let me show you why Donald Trump is going to win the Republican nomination’.

  159. @Steve Sailer
    @education realist

    The Eagles would be a good example of non-fey rock stars, except that, despite selling so many records and making so much money on the comeback tour trail, they weren't quite individual rock stars, perhaps because there was a certain lack of mystery about them.

    Replies: @JimB

    The Doobie Brothers weren’t fey. Black Sabbath wasn’t fey, although they dressed like women sometimes. Jethro Tull wasn’t fey, although they too were into raiding mummy’s closet. The Who were anything but fey. Peter Gabriel was somewhat fey in his 20s, but the rest of Genesis wasn’t. Credence Clearwater Rivival wasn’t fey. Seems like there is a lot of data contradicting Steve’s hypothesis.

    • Replies: @JimB
    @JimB

    Actually, most musicians tend to be more masculine on average. Music ability correlates with fetal exposure to testosterone, which results in a 2:4 digit ratio significantly less than one. I read somewhere that 70% of all musicians in the NY Philharmonic have a digit ratio less than one. Hence the appeal of male musicians, famous or obscure, fey or not, to heterosexual women.

    For men, 2:4 digit ratios less than one also correlate with larger penis sizes. Which is why Marco Rubio made a fool out of himself by holding up his long hands and saying it proved he had a big penis. It seemed pretty clear to me that his index finger was as long if not longer than his ring finger. Whereas pictures of Trump holding up his hands indicate notably stubby index fingers.

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    , @Steve Sailer
    @JimB

    But I'll bet that a lot of these guys would tell stories like Tom Petty's -- of being an artsier and more sensitive boy than the average boy. Tom Petty is a likeable, regular guy redneck. But he's an artistic and emotional regular guy redneck.

    Here, I'll pick as an extreme test case: Bob Seger. He would strike everybody as solidly masculine. Chevy used his "Like a Rock" song to advertise pickup trucks. But I'll bet you could find an interview where Seger sounds like Petty about his younger days.

    I don't know if Seger does, but I'll put it out there.

    Replies: @Clifford Brown

  160. @Steve Sailer
    @Steve Sailer

    Specifically, Mick Jones had an idea in his head of what he wanted the other guys in the band to look like, while he would supply musical abilityl

    Replies: @Lagertha, @Lagertha, @Dave Pinsen

    I get it. I am such a dummy! – tears in my eyes, btw…but should have expected it, with all the “wonkyness” of my computer last few seconds/minutes… Go on and do good stuff.

  161. @education realist
    As a coda to the Glenn Frey conversation, here's the New Yorker's take on the "peaceful, queasy feeling". Nasty to Frey throughout until the last couple sentences.

    Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist, @The Last Real Calvinist, @Harry Baldwin, @Brutusale, @random observer

    That’s a nasty piece of snark and the writer sounds like a hateful little nonentity.

    I recall a piece in the Village Voice in 1975 when “Lying Eyes” was a huge hit. The author, a woman, was outraged by the judgmental nature of it. “It’s our lying eyes we can’t hide!” she wrote. The Eagles really irked the feminists.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    @Harry Baldwin


    That’s a nasty piece of snark and the writer sounds like a hateful little nonentity.
     
    She disqualifies herself completely when she writes I hadn’t realized until adulthood that there was a connection between Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles...

    Kinda basic knowledge.

    I despise the modern hipster trend of retroactive cultural snark addressed mainly toward baby-boomer era culture by critics who are unfamiliar with the period by reason of being born too late. They want to eat their cake by using that popular culture as currency, but want to have it too, in that they want to reserve the right to denigrate it—because old.

    Get off my lawn.

    Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist

  162. @Steve Sailer
    @Alec Leamas

    Linklater's new movie is about his year as a college scholarship jock (baseball) before he got a health problem with his heart and switched to arty interests. I haven't seen it, but it sounds interesting in part because not many artists have seen jock life from the inside and vice-versa.

    Lord Byron was a little like that: he was an aristocrat with total confidence that he could lead men in battle (he hadn't died of fever, it's possible he would have been crowned King of the Greeks), and he was a fey artist of beautiful looks.

    Not surprisingly, he absolutely electrified Europe.

    Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist, @Jefferson, @Jokah Macpherson

    Country musicians, unsurprisingly, tend to be an exception to the lack of jock crossover. Tim McGraw’s father was a major league pitcher, and similarly to Linklater, Toby Keith had a stint working the oil rigs before he made it big as an artist.

    • Replies: @Marty
    @Jokah Macpherson

    Don't forget Barry Zito, now writing songs in Nashville.

  163. @JimB
    @Steve Sailer

    The Doobie Brothers weren't fey. Black Sabbath wasn't fey, although they dressed like women sometimes. Jethro Tull wasn't fey, although they too were into raiding mummy's closet. The Who were anything but fey. Peter Gabriel was somewhat fey in his 20s, but the rest of Genesis wasn't. Credence Clearwater Rivival wasn't fey. Seems like there is a lot of data contradicting Steve's hypothesis.

    Replies: @JimB, @Steve Sailer

    Actually, most musicians tend to be more masculine on average. Music ability correlates with fetal exposure to testosterone, which results in a 2:4 digit ratio significantly less than one. I read somewhere that 70% of all musicians in the NY Philharmonic have a digit ratio less than one. Hence the appeal of male musicians, famous or obscure, fey or not, to heterosexual women.

    For men, 2:4 digit ratios less than one also correlate with larger penis sizes. Which is why Marco Rubio made a fool out of himself by holding up his long hands and saying it proved he had a big penis. It seemed pretty clear to me that his index finger was as long if not longer than his ring finger. Whereas pictures of Trump holding up his hands indicate notably stubby index fingers.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    @JimB

    What is a digit ratio?

  164. @SteveO
    @syonredux


    On the other hand, a lot of what goes into being good-looking (clear skin, facial symmetry, etc) is non-gender specific….
     
    On the third hand, those factors are more important in women. In a man, a high level of virility can outweigh bad skin or a too-big nose. For example, Richard Burton (the 20th century British actor, not the 19th century British explorer) was widely perceived as sexually magnetic to women in his younger days, and yet he had badly pockmarked skin.

    Replies: @Alec Leamas, @syonredux

    On the third hand, those factors are more important in women. In a man, a high level of virility can outweigh bad skin or a too-big nose.

    Sure. Factors like fame, wealth, and power play a big role in stimulating the female libido*. Still, all other factors being equal, being good-looking is a definite plus.

    *After all, Ric Ocasek

    bagged Paulina Porizkova

    • Replies: @Brutusale
    @syonredux

    My Paulina Porizkova story.

    A high school friend was a financial exec in Boston in the late 80s/early 90s, and he and his fiancee lived in the same building on the same floor as Ocasek and Porizkova. The fiancee (a fairly attractive woman and the one who loves to tell the story) had a big interview with a non-profit and spent half the morning getting dolled up for her meeting. She strolled to the elevator feeling like Helen of Troy, and here comes Paulina behind her, dressed in a t-shirt, ratty sweats, hair in a bun and no makeup and, as fiancee put it, looking 100 times more beautiful than she did on her best day. She said she wanted to go back to her condo and crawl under the bed.

    Porizkova still looks great:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3562127/Watch-Gigi-Hadid-Supermodel-Paulina-Porizkova-51-joins-Instagram-posts-sexy-bikini-shot-snap.html

    I have a hard time coming up with a couple more disparate in looks than this one.

    Replies: @Glaivester

  165. @Steve Sailer
    @Steve Sailer

    Specifically, Mick Jones had an idea in his head of what he wanted the other guys in the band to look like, while he would supply musical abilityl

    Replies: @Lagertha, @Lagertha, @Dave Pinsen

    I’m out – I will read all your amazing posts later, with all the scintillating discussions, – but, f*ck me!, I have to go under the fracking knife, and I am soooo feeling sorry for myself – Lagertha would not admit this, but I am not strong like my Avatar is. Could you not eff with my typing while I’m typing, Steve?

    Melanoma. I am living (have been, for 10 years) with Melanoma – have procedures lined-up next week…but, trying not to feel sorry for myself. On the other hand, I just recently introduced decent people about your blog – very wealthy people, btw. I’ll meet you all on the other side.

    • Replies: @Auntie Analogue
    @Lagertha

    My dear Lagertha, you & your surgery are in my prayers.

    Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    , @Lot
    @Lagertha

    Good luck. Make your children wear sunscreen people!

  166. @carol
    @Daniel H

    Also composers seem to peak early on. It takes so much energy and sheer audacity to churn out original works..if the young come by it via drugs, at least they can handle the day to day toll better. Until they OD anyway.

    Novelists can thrive late in life, however.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Drugs play a big role in touring — get up for the show, konk out after the show. That burns you out, though.

    I’m starting to wonder if a big part of the British dominance of the pop charts from 1964 to the early 1980s has something to do with British working class use of amphetamines. The British military handed out a lot of amphetamines during the War to keep soldiers awake (e.g., bombing runs over Germany). Their kids took them but not for the sake of taking drugs, like people take recreational drugs like LSD or cocaine, but as a performance enhancing drug to go out dancing all night.

    I’m now guessing that a lot of the British advantage in touring and stage shows was from using performance enhancing drugs.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @Steve Sailer


    The British military handed out a lot of amphetamines during the War to keep soldiers awake (e.g., bombing runs over Germany).
     
    The Germans also used a lot of stimulants:

    During World War II, methamphetamine was sold in tablet form under the brand name Pervitin, produced by the Berlin-based Temmler pharmaceutical company. It was used extensively by all branches of the German armed forces (Luftwaffe pilots, in particular) for its performance-enhancing stimulant effects and to induce extended wakefulness.[131][132] Pervitin became colloquially known among the German troops as "Stuka-Tablets" (Stuka-Tabletten) and "Herman-Göring-Pills" (Hermann-Göring-Pillen).
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methamphetamine#History.2C_society.2C_and_culture
    , @syonredux
    @Steve Sailer


    A notable part of the 1960s mod subculture in the U.K. was recreational amphetamine use, which was used to fuel all-night dances at clubs like Manchester's Twisted Wheel. Newspaper reports described dancers emerging from clubs at 5 a.m. with dilated pupils.[25] Mods used the drug for stimulation and alertness, which they viewed as different from the intoxication caused by alcohol and other drugs.[26] Dr. Andrew Wilson argues that for a significant minority, "amphetamines symbolised the smart, on-the-ball, cool image" and that they sought "stimulation not intoxication ... greater awareness, not escape" and "confidence and articulacy" rather than the "drunken rowdiness of previous generations."[27]Wilson argues that the significance of amphetamines to the mod culture was similar to that of LSD and cannabis within the subsequent hippie counterculture. Dick Hebdige argues that mods used amphetamines to extend their leisure time into the early hours of the morning and as a way of bridging the gap between their hostile and daunting everyday work lives and the "inner world" of dancing and dressing up in their off-hours.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_and_culture_of_substituted_amphetamines#History_of_amphetamine_and_methamphetamine

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Brutusale

    , @stillCARealist
    @Steve Sailer

    Sailer, you're making me doubt every performer, athlete, and hero that's ever existed. I'd like to think that the muscles and training for the athletes are enough without juice. and the talent and the practice for the musicians is enough without pills. As for the heroes, well... I'm going to hang onto my hope for a while.

    ah, the villains. Are the suicide bombers tripped out on something before they detonate? What about regular criminals who go on a gang hit or rob a store or steal a car? Are they doing something other than alcohol?

    Maybe we all need to stop analyzing human nature and society and just focus on drugs.

  167. @JimB
    @Steve Sailer

    The Doobie Brothers weren't fey. Black Sabbath wasn't fey, although they dressed like women sometimes. Jethro Tull wasn't fey, although they too were into raiding mummy's closet. The Who were anything but fey. Peter Gabriel was somewhat fey in his 20s, but the rest of Genesis wasn't. Credence Clearwater Rivival wasn't fey. Seems like there is a lot of data contradicting Steve's hypothesis.

    Replies: @JimB, @Steve Sailer

    But I’ll bet that a lot of these guys would tell stories like Tom Petty’s — of being an artsier and more sensitive boy than the average boy. Tom Petty is a likeable, regular guy redneck. But he’s an artistic and emotional regular guy redneck.

    Here, I’ll pick as an extreme test case: Bob Seger. He would strike everybody as solidly masculine. Chevy used his “Like a Rock” song to advertise pickup trucks. But I’ll bet you could find an interview where Seger sounds like Petty about his younger days.

    I don’t know if Seger does, but I’ll put it out there.

    • Replies: @Clifford Brown
    @Steve Sailer

    This Seger performance of Hollywood Nights definitely shows off his more theatrical side. It is quite the jam regardless of what one thinks of Seger's inherent cheeseball tendencies.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_D4eUWBAE_A

    I am alone in this opinion, but it is obvious to me that Axl Rose of Guns N Roses owes a huge debt to early Bob Seger in terms of stage presence and performance. Basically, the wild eyed boy from Indiana based his entire stage presence on Bob Seger mixed with some early Leon Russell. Axl Rose was one masculine performer who hit the high notes and dabbled in trappings of Glam, but overall rejected pure feydom. This was pretty common back in the age of LA Hair Metal.

    Tina Turner's performance of Hollywood Nights at the Apollo is also beyond reproach. Is there anything as rocking and yet goofball at the same time as this video? Tina Turner's jacket alone is priceless.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSiM47Z6fTc

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Penny Red

  168. I would say late 20’s is the athletic peak for basketball or close to it. Advances in training are helping athletes hang on longer with barely perceptible declines until their early 30s, though.

    Curry’s main skill is freakish eye-hand coordination. It’s probably the one athletic trait that lasts the longest.

    • Replies: @e
    @Polynikes

    He also has an insane workout regimen--thousand shots a day, I believe the local Dub's announcer mentioned.

    In fact, I wondered if that would affect his longevity. I've always believed that Jack Nicklaus was right about pro golfers, that they only have so many shots in them and so Nicklaus learned to curb his practice as well as reduce the number of tournaments in which he played.

    Still, it's hard to believe Curry could hit those three's from those insane distances if he didn't practice as much as he does. He's grooving that follow through.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  169. @Steve Sailer
    @alaska3636

    Yankee outfielder Bernie Williams is enjoying a pleasant retirement as a jazzman.

    Paul Robeson was an all American football player and then became a famous singer.

    Athletes tend to be very good dancers. Athleticism and a sense of rhythm tend to go together.

    But generally it's extremely hard to be both an athlete and a musical star. Partly it's the time commitment, partly it's just it requires different aspects of personality.

    Replies: @Triumph104, @Clifford Brown, @whorefinder

    Wayman Tisdale played in the NBA for 13 seasons and won a 1984 Olympic gold medal. After retiring he released eight jazz albums. He died in 2009 at 44.

    Joe Pesci released an album in 1998.

  170. @Steve Sailer
    @Jefferson

    But what are the odds Curry will be better next season? Probably less than 25%.

    But Curry was better this year than last year when he was MVP so the future is unwritten for him. He's very interesting because he invented for himself a new thing: shooting from immense distances. It could be just a fluke unique skill, or it could turn out to be a historic breakthrough that leads to lots of imitators, the way Babe Ruth around 1920 changed baseball.

    Replies: @alaska3636, @keypusher

    JR Smith of the Cavaliers can hit from distance; lot’s of guys in the NBA can. It is mostly a leg strength thing for anybody who is a good shooter technically. Curry’s real talent is inimitable: he can shoot off the bounce and off balance with incredible efficiency. Steve Nash could do this but he wasn’t as athletically gifted as Curry.

    Actually, a lot of white guys under 6 feet tall can do this but they lack all the other intangibles (height and speed) to make the NBA.

  171. @whorefinder
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Much of the "teen idol" phase girls go through is because they genuinely fear the masculine power they are witnessing in their male peers during puberty. They recognize that the boys are getting much stronger than them--and the more booming and deep the voice, the stronger the boy usually is. Plus Dad----the most powerful male in her life, if he's around---usually has the a voice deeper than all her peers.

    All of this combines to make the girl want, at first, a less-masculine boyfriend--someone who has just enough testosterone to attract her, but whose voice is high enough to tell her "it's ok, he's pretty harmless, he's not super strong." The teen idol boys fulfill this function. Later, when she's more sure of herself, she'll turn to a more masculine man---unless she's in arrested development and stays with the pretty boys forever (which is becoming more common as Dads don't stay around, screwing up her normal attraction for men with masculine power).

    Replies: @cthulhu, @flyingtiger

    How does your theory explain Geddy Lee of Rush, the band beloved of nerds who came of age in the ’70s and never got laid? (I’m serious about the nerd angle; I think that the core audience for Rush is engineers. Fortunately I got bowled over by the Who and the Allman Brothers before I got to college and found all of the Rush fanatics among my classmates.)

    • Replies: @unpc downunder
    @cthulhu

    The whole genre of progressive rock is very upper middle-class, white and male nerd orientated. Rush are actually pretty populist, compared with the likes of King Crimson and Van Der Graf Generator.

    There have been attempts to produce hipster\female friendly prog but they haven't been very commercially successful. The Danish band Mew being a recent example:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsA88gSANts

    , @Brutusale
    @cthulhu

    Rush shows aren't the sausage fests they used to be, but they're still not a place to cruise the chicks. Many more women in the crowd at the r40 show last year than at the ones in the 70s.

    , @whorefinder
    @cthulhu

    Geddy didn't play music that appealed to teen idol phased girls---music about first loves, rush of first kisses, avoiding disapproving parents, how hot she is, etc.

    Ya gotta do that to get their attention.

  172. @Jokah Macpherson
    @Steve Sailer

    Country musicians, unsurprisingly, tend to be an exception to the lack of jock crossover. Tim McGraw's father was a major league pitcher, and similarly to Linklater, Toby Keith had a stint working the oil rigs before he made it big as an artist.

    Replies: @Marty

    Don’t forget Barry Zito, now writing songs in Nashville.

  173. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “The British military handed out a lot of amphetamines during the War to keep soldiers awake (e.g., bombing runs over Germany).”

    Evidence for the prosecution (father of the jet engine), Frank Whittle:

    “…He is credited with single-handedly inventing the turbojet engine. A patent was submitted by Maxime Guillaume in 1921 for a similar invention; however, this was technically unfeasible at the time. Whittle’s jet engines were developed some years earlier than those of Germany’s Hans von Ohain who was the designer of the first jet engine to be used to actually power an aircraft. …

    …His smoking increased to three packs a day and he suffered from various stress-related ailments such as frequent severe headaches, indigestion, insomnia, anxiety, eczema and heart palpitations, while his weight dropped to nine stone (126 lb / 57 kg). In order to keep to his 16-hour workdays, he sniffed Benzedrine during the day and then took tranquillizers and sleeping pills at night, to offset the effects and allow him to sleep. He admitted later he had become addicted to benzidrene…

    …Whittle spent six months in hospital recovering from nervous exhaustion, and resigned from Power Jets (R and D) Ltd in January 1946…

    …During a lecture tour in the U.S. he again broke down and retired from the RAF on medical grounds on 26 August 1948…”

    Those pop stars were late arrivals.

  174. e says:
    @Polynikes
    I would say late 20's is the athletic peak for basketball or close to it. Advances in training are helping athletes hang on longer with barely perceptible declines until their early 30s, though.

    Curry's main skill is freakish eye-hand coordination. It's probably the one athletic trait that lasts the longest.

    Replies: @e

    He also has an insane workout regimen–thousand shots a day, I believe the local Dub’s announcer mentioned.

    In fact, I wondered if that would affect his longevity. I’ve always believed that Jack Nicklaus was right about pro golfers, that they only have so many shots in them and so Nicklaus learned to curb his practice as well as reduce the number of tournaments in which he played.

    Still, it’s hard to believe Curry could hit those three’s from those insane distances if he didn’t practice as much as he does. He’s grooving that follow through.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @e

    I wonder how high Curry jumps on those 1,000 practice shots per day. It's not the jumping that wears a body down, it's the landing.

    Replies: @Polynikes

  175. @e
    @Polynikes

    He also has an insane workout regimen--thousand shots a day, I believe the local Dub's announcer mentioned.

    In fact, I wondered if that would affect his longevity. I've always believed that Jack Nicklaus was right about pro golfers, that they only have so many shots in them and so Nicklaus learned to curb his practice as well as reduce the number of tournaments in which he played.

    Still, it's hard to believe Curry could hit those three's from those insane distances if he didn't practice as much as he does. He's grooving that follow through.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    I wonder how high Curry jumps on those 1,000 practice shots per day. It’s not the jumping that wears a body down, it’s the landing.

    • Replies: @Polynikes
    @Steve Sailer

    Not real high, competitively speaking. He has a compact and quick shot where he starts the ball a little lower using slightly less legs and more arms.

    His partner Klay Thompson has the text book looking jumper, but Curry may be redefining that.

  176. • Replies: @syonredux
    @anonymous

    Via Val Kilmer's SALTON SEA, a brief history of meth:


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSEqkDo2GIk

  177. @Anonymous
    @Boomstick

    Are there any manly-guy musicians who appeal to women?

    Replying as a woman, a sincere question: What discounts one as a manly-guy musician? Gushy love songs? Long hair? Eyeliner? Emotional performances? Do Eddie Vedder, Trent Reznor, Maynard James Keenan, Nick Cave, Serj Tankian (incidentally, his wife is beautiful), and Josh Homme count? They all have their ardent female admirers.

    Replies: @Boomstick

    As a straight male, maybe part of the confusion arises from the peacock nature of pop singers, some of which normal males can interpret as fey.

    Let’s take Van Halen, a party band beloved of male knucklehead Camaro owners everywhere. Is David Lee Roth a manly guy? In the band’s heyday he was quite athletic, and availed himself of an unlimited supply of groupies. But there was also the hair and flamboyant costumes and eyeliner. I think the “Ain’t Talkin’ About Love” stuff gave them cred with the Camaro owners and let them discount the spandex.

    (There are rumors DLR is bi, but I suspect that’s just catty band infighting.)

  178. @anonymous
    More WWII drug evidence hiding in plain sight:

    "...In the series of books by Ian Fleming, the character James Bond repeatedly makes use of Benzedrine in times of peak stress and typically during the climax of various books.".

    Fleming ran a couple of Naval Intelligence units during WWII.

    Replies: @syonredux

    Via Val Kilmer’s SALTON SEA, a brief history of meth:

  179. @Steve Sailer
    @carol

    Drugs play a big role in touring -- get up for the show, konk out after the show. That burns you out, though.

    I'm starting to wonder if a big part of the British dominance of the pop charts from 1964 to the early 1980s has something to do with British working class use of amphetamines. The British military handed out a lot of amphetamines during the War to keep soldiers awake (e.g., bombing runs over Germany). Their kids took them but not for the sake of taking drugs, like people take recreational drugs like LSD or cocaine, but as a performance enhancing drug to go out dancing all night.

    I'm now guessing that a lot of the British advantage in touring and stage shows was from using performance enhancing drugs.

    Replies: @syonredux, @syonredux, @stillCARealist

    The British military handed out a lot of amphetamines during the War to keep soldiers awake (e.g., bombing runs over Germany).

    The Germans also used a lot of stimulants:

    During World War II, methamphetamine was sold in tablet form under the brand name Pervitin, produced by the Berlin-based Temmler pharmaceutical company. It was used extensively by all branches of the German armed forces (Luftwaffe pilots, in particular) for its performance-enhancing stimulant effects and to induce extended wakefulness.[131][132] Pervitin became colloquially known among the German troops as “Stuka-Tablets” (Stuka-Tabletten) and “Herman-Göring-Pills” (Hermann-Göring-Pillen).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methamphetamine#History.2C_society.2C_and_culture

  180. @Steve Sailer
    @carol

    Drugs play a big role in touring -- get up for the show, konk out after the show. That burns you out, though.

    I'm starting to wonder if a big part of the British dominance of the pop charts from 1964 to the early 1980s has something to do with British working class use of amphetamines. The British military handed out a lot of amphetamines during the War to keep soldiers awake (e.g., bombing runs over Germany). Their kids took them but not for the sake of taking drugs, like people take recreational drugs like LSD or cocaine, but as a performance enhancing drug to go out dancing all night.

    I'm now guessing that a lot of the British advantage in touring and stage shows was from using performance enhancing drugs.

    Replies: @syonredux, @syonredux, @stillCARealist

    A notable part of the 1960s mod subculture in the U.K. was recreational amphetamine use, which was used to fuel all-night dances at clubs like Manchester’s Twisted Wheel. Newspaper reports described dancers emerging from clubs at 5 a.m. with dilated pupils.[25] Mods used the drug for stimulation and alertness, which they viewed as different from the intoxication caused by alcohol and other drugs.[26] Dr. Andrew Wilson argues that for a significant minority, “amphetamines symbolised the smart, on-the-ball, cool image” and that they sought “stimulation not intoxication … greater awareness, not escape” and “confidence and articulacy” rather than the “drunken rowdiness of previous generations.”[27]Wilson argues that the significance of amphetamines to the mod culture was similar to that of LSD and cannabis within the subsequent hippie counterculture. Dick Hebdige argues that mods used amphetamines to extend their leisure time into the early hours of the morning and as a way of bridging the gap between their hostile and daunting everyday work lives and the “inner world” of dancing and dressing up in their off-hours.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_and_culture_of_substituted_amphetamines#History_of_amphetamine_and_methamphetamine

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @syonredux

    Then the British mods mutated into the "Northern soul" era, who idolized non-Motown black Americans like Wilson Pickett. They did wild dance moves often involving putting a hand on the floor and spinning around. They started wearing gloves to preserve their hands.

    To dance all night, the kids got wired on speed. But they seem to have treated speed more as a performance-enhancing drug than as a recreational drug. All that practice made British white kids a lot better dancers than American white kids. I can remember the English Beat being interviewed on their first American tour in 1980 and remarking what terrible dancers Americans were.

    , @Brutusale
    @syonredux

    A major subject in the Who's Quadrophenia. "Jimmy" liked his pills.

  181. Fascinating column, Steve — it brought me back to my high school years, when I was always lusting after and pursuing the dark artsy girls, but could never get their attention because I was built like a classic jock. I never played a sport, but I definitely had the genes and got asked all the time what football position I played; two of my uncles were college football standouts, and my dad would have been one if he hadn’t suffered a serious knee injury his freshman year at West Point. The artsy girls only seemed interested in scrawny guys who gave off a gay vibe. (On the other hand, I never had any trouble attracting pretty blonde airheads. I didn’t realize at the time what a gift a lot of guys would have thought that was…)

    When I got older, though, I figured out how to finesse the issue by playing the role of an “awkward nerdy guy” with stereotypical extremely masculine nerd interests, like cars and space travel (it wasn’t a lie, because I really was interested in that stuff — it was just the old salesman’s trick of learning to emphasize certain qualities for the customer’s benefit). I learned that the nerdy engineering-type with a jock’s physique was something the dark artsy type girls could buy into. Happy ending: I finally married one of those girls. 🙂

  182. @Steve Sailer
    @alaska3636

    Yankee outfielder Bernie Williams is enjoying a pleasant retirement as a jazzman.

    Paul Robeson was an all American football player and then became a famous singer.

    Athletes tend to be very good dancers. Athleticism and a sense of rhythm tend to go together.

    But generally it's extremely hard to be both an athlete and a musical star. Partly it's the time commitment, partly it's just it requires different aspects of personality.

    Replies: @Triumph104, @Clifford Brown, @whorefinder

    And then you have Deion Luywnn Sanders who played for the NFL and numerous professional baseball teams. On top of all that, Deion had an interesting musical career.

  183. Fwiw, news reports say Prince left no will. His closets advisers being beautiful 20 something ex models with no experience or expertise in much of anything beyond pretty.

  184. @cthulhu
    @whorefinder

    How does your theory explain Geddy Lee of Rush, the band beloved of nerds who came of age in the '70s and never got laid? (I'm serious about the nerd angle; I think that the core audience for Rush is engineers. Fortunately I got bowled over by the Who and the Allman Brothers before I got to college and found all of the Rush fanatics among my classmates.)

    Replies: @unpc downunder, @Brutusale, @whorefinder

    The whole genre of progressive rock is very upper middle-class, white and male nerd orientated. Rush are actually pretty populist, compared with the likes of King Crimson and Van Der Graf Generator.

    There have been attempts to produce hipster\female friendly prog but they haven’t been very commercially successful. The Danish band Mew being a recent example:

  185. Priss Factor [AKA "Polly Perkins"] says:
    @Alec Leamas
    @Priss Factor

    Glen Frey was enough of a matinee idol and personality to land acting gigs on one of the biggest TV shows of the 80s next to Don Johnson - he co-starred in three episodes of Miami Vice.

    Prince was one of a kind but proves a theory that I've heard and ruminated on for a while - that is, that artists are their most creative and brilliant as young men. The history of popular music and rock and roll sort of shows that artists peak around 27 (age of death of Hendrix, Morrison and others), after which their music and artistry declines. Someone theorized that it has something to do with getting laid too much and losing some of that drive and tension to create, which is a sublimation of sexual desire and longing.

    My own undeveloped theory is that as the artist gets older and more successful, he gets more autonomy. Autonomy leads to self-indulgence - there's no more push and pull between the artist's expression and what the public wants to hear. Prince seems to be a good example of this - Purple Rain had hallmarks of his weirdness but they were tempered and shaped by the synth-rock-pop sounds that were popular in the 80s to appeal to a mass audience (note he was 26 when the album was released). With commercial success, Prince gained autonomy, eventually breaking from his record label entirely and releasing his music himself - and never again realizing the same degree of commercial popularity. It's clear from listening to Prince's music - even in the form of the extended versions of popular songs that were released on greatest hits albums - that he was tempering his own tastes and musical weirdness before the zenith of his career, and then much less so afterwards. Against the odds, there probably isn't another "Purple Rain" album in all of that unreleased material in his vault.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @The Last Real Calvinist, @Priss Factor

    “Prince was one of a kind but proves a theory that I’ve heard and ruminated on for a while – that is, that artists are their most creative and brilliant as young men. The history of popular music and rock and roll sort of shows that artists peak around 27 (age of death of Hendrix, Morrison and others), after which their music and artistry declines. Someone theorized that it has something to do with getting laid too much and losing some of that drive and tension to create, which is a sublimation of sexual desire and longing.”

    It depends on the kind of art form.

    Pop Music is mostly about youth, aggression, and sexiness, so young people have an edge.

    Classical music is richer, so the artist finds depth as he ages. Many seem to hit their peak in middle ages. Sibelius composed the greatest symphony ever when he was 50. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._5_(Sibelius)

    Also, some artists have one really good fresh idea and fail to grow.

    Other artists tend to evolve and find new meanings in their vision.

    Ingmar Bergman is a strange case. He wrote some of his best works late in life but they were mostly directed by others: Best Intentions, Faithless, Sunday’s Children, Private Confessions.

    Later Chabrol was better than earlier Chabrol even though Les Cousins was an audacious start.

    Some works need maturity and reflection for depth and meaning.

    Pop music is mostly about sensations.

    Also, the lifestyle of the Rock stars tend to burn them out early.

    • Replies: @Kylie
    @Priss Factor

    "Classical music is richer, so the artist finds depth as he ages. Many seem to hit their peak in middle ages."

    True. One more reason why Schubert's early death was so tragic. He lived, composed and died in the monumental shadow cast by Beethoven. But had Beethoven only lived to be 31 years old as Schubert did, Beethoven's shadow would not have been nearly so monumental. And Schubert, who composed the "Unfinished Symphony" and the "Death and the Maiden" string quartet while still only in his mid-twenties, would surely have continued to compose masterpieces well into middle age and beyond had he lived longer.

    Replies: @Priss Factor

  186. @Anon
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    The human voice is the last part of your body to reach maturity. Opera singers are not advised to sing Grand Opera until after age 35 because up until then your voice is still 'growing' and maturing. Your voice gradually drops in pitch as you age as an adult. If you're a male who is recording at age 20, you'll have a higher voice than you'll possess at age 40 or 50. This is why older singers often have trouble hitting the high notes in the hit songs they sang in their youth. They acquire a new, lower range to compensate.

    If you have a sound recorder, I recommend recording your voice and keeping it around for many years, then listening to it again. My parents have some old tapes recorded back in the 1970s, and it's very odd to hear them because their voices sound so high and young compared to the way they sound now.

    A deepening voice as you age probably has much to do biological programming. A low pitch sounds authoritative, and the aged are wiser than the young. The pitch is meant to signal, 'listen, learn, and obey.'

    Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist, @Dave Pinsen, @Glaivester

    “This is why older singers often have trouble hitting the high notes in the hit songs they sang in their youth. They acquire a new, lower range to compensate.”

    Robert Plant is a good example of this.

    • Replies: @anonymous-antimarxist
    @Dave Pinsen

    In an interview with NPR's Terry Gross, Robert Plant played a couple of his early recordings. His first record company was trying to pitch him as a younger working class rocker version of Tom Jones singing in his same register. Obviously meeting Jimmy Page along with the improvements in guitar amplification in the late sixties that allowed for sustained high end notes to be blasted out to arena sized audiences required lead singers even with Plant's range to strain to make adjustments.

    Speaking of Liv Tyler, her mother Bebe Buell the notorious groupie/model/Playboy bunny played the "muse" to Jimmy Page prior to Steven Tyler, Todd Rundgren, Elvis Costello and countless others.

    I don't know if Bebe inspired any specific Led Zep classics, perhaps just any number of 30 minute drum solos..... wink wink nudge nudge....

    Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist

  187. @Daniel H
    @whorefinder

    >>Freddie Mercury wasn’t gay, he was bi—or, more clearly, he was just into whatever sexual thrill was coming around.

    Wrong. Bisexuality in men doesn't exist. I don't care how many chicks he banged, the fact that he had sex with dudes is sure sign that he was gay, 100% gay.

    Replies: @jon, @whorefinder

    Bisexuality in men doesn’t exist.

    On what do you base that? And how do you explain guys like Jagger and Bowie who are known to have had sex with men, but then ended up settling down with women?

    • Replies: @Daniel H
    @jon

    >>And how do you explain guys like Jagger and Bowie who are known to have had sex with men, but then ended up settling down with women?

    Neither of them had sex with men. It was a con invented by rock journalists. They didn't bother to contest the stories because it made no difference to their personal lives, popularity or records sold.

  188. OT-

    Jimmy Fallon tells a hilarious Prince anecdote which is on par with the Charlie Murphy Prince basketball story, but without the pancakes. Prince was a Grade A Weirdo with a wicked sense of humor.

    The story involves ping pong and Susan Sarandon.

  189. @Lagertha
    @Steve Sailer

    I'm out - I will read all your amazing posts later, with all the scintillating discussions, - but, f*ck me!, I have to go under the fracking knife, and I am soooo feeling sorry for myself - Lagertha would not admit this, but I am not strong like my Avatar is. Could you not eff with my typing while I'm typing, Steve?

    Melanoma. I am living (have been, for 10 years) with Melanoma - have procedures lined-up next week...but, trying not to feel sorry for myself. On the other hand, I just recently introduced decent people about your blog - very wealthy people, btw. I'll meet you all on the other side.

    Replies: @Auntie Analogue, @Lot

    My dear Lagertha, you & your surgery are in my prayers.

    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist
    @Auntie Analogue


    My dear Lagertha, you & your surgery are in my prayers.
     
    Mine too.

    Replies: @PiltdownMan

  190. I think Mick Jagger got the fey party started. Then Bowie really legitimized it. Young girls tend to like young men who look like their age in physicality, and match the teen voice timber. Madonna also had her voice sweetened up on early hits to sound more like a teen. “Like a Virgin” is a good example of a Madonna sweetened up, who could never sing in that register, and she sounded great. The sweetening made the song.

    As far as actors, the lower your register, the better. Tom Cruise’s career would have gone a different direction, had his voice not been so high, especially when he gets excited. Note how poorly his monologue goes thanks to his voice hitting a girl’s register in Rain Man. Girly Voiced Man is enraged, and you implicitly don’t care:

    Lower register helps actresses too. It certainly helped Lauren Bacall’s career from the get-go, and a more recent example is Scarlett Johanson.

  191. Priss Factor [AKA "Polly Perkins"] says:

  192. @JohnnyGeo
    OT - http://www.thestar.com/news/immigration/2016/04/26/teen-basketball-player-says-he-didnt-know-he-was-29.html

    Replies: @jon

    It’s funny how silent the MSM is on this. An almost middle-aged guy with a receding hairline pretends to be a teenager so he can more easily immigrate to Canada and hang out at a high school, where he almost certainly committed statutory rape, and be a basketball star. Nothing to see here apparently.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @jon

    Middle age begins at 30?

  193. @Auntie Analogue
    @Lagertha

    My dear Lagertha, you & your surgery are in my prayers.

    Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    My dear Lagertha, you & your surgery are in my prayers.

    Mine too.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Indeed. Wishing hard for a successful and easy recovery.

  194. @Steve Sailer
    @JimB

    But I'll bet that a lot of these guys would tell stories like Tom Petty's -- of being an artsier and more sensitive boy than the average boy. Tom Petty is a likeable, regular guy redneck. But he's an artistic and emotional regular guy redneck.

    Here, I'll pick as an extreme test case: Bob Seger. He would strike everybody as solidly masculine. Chevy used his "Like a Rock" song to advertise pickup trucks. But I'll bet you could find an interview where Seger sounds like Petty about his younger days.

    I don't know if Seger does, but I'll put it out there.

    Replies: @Clifford Brown

    This Seger performance of Hollywood Nights definitely shows off his more theatrical side. It is quite the jam regardless of what one thinks of Seger’s inherent cheeseball tendencies.

    I am alone in this opinion, but it is obvious to me that Axl Rose of Guns N Roses owes a huge debt to early Bob Seger in terms of stage presence and performance. Basically, the wild eyed boy from Indiana based his entire stage presence on Bob Seger mixed with some early Leon Russell. Axl Rose was one masculine performer who hit the high notes and dabbled in trappings of Glam, but overall rejected pure feydom. This was pretty common back in the age of LA Hair Metal.

    Tina Turner’s performance of Hollywood Nights at the Apollo is also beyond reproach. Is there anything as rocking and yet goofball at the same time as this video? Tina Turner’s jacket alone is priceless.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Clifford Brown

    Seger's live album that finally made him famous in the mid-70s seemed real good.

    Replies: @Brutusale

    , @Penny Red
    @Clifford Brown

    Why do pop stars tend to be Fey?

    Because they cannot be Tina!

  195. @Dave Pinsen
    @Anon

    "This is why older singers often have trouble hitting the high notes in the hit songs they sang in their youth. They acquire a new, lower range to compensate."

    Robert Plant is a good example of this.

    Replies: @anonymous-antimarxist

    In an interview with NPR’s Terry Gross, Robert Plant played a couple of his early recordings. His first record company was trying to pitch him as a younger working class rocker version of Tom Jones singing in his same register. Obviously meeting Jimmy Page along with the improvements in guitar amplification in the late sixties that allowed for sustained high end notes to be blasted out to arena sized audiences required lead singers even with Plant’s range to strain to make adjustments.

    Speaking of Liv Tyler, her mother Bebe Buell the notorious groupie/model/Playboy bunny played the “muse” to Jimmy Page prior to Steven Tyler, Todd Rundgren, Elvis Costello and countless others.

    I don’t know if Bebe inspired any specific Led Zep classics, perhaps just any number of 30 minute drum solos….. wink wink nudge nudge….

    • Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist
    @anonymous-antimarxist

    Speaking of Liv Tyler, her mother Bebe Buell the notorious groupie/model/Playboy bunny played the “muse” to Jimmy Page prior to Steven Tyler, Todd Rundgren, Elvis Costello and countless others.

    I don’t know if Bebe inspired any specific Led Zep classics, perhaps just any number of 30 minute drum solos….. wink wink nudge nudge….

    One thing she probably inspired was for Todd Rundgren to masculinize himself after she pretty much cucked him by banging Iggy Pop and running after Jimmy Page, with him offering to let her daughter think that he was the father rather than a messed-up Tyler. Check out what he looked like in 1973 compared to the way he looks now. Not just the look and outfit, the whole way he carries himself in this video- I cringed. His face looks like a supplicating bottom feeder fish.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen

  196. @Steve Sailer
    @Jokah Macpherson

    The bass player for Free who wrote "All Right Now." And a number of disco musicians.

    Others claim to have gotten it from shooting smack (a guy in Ratt) or from transfusion (Tom Fogerty, John's brother, in Creedence).

    Replies: @PiltdownMan

    …And a number of disco musicians.

    I don’t recall that disco musicians who eventually died of AIDS/HIV ever particularly hid the fact that they were gay and often fey. In fact, that was a positive selling point and big part of the zeitgeist of the disco years. Sylvester was probably the most famous of them on those two counts. The various anonymous members of the revolving cast of the Village People who shuffled off this mortal coil back in those early 1980s years qualify too.

  197. @The Last Real Calvinist
    @Auntie Analogue


    My dear Lagertha, you & your surgery are in my prayers.
     
    Mine too.

    Replies: @PiltdownMan

    Indeed. Wishing hard for a successful and easy recovery.

  198. @Clifford Brown
    @Steve Sailer

    This Seger performance of Hollywood Nights definitely shows off his more theatrical side. It is quite the jam regardless of what one thinks of Seger's inherent cheeseball tendencies.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_D4eUWBAE_A

    I am alone in this opinion, but it is obvious to me that Axl Rose of Guns N Roses owes a huge debt to early Bob Seger in terms of stage presence and performance. Basically, the wild eyed boy from Indiana based his entire stage presence on Bob Seger mixed with some early Leon Russell. Axl Rose was one masculine performer who hit the high notes and dabbled in trappings of Glam, but overall rejected pure feydom. This was pretty common back in the age of LA Hair Metal.

    Tina Turner's performance of Hollywood Nights at the Apollo is also beyond reproach. Is there anything as rocking and yet goofball at the same time as this video? Tina Turner's jacket alone is priceless.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSiM47Z6fTc

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Penny Red

    Seger’s live album that finally made him famous in the mid-70s seemed real good.

    • Replies: @Brutusale
    @Steve Sailer

    It didn't hurt that Seger went out on tour with the most popular band in the world in 1976, KISS, to support the Live Bullet album. I saw them at the old Cape Cod Coliseum, and it was a great show. Kudos to KISS for giving Seger a full set and an encore.

  199. @Alec Leamas
    @education realist

    Eh, I think it's probably because the Eagles broke up before MTV took off. But recall Bowie doing several of the original "I want my MTV" bits around the time of his more clean-cut pop phase:

    https://youtu.be/pZuj2dbIfyA

    Prince, of course, transmuted an entire album into visual narrative form.

    Frey's biggest solo hits were set to visuals from Beverly Hills Cop or Miami Vice, which is probably how most people conceive of them - part of a movie or TV show soundtrack, rather than songs qua songs by a particular artist. "Video killed the radio star" indeed.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen

    There was a tribute to Glenn Frey at a big music award show. I think Jackson Brown stood in for him. He actually got a better tribute there than David Bowie did, who got stuck with a medley.
    Frey also acted in Miami Vice.

  200. @whorefinder
    Agree with the article, but two quibbles:

    1. Freddie Mercury wasn't gay, he was bi---or, more clearly, he was just into whatever sexual thrill was coming around. His lead guitarist and co-writer on many of the songs--the astrophysicist guy--has stated that Freddie wasn't gay, because astrophysicist/guitarist dude was his roommate for many years, and saw him banging away happily at many a groupie. Think Charlie Sheen or some Roman Emperor--basically, when sexual access comes so easy, people lose interest in the common, and up the ante a lot to get their thrills. See also: Mick Jagger.

    Freddie just had the bad luck of jumping into bed with men just after it exploded as ok (thanks to gay rights' movements of the 70s) but just as it was emerging that doing so was more than just risking a bit of itchiness or burning while peeing.

    2. Much of the feyness also probably comes from having to do the deed with record company executives in order to get radio play/promoted albums. Albums are just advertising to most good rock stars---money comes from tours, not albums, because the the record companies structure album deals heavily in their favor. But that advertising can be very helpful in turning a nobody into an arena-selling out artist quickly, or pumping you up from mid-level festival band to headliner.

    But so many record companies and MTV and such are run by homosexuals who demand the same kind of favors from wanna-bes as do the studios for Hollywood movies. Actors are trained to pretend to be something that they're not, but musicians don't have that training, so the effects of their ass-for-albums deals shows up more clearly on them.

    Replies: @Daniel H, @Peter Akuleyev

    But so many record companies and MTV and such are run by homosexuals who demand the same kind of favors from wanna-bes as do the studios for Hollywood movies.

    Maybe in your sexual fantasies, but not so much in reality.

    • Replies: @whorefinder
    @Peter Akuleyev

    you're living in denial if you think otherwise. the amount of gay power and maneuvering in the music industry--especially in the record and music television portion-- is enormous. Years ago, a former staffer at an agency told me that the easiest way to get a client's video played on MTV was to send a bunch of gay twink hookers over to MTV offices.

    Replies: @Anonymous

  201. @Steve Sailer
    @Steve Sailer

    Specifically, Mick Jones had an idea in his head of what he wanted the other guys in the band to look like, while he would supply musical abilityl

    Replies: @Lagertha, @Lagertha, @Dave Pinsen

    At about 2:31, non-fey Billy Duffy of The Cult mentions how Boy George told him in the early ’80s that he should join a rock band because he looked the part.

  202. @carol
    @jJay

    Yes, I really didn't like have someone else's visual impressions of a song imposed on my listening. Especially the more juvenile "plots" that hapless bands and their promoters came up with. Monsters and stuff.

    But I tolerated MTV because it caused so much new music to be brought out to fill the time. I think I like 80s music more than that from the 60s when I was a teen and more impressionable. The 80s stuff was dark without all that Wrecking Crew phoniness about it.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen

    Videos have come a long way and yet they’re no longer on TV.

  203. Lagertha, I’m thinking of you. Hoping all goes well.

    As I imagine some of you know, a teenaged Glenn Frey played with Bob Seger, most notably on Ramblin Gamblin Man (you can hear him clearly on backup vocals). Kenny Rogers gave Don Henley’s first band a record deal.

    I dunno, even back when the Eagles were huge, music critics sneered at them. The hate-on that someone mentioned above seems more relevant.

    Besides, Henley had an outstanding 80s. BTW, Henley put out a new country album last year with practically every name in the business (Jagger, Parton, Haggard, McBride to name just a few) that did well and got excellent reviews.

    Two bands mentioned above: Doobie Brothers, definitely not fey. Van Halen–great mention of a band that played a tad fey, but definitely wasn’t. The late 70s, early 80s seemed to bring that on.

    My one claim to barely coolness, musically speaking: I saw Van Halen in 1979, just as they released their second album, before they were huge, right before the fuss about general admission open seating caused by the Cincinnati deaths. I am a total nerd and was only at the concert because my friend, extremely shy, needed a wingman to do things like talk to people in case we needed directions. I’d barely heard of Van Halen and had very little experience at concerts. My friend had found seats, and I’d gotten up to go to the bathroom when the mad rush to the front began. I got swept up in it, pushed to the front, saw the whole concert barely 8 feet away. Which was a good thing, because I was holding my glasses when the push began, dropped them, never saw them again. I’m short, but that didn’t matter either, because the crush was so tight my feet never hit the ground. I am undoubtedly describing this badly. I told my (much cooler) brother about the concert the next day, and he was jealous, so I was proud.

    • Replies: @whorefinder
    @education realist

    The Eagles have long been known as a half-country band. People who don't like country but want to be polite to country fans will say "but I like the Eagles." Then country fans always say that, for non-country bands, The Eagles rock. Heck, there was (decades ago) a tribute album called "The Best of Country Does the Best of the Eagles." So a lot of the hate for them comes from the latent hatred some people have of country music.

    This is why the scene in The Big Lebowskiwhere the black cab driver guy loving the Eagles is even funnier once you know these facts. The Coens' movies are always get better on repeat viewings when you know a bit more about the situation. Those dudes are geniuses.

    , @flyingtiger
    @education realist

    Van Halen were macho. Part of the fun of this band was David Lee Roth triying to be fey, but he failed because he was too masculine.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @Peter Akuleyev

  204. @Daniel H
    @Steve Sailer

    I have heard the same regarding mathematicians. Most famous mathematicians peaked in their early twenties, and just coasted for the rest of their lives. There are exceptions.

    Replies: @carol, @PiltdownMan

    I have heard the same regarding mathematicians. Most famous mathematicians peaked in their early twenties, and just coasted for the rest of their lives. There are exceptions.

    It has been long observed that mathematical talent, like many varieties of athletic talent, fades in middle-age. That’s the rule and the rest are exceptions. The same is true of physicists, who of course, practice an intellectual discipline completely intertwined with mathematical insight.

    I’ve had a first-rank physicist confirm this when he was in his early thirties-it’s apparently a well known phenomenon. He said twentysomething physicists tend not to take sabbaticals or time out to find themselves. There’s just too much urgency to work while the neural circuits are in full flow. And unlike the rest of us, they face their mid-life crises when they are in their mid-to-late thirties.

    Whether this is true of rock musicians, too, is debatable. I think there is a much greater component of “coasting” after career success in youth with successful rock musicians, rather than any innate fading of talent or creativity as with mathematicians. Wealth arrived at early in life does that to most people.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    @PiltdownMan

    I think there is a much greater component of “coasting” after career success in youth with successful rock musicians

    The ability to coast is something that musicians have, but visual artists and writers do not, at least to the same extent. A band like the Grateful Dead can tour for decades playing the same old stuff and still draw crowds, because people never get tired of hearing the music they love over and over again.

    Granted, there are actors that at a certain point just seem to coast, like Jack Nicholson or Robert Duvall always playing themselves late in their career.

    Replies: @alaska3636, @Former Darfur

  205. The Glen Frey love in this thread is ridiculous. Or maybe it is an age gap. I was in high school in the mid 1980s. Bowie was huge, Prince was huge. The Eagles were not – they were already a dated uncool 1970s band. Girls especially loved Bowie, and I am not at all surprised that there has been a huge wave of Gen-X nostalgia for Bowie and Prince. The Eagles fall into a gap – they came along too late to be a formative band for most of the boomers – they were already the slightly boring “adult” choice for late 20 somethings whose true love had been the Beatles, Stones, Motown, whatever. And they were too early to be cool to the generation that currently controls most of the media.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    @Peter Akuleyev

    There's some truth to the gap theory. Bowie was on a different level than Frey and Prince though. He has 495 soundtrack credits on IMBD, many of them in the last few years. Prince has 168. Glen Frey has 93.

    , @Steve Sailer
    @Peter Akuleyev

    The Eagles were always kind of a grown-up band for grown-ups. One reason they sold so many records is because they appealed to working people with jobs who could afford to put an album in the shopping cart, whereas more frantically loved bands appealed more to kids with limited allowances.

    Other than maybe Joe Walsh, the Eagles didn't seem to have super strong urges to be rock icons personally, the way Bowie really really wanted to be Bowie. (And Walsh has a great sense of humor about it -- thus, "Life's Been Good.") A lot of their songs are about how maybe they should get the hell out of L.A. and quit this crazy rock star life.

    Replies: @Alec Leamas, @Peter Akuleyev, @Priss Factor

    , @V Vega
    @Peter Akuleyev

    Maybe the Eagles were the Beatles of bar bands.
    More complicated tunes than your average bar band fare. You may not like 'em but you can't ignore 'em.

  206. @Harry Baldwin
    @education realist

    That's a nasty piece of snark and the writer sounds like a hateful little nonentity.

    I recall a piece in the Village Voice in 1975 when "Lying Eyes" was a huge hit. The author, a woman, was outraged by the judgmental nature of it. "It's our lying eyes we can't hide!" she wrote. The Eagles really irked the feminists.

    Replies: @PiltdownMan

    That’s a nasty piece of snark and the writer sounds like a hateful little nonentity.

    She disqualifies herself completely when she writes I hadn’t realized until adulthood that there was a connection between Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles…

    Kinda basic knowledge.

    I despise the modern hipster trend of retroactive cultural snark addressed mainly toward baby-boomer era culture by critics who are unfamiliar with the period by reason of being born too late. They want to eat their cake by using that popular culture as currency, but want to have it too, in that they want to reserve the right to denigrate it—because old.

    Get off my lawn.

    • Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist
    @PiltdownMan

    Another example of Tocqueville's quip about democracy denying ancestors and hiding descendants.

    Replies: @PiltdownMan

  207. “The Glen Frey love in this thread is ridiculous. ”

    It’s not Glenn Frey “love” per se, but rather observations about media focus and bias. I’m very glad that you personally liked Prince and Bowie, but the fact is that in hard sales, there isn’t anyone in the 80s other than Michael Jackson who equals the long-term popularity of the Eagles. In fact, all the best selling albums are from the 70s. The next tier down of best sellers come from the 90s. Artistically, the 80s sucked. (The same is true of movies, by the way, where the 70s are widely considered the best decade short of the 40s, while the 80s are notoriously weak.)

    “they came along too late to be a formative band for most of the boomers ”

    You make the mistake of linking Boomers to the late 40s. In fact, Boomers were born through 1964, meaning you’re just a few years behind the youngest boomers. However, the Eagles were popular with early and mid boomers. They weren’t terribly popular with late entry Boomers in the 70s, who liked metal and punk.

    “And they were too early to be cool to the generation that currently controls most of the media.”

    This, I agree with. But Frey’s status as founding member of the best selling band of all time deserved more than it got, relative to Lemmy, Bowie, and yes, Prince. And while the “coolness” thing is true, it’s also true that in other areas, the media values popularity. But not in music.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    @education realist

    There was a lot of great music in the '80s that just didn't get played on the radio (at least in the New York area) because they were mostly playing stuff from the '70s. The Cult, the Smiths, The Replacements, etc.

    But, sure: The '70s were a big decade for album rock.

    , @Steve Sailer
    @education realist

    Bowie kind of stage-managed his death. I vaguely recall hearing he had about a year's warning that his illness was terminal, which gave the great showman and master media manipulator time to organize a good show for everybody, which would put some more money in his estate. Good for him.

    Prince's death was the opposite: it was a bit of a shock hearing that somebody still middle-aged (57 is still middle-aged, right? Right?), with just a little bit of news ahead of time about something being wrong. It was quite a bit like Michael Jackson's and Elvis's deaths, which were big news. Prince didn't seem to make any plans, so now we'll hear a lot about his estate, etc.

    Frey's death fell in-between and thus was depressingly like most people's. He'd been in physical decline and then he died.

  208. @Peter Akuleyev
    The Glen Frey love in this thread is ridiculous. Or maybe it is an age gap. I was in high school in the mid 1980s. Bowie was huge, Prince was huge. The Eagles were not - they were already a dated uncool 1970s band. Girls especially loved Bowie, and I am not at all surprised that there has been a huge wave of Gen-X nostalgia for Bowie and Prince. The Eagles fall into a gap - they came along too late to be a formative band for most of the boomers - they were already the slightly boring "adult" choice for late 20 somethings whose true love had been the Beatles, Stones, Motown, whatever. And they were too early to be cool to the generation that currently controls most of the media.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @Steve Sailer, @V Vega

    There’s some truth to the gap theory. Bowie was on a different level than Frey and Prince though. He has 495 soundtrack credits on IMBD, many of them in the last few years. Prince has 168. Glen Frey has 93.

  209. @education realist
    "The Glen Frey love in this thread is ridiculous. "

    It's not Glenn Frey "love" per se, but rather observations about media focus and bias. I'm very glad that you personally liked Prince and Bowie, but the fact is that in hard sales, there isn't anyone in the 80s other than Michael Jackson who equals the long-term popularity of the Eagles. In fact, all the best selling albums are from the 70s. The next tier down of best sellers come from the 90s. Artistically, the 80s sucked. (The same is true of movies, by the way, where the 70s are widely considered the best decade short of the 40s, while the 80s are notoriously weak.)

    "they came along too late to be a formative band for most of the boomers "

    You make the mistake of linking Boomers to the late 40s. In fact, Boomers were born through 1964, meaning you're just a few years behind the youngest boomers. However, the Eagles were popular with early and mid boomers. They weren't terribly popular with late entry Boomers in the 70s, who liked metal and punk.

    "And they were too early to be cool to the generation that currently controls most of the media."

    This, I agree with. But Frey's status as founding member of the best selling band of all time deserved more than it got, relative to Lemmy, Bowie, and yes, Prince. And while the "coolness" thing is true, it's also true that in other areas, the media values popularity. But not in music.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @Steve Sailer

    There was a lot of great music in the ’80s that just didn’t get played on the radio (at least in the New York area) because they were mostly playing stuff from the ’70s. The Cult, the Smiths, The Replacements, etc.

    But, sure: The ’70s were a big decade for album rock.

  210. @education realist
    "The Glen Frey love in this thread is ridiculous. "

    It's not Glenn Frey "love" per se, but rather observations about media focus and bias. I'm very glad that you personally liked Prince and Bowie, but the fact is that in hard sales, there isn't anyone in the 80s other than Michael Jackson who equals the long-term popularity of the Eagles. In fact, all the best selling albums are from the 70s. The next tier down of best sellers come from the 90s. Artistically, the 80s sucked. (The same is true of movies, by the way, where the 70s are widely considered the best decade short of the 40s, while the 80s are notoriously weak.)

    "they came along too late to be a formative band for most of the boomers "

    You make the mistake of linking Boomers to the late 40s. In fact, Boomers were born through 1964, meaning you're just a few years behind the youngest boomers. However, the Eagles were popular with early and mid boomers. They weren't terribly popular with late entry Boomers in the 70s, who liked metal and punk.

    "And they were too early to be cool to the generation that currently controls most of the media."

    This, I agree with. But Frey's status as founding member of the best selling band of all time deserved more than it got, relative to Lemmy, Bowie, and yes, Prince. And while the "coolness" thing is true, it's also true that in other areas, the media values popularity. But not in music.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @Steve Sailer

    Bowie kind of stage-managed his death. I vaguely recall hearing he had about a year’s warning that his illness was terminal, which gave the great showman and master media manipulator time to organize a good show for everybody, which would put some more money in his estate. Good for him.

    Prince’s death was the opposite: it was a bit of a shock hearing that somebody still middle-aged (57 is still middle-aged, right? Right?), with just a little bit of news ahead of time about something being wrong. It was quite a bit like Michael Jackson’s and Elvis’s deaths, which were big news. Prince didn’t seem to make any plans, so now we’ll hear a lot about his estate, etc.

    Frey’s death fell in-between and thus was depressingly like most people’s. He’d been in physical decline and then he died.

  211. @yaqub the mad scientist
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    I've read in a couple of places where one of the little things that set Led Zeppelin apart as a game changer band was how waif Jimmy Page had rounded up a huge, muscular singer and drummer from out of town. At that point, "Small Faces" was appropriate for a lot of British bands who had grown up at the end of war-era food rationing. Plant and Bonham literally towered over a lot of their peers, and were serious high-T personalities.

    Replies: @Alec Leamas, @Dave Pinsen, @The preferred nomenclature is...

    The Cult got reinvigorated this century when they brought on John Tempesta, a beast of a metal drummer. I shook his hand after a show once and was surprised to see he was like 5’7″. He walked off with a model who was taller than him.

  212. @Peter Akuleyev
    The Glen Frey love in this thread is ridiculous. Or maybe it is an age gap. I was in high school in the mid 1980s. Bowie was huge, Prince was huge. The Eagles were not - they were already a dated uncool 1970s band. Girls especially loved Bowie, and I am not at all surprised that there has been a huge wave of Gen-X nostalgia for Bowie and Prince. The Eagles fall into a gap - they came along too late to be a formative band for most of the boomers - they were already the slightly boring "adult" choice for late 20 somethings whose true love had been the Beatles, Stones, Motown, whatever. And they were too early to be cool to the generation that currently controls most of the media.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @Steve Sailer, @V Vega

    The Eagles were always kind of a grown-up band for grown-ups. One reason they sold so many records is because they appealed to working people with jobs who could afford to put an album in the shopping cart, whereas more frantically loved bands appealed more to kids with limited allowances.

    Other than maybe Joe Walsh, the Eagles didn’t seem to have super strong urges to be rock icons personally, the way Bowie really really wanted to be Bowie. (And Walsh has a great sense of humor about it — thus, “Life’s Been Good.”) A lot of their songs are about how maybe they should get the hell out of L.A. and quit this crazy rock star life.

    • Replies: @Alec Leamas
    @Steve Sailer

    Weren't most of the Eagles extremely technically proficient studio musicians/backing musicians before forming the Band? I think that the perception is that they're "manufactured" from musicians who played other peoples' music rather than coming up together playing in garages from their teens which is viewed as more "authentic." I think there's also the idea that their themes are quintessentially American, Western, not fundamentally ironic or subversive - all of which puts them on the wrong side of the divide in cultural tastes (even though Henley's later activism and political statements put him somewhere on the left).

    Slightly OT, but this is Don Henley's chili recipe, which is actually both pretty good and a funny read:

    http://www.panix.com/~clay/cookbook/bin/show_recipe.cgi?chili+recipe124

    You can tell he actually makes chili.

    , @Peter Akuleyev
    @Steve Sailer


    The Eagles were always kind of a grown-up band for grown-ups.
     
    Yes, that is a better way of making my point. Bowie and Prince appealed to teen-agers in their formative years, the Eagles were not that kind of band. It makes perfect sense that middle-aged women would go into hysterics when their teen idols died but not care about Henley. Musical talent or quality has very little to do with it. If Madonna drops dead in the next 5 years...
    , @Priss Factor
    @Steve Sailer

    "The Eagles were always kind of a grown-up band for grown-ups. One reason they sold so many records is because they appealed to working people with jobs who could afford to put an album in the shopping cart, whereas more frantically loved bands appealed more to kids with limited allowances."

    Eagles was the phoniest band of all time. They were to country-rock what Billy Joel was to singer-songwriter.

    The idea of country rock was itself sort of shaky as its main practitioners were not much accepted by the country music scene.
    When Dylan, the Band, Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Grateful Dead, and etc were doing country rock in the late 60s and 70s, they were moving into uncertain territory.
    Even though rock n roll has country roots, country music back then was associated with conservatism and everything at odds with counter-culture.
    But some of these rock acts of the late 60s began to treat country as bona fide traditional music to draw inspiration from. Indeed, its very conservatism seemed a bit 'radical' when so many were into psychedelic and crazy stuff.
    And there were also figures like Johnny Cash, a kind of bridge because he was respected by real country music folks and by rocker folks.

    Even if rockers doing country wasn't totally authentic, there was genuine passion and rspect, and it wasn't mainly for the money. Byrds didn't have big hits doing country. And Flying Burrito Brothers did it for love.

    But then, things got more commercial and slick with Crosby, Stills, and Nash. And Poco and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. And America and John Denver. CSN, to their credit, did have links to the 60s, and Still at his best was really good.

    Eventually, Eagles came on the scene and they slicked it up so much. They turned an effort, an experiment, a commitment... in pure commercialism. It's like 'country items' one finds in souvenir shops.

    Eagles is country rock what Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is to the Anti-Western. It was country rock completed as cross-over to people who never care to see the country or hear country. It's no wonder so many of their country-inflected songs are set in urban areas and are about urban neurosis.

    Hotel California is an impressive song but a put-on.

    But I love Lying Eyes. That is a perfect song.
    Even fakers can do it right. It's like Billy Joel is a faker, but Just the Way You Are is a great one.

  213. @Jack D
    The corollary of fey performers having better looking female offspring is that ultra-masculine men often have masculine looking ones - not a good look on a girl.

    Replies: @whorefinder, @syonredux, @markflag

    Tell that to Jenner.

  214. @Lagertha
    @Steve Sailer

    I'm out - I will read all your amazing posts later, with all the scintillating discussions, - but, f*ck me!, I have to go under the fracking knife, and I am soooo feeling sorry for myself - Lagertha would not admit this, but I am not strong like my Avatar is. Could you not eff with my typing while I'm typing, Steve?

    Melanoma. I am living (have been, for 10 years) with Melanoma - have procedures lined-up next week...but, trying not to feel sorry for myself. On the other hand, I just recently introduced decent people about your blog - very wealthy people, btw. I'll meet you all on the other side.

    Replies: @Auntie Analogue, @Lot

    Good luck. Make your children wear sunscreen people!

  215. @syonredux
    @Steve Sailer


    A notable part of the 1960s mod subculture in the U.K. was recreational amphetamine use, which was used to fuel all-night dances at clubs like Manchester's Twisted Wheel. Newspaper reports described dancers emerging from clubs at 5 a.m. with dilated pupils.[25] Mods used the drug for stimulation and alertness, which they viewed as different from the intoxication caused by alcohol and other drugs.[26] Dr. Andrew Wilson argues that for a significant minority, "amphetamines symbolised the smart, on-the-ball, cool image" and that they sought "stimulation not intoxication ... greater awareness, not escape" and "confidence and articulacy" rather than the "drunken rowdiness of previous generations."[27]Wilson argues that the significance of amphetamines to the mod culture was similar to that of LSD and cannabis within the subsequent hippie counterculture. Dick Hebdige argues that mods used amphetamines to extend their leisure time into the early hours of the morning and as a way of bridging the gap between their hostile and daunting everyday work lives and the "inner world" of dancing and dressing up in their off-hours.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_and_culture_of_substituted_amphetamines#History_of_amphetamine_and_methamphetamine

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Brutusale

    Then the British mods mutated into the “Northern soul” era, who idolized non-Motown black Americans like Wilson Pickett. They did wild dance moves often involving putting a hand on the floor and spinning around. They started wearing gloves to preserve their hands.

    To dance all night, the kids got wired on speed. But they seem to have treated speed more as a performance-enhancing drug than as a recreational drug. All that practice made British white kids a lot better dancers than American white kids. I can remember the English Beat being interviewed on their first American tour in 1980 and remarking what terrible dancers Americans were.

  216. @Harry Baldwin
    @Steve Sailer

    Paul Simonon, who couldn’t play an instrument, but who fit the look Jones had in mind.

    Apparently, the look is more important than you would expect. I'm thinking of Ian Stewart, a Scottish keyboardist and co-founder of the Rolling Stones. Keith Richards described meeting Stewart thus: "He used to play boogie-woogie piano in jazz clubs, apart from his regular job. He blew my head off too, when he started to play. I never heard a white piano player play like that before."

    He was removed from the line-up in May 1963 at the request of manager Andrew Loog Oldham, who said that the older, burly, and square-jawed Stewart did not fit the image. He remained as road manager and pianist and was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with the rest of the band in 1989.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Why do the Rolling Stones all look alike?

    The other guy who looks like he should be in the Rolling Stones is Tom Stoppard.

    The funny thing is that Stoppard was in his late 20s when the British Invasion happened and he was only interested in old time 1950s pre-rock standards. He had to laboriously educate himself about rock and roll in later life to meet demands from fans for rock content in his plays. Eventually, in the late 1990s Mick Jagger hired him to write a movie script (Enigma) and they became pals.

  217. Why do the Rolling Stones all look alike?

    Because, to a man, they have all stayed rail thin, which is unusual for an entire group of aging rockers. Also, two of them, Keith and Ronnie are close enough in looks that they fool the eye into seeing the same wrinkled faces on all of them in group pictures.

    But yes, it’s remarkable how they all have the same wrinkles and lines, too.

  218. The English Beat being interviewed on their first American tour in 1980 and remarking what terrible dancers Americans were.

    The Brits have a thing about dance that lives on.

    Long after formal dinner dance parties became rare in American white culture, many British formal affairs still include dance after dinner. I this that this is reflective of their broader culture too, as many more Brit youth tend to go to clubs specifically to dance on weekend nights.

    In America, after the jitterbug and rock ‘n’ roll era, popular dance among white Baby Boomers became a free-form, expressive, hippie thing. Part of the white backlash against disco in the 1970s was precisely because it reintroduced, to the broad culture, somewhat formal precise, demanding, dance steps as a necessary skill and pre-condition to participation. When disco died in America after a brief effloresence among whites, the dance scene here went back underground and became a niche activity. Not so in Britain, where the dance scene lived on in broad popular culture, from techno to house and beyond in the decades immediately after disco. And Northern Soul went on in parallel through all of those dance eras.

  219. @Mr. Anon
    @Jefferson

    "The fact that Ted Cruz chose a VP running mate, means that behind closed doors he must know something we don’t know."

    Yeah, like perhaps: he's in trouble.

    He probably thinks that Fiorina will help him exploit The Donald's supposed woman-problem. However women didn't seem to go for Fiorina when she was running herself. She has the kind of personality that both men and women can find off-putting. Maybe Cruz figures she'll be an asset in California. Well, at least among voters who have never worked for HP.

    Replies: @Sailer has an interesting life

    You probably think that you are smart and worth listening to. You are wrong. You are worthless.

  220. @Peter Akuleyev
    The Glen Frey love in this thread is ridiculous. Or maybe it is an age gap. I was in high school in the mid 1980s. Bowie was huge, Prince was huge. The Eagles were not - they were already a dated uncool 1970s band. Girls especially loved Bowie, and I am not at all surprised that there has been a huge wave of Gen-X nostalgia for Bowie and Prince. The Eagles fall into a gap - they came along too late to be a formative band for most of the boomers - they were already the slightly boring "adult" choice for late 20 somethings whose true love had been the Beatles, Stones, Motown, whatever. And they were too early to be cool to the generation that currently controls most of the media.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @Steve Sailer, @V Vega

    Maybe the Eagles were the Beatles of bar bands.
    More complicated tunes than your average bar band fare. You may not like ’em but you can’t ignore ’em.

  221. @Clifford Brown
    @Steve Sailer

    This Seger performance of Hollywood Nights definitely shows off his more theatrical side. It is quite the jam regardless of what one thinks of Seger's inherent cheeseball tendencies.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_D4eUWBAE_A

    I am alone in this opinion, but it is obvious to me that Axl Rose of Guns N Roses owes a huge debt to early Bob Seger in terms of stage presence and performance. Basically, the wild eyed boy from Indiana based his entire stage presence on Bob Seger mixed with some early Leon Russell. Axl Rose was one masculine performer who hit the high notes and dabbled in trappings of Glam, but overall rejected pure feydom. This was pretty common back in the age of LA Hair Metal.

    Tina Turner's performance of Hollywood Nights at the Apollo is also beyond reproach. Is there anything as rocking and yet goofball at the same time as this video? Tina Turner's jacket alone is priceless.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSiM47Z6fTc

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Penny Red

    Why do pop stars tend to be Fey?

    Because they cannot be Tina!

  222. @yaqub the mad scientist
    @education realist

    I guess I'm neutral about the Eagles, but I can't think of too many major bands that I've heard a lot of people say they hate like them. There was something about them that really put a lot of people off. It's kind of like that hard to explain way some people can't stand Eric Clapton.

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin

    Most people who hate the Eagles would probably say “They’re too white” or “They’re too corporate,” the latter translating as mainstream and successful. I remember a rock critic in the 1980s admitting that he liked The Cars and making it sound like a moral failing.

    And there’s always going to be a certain percentage of people who just genuinely don’t enjoy your work. I never liked the kind of music Michael Jackson made, but I wouldn’t say I hate it or it’s crap. It’s just not for me.

  223. @peterike
    @Harry Baldwin


    Prince was always, though, a tremendous musician, recognized by age 21 as the most broadly gifted American star since Stevie Wonder.

     

    Black privilege. Ohhh, we hear it every time his name is mentioned: Prince played all the instruments! We should be so amazed by this fact.

    Well did anybody care when John Fogerty played all the instruments? Did anyone make a fuss when Paul McCartney played all the instruments? Did we bow down to Todd Rundgren when he played all the instruments?

    No, this musical parlor trick is considered nothing all that special when a white person does it. But since we don't really expect black performers to play any instruments at all, when they play all of them it's like the cow jumping over the moon.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Penny Red

    No, this musical parlor trick is considered nothing all that special when a white person does it.

    And completely forgettable as Billy Corgan is always left off the list.

  224. @PiltdownMan
    @Daniel H


    I have heard the same regarding mathematicians. Most famous mathematicians peaked in their early twenties, and just coasted for the rest of their lives. There are exceptions.
     

    It has been long observed that mathematical talent, like many varieties of athletic talent, fades in middle-age. That's the rule and the rest are exceptions. The same is true of physicists, who of course, practice an intellectual discipline completely intertwined with mathematical insight.

    I've had a first-rank physicist confirm this when he was in his early thirties-it's apparently a well known phenomenon. He said twentysomething physicists tend not to take sabbaticals or time out to find themselves. There's just too much urgency to work while the neural circuits are in full flow. And unlike the rest of us, they face their mid-life crises when they are in their mid-to-late thirties.

    Whether this is true of rock musicians, too, is debatable. I think there is a much greater component of "coasting" after career success in youth with successful rock musicians, rather than any innate fading of talent or creativity as with mathematicians. Wealth arrived at early in life does that to most people.

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin

    I think there is a much greater component of “coasting” after career success in youth with successful rock musicians

    The ability to coast is something that musicians have, but visual artists and writers do not, at least to the same extent. A band like the Grateful Dead can tour for decades playing the same old stuff and still draw crowds, because people never get tired of hearing the music they love over and over again.

    Granted, there are actors that at a certain point just seem to coast, like Jack Nicholson or Robert Duvall always playing themselves late in their career.

    • Replies: @alaska3636
    @Harry Baldwin

    The appeal of the Grateful Dead is not hearing the same old songs over and over. If they played the album versions of their songs, nobody would follow them.

    What really drove the Dead was their tendency towards long-form improvisation over the main chords of their songs. They treated their own material like many jazz musicians treated standards. Nerdy music lovers, experience junkies and, especially, amateur music recorders distributed mix tapes of live shows that showcased a wild and new experience with each rendition of Scarlet Begonias.

    They inspired a brand new form of music that thrives today mostly on the live scenes: the jam band. There is a whole sub-genre of touring musicians, mostly in the North West and the South, that attract a dedicated and loyal following akin to the Dead. Basically, these are the last of the real musicians and many of them are very gifted technically, but they lack the mainstream appeal of a Justin Bieber. I always felt kinda bad for bands like Umphries McGee because they all have these families now, but their bread is made on the road because they really can't push albums.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen

    , @Former Darfur
    @Harry Baldwin

    The Grateful Dead were a unique case, since while they played "the same old stuff" to audiences consisting largely of the same people from town to town-they'd follow them!-they never played the same thing twice the same way. What Deadheads valued was the small differences amongst a constant of familiar "big things".

    Jerry Garcia, of course, was the focus, and he was actually a surprisingly good guitar player when he was young. By the seventies he'd become the epitome of the self indulgent rock star and his skills atrophied, but by then he learned how to sound passably good with very little actual concentration and discipline needed.

    I never liked the voices of anyone who sang for the Grateful Dead, and I always had a lot of things better to do than sitting through a 40 minute rendition of "Dark Star".

    The same is true of bluegrass music in general-it's the same old stuff, with the avatar being Bill Monroe (I met him once, I thought he was an ignorant hick) instead of Garcia.

    Replies: @stillCARealist

  225. “…when Johnny Depp went out to Hollywood in 1979 it was not with the intention of becoming a movie star—he lacks the square jaw conventionally associated with leading men—but a rock star.”

    So true. That whole Viper Club/River Phoenix thing must have rocked his world.

  226. @Steve Sailer
    @Peter Akuleyev

    The Eagles were always kind of a grown-up band for grown-ups. One reason they sold so many records is because they appealed to working people with jobs who could afford to put an album in the shopping cart, whereas more frantically loved bands appealed more to kids with limited allowances.

    Other than maybe Joe Walsh, the Eagles didn't seem to have super strong urges to be rock icons personally, the way Bowie really really wanted to be Bowie. (And Walsh has a great sense of humor about it -- thus, "Life's Been Good.") A lot of their songs are about how maybe they should get the hell out of L.A. and quit this crazy rock star life.

    Replies: @Alec Leamas, @Peter Akuleyev, @Priss Factor

    Weren’t most of the Eagles extremely technically proficient studio musicians/backing musicians before forming the Band? I think that the perception is that they’re “manufactured” from musicians who played other peoples’ music rather than coming up together playing in garages from their teens which is viewed as more “authentic.” I think there’s also the idea that their themes are quintessentially American, Western, not fundamentally ironic or subversive – all of which puts them on the wrong side of the divide in cultural tastes (even though Henley’s later activism and political statements put him somewhere on the left).

    Slightly OT, but this is Don Henley’s chili recipe, which is actually both pretty good and a funny read:

    http://www.panix.com/~clay/cookbook/bin/show_recipe.cgi?chili+recipe124

    You can tell he actually makes chili.

  227. @Steve Sailer
    @Mike Perry

    Mercury really was outstanding at "vocal ornamentation." When I moved to Chicago in 1982 I literally couldn't give away my Queen albums because people were tired of his bag of tricks, but he had a giant bag of tricks and is well-appreciated now.

    Replies: @Jefferson, @Brutusale

    The secret sauce of Queen’s “vocal ornamentation” was Roger Taylor.

  228. @education realist
    As a coda to the Glenn Frey conversation, here's the New Yorker's take on the "peaceful, queasy feeling". Nasty to Frey throughout until the last couple sentences.

    Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist, @The Last Real Calvinist, @Harry Baldwin, @Brutusale, @random observer

    Whenever I read something like this, I check the author, when Google Image. As Rod Stewart one sang, every picture tells a story, in this case the usual revenge of the ugly people.

  229. @JimB
    @JimB

    Actually, most musicians tend to be more masculine on average. Music ability correlates with fetal exposure to testosterone, which results in a 2:4 digit ratio significantly less than one. I read somewhere that 70% of all musicians in the NY Philharmonic have a digit ratio less than one. Hence the appeal of male musicians, famous or obscure, fey or not, to heterosexual women.

    For men, 2:4 digit ratios less than one also correlate with larger penis sizes. Which is why Marco Rubio made a fool out of himself by holding up his long hands and saying it proved he had a big penis. It seemed pretty clear to me that his index finger was as long if not longer than his ring finger. Whereas pictures of Trump holding up his hands indicate notably stubby index fingers.

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    What is a digit ratio?

  230. @Harry Baldwin
    @PiltdownMan

    I think there is a much greater component of “coasting” after career success in youth with successful rock musicians

    The ability to coast is something that musicians have, but visual artists and writers do not, at least to the same extent. A band like the Grateful Dead can tour for decades playing the same old stuff and still draw crowds, because people never get tired of hearing the music they love over and over again.

    Granted, there are actors that at a certain point just seem to coast, like Jack Nicholson or Robert Duvall always playing themselves late in their career.

    Replies: @alaska3636, @Former Darfur

    The appeal of the Grateful Dead is not hearing the same old songs over and over. If they played the album versions of their songs, nobody would follow them.

    What really drove the Dead was their tendency towards long-form improvisation over the main chords of their songs. They treated their own material like many jazz musicians treated standards. Nerdy music lovers, experience junkies and, especially, amateur music recorders distributed mix tapes of live shows that showcased a wild and new experience with each rendition of Scarlet Begonias.

    They inspired a brand new form of music that thrives today mostly on the live scenes: the jam band. There is a whole sub-genre of touring musicians, mostly in the North West and the South, that attract a dedicated and loyal following akin to the Dead. Basically, these are the last of the real musicians and many of them are very gifted technically, but they lack the mainstream appeal of a Justin Bieber. I always felt kinda bad for bands like Umphries McGee because they all have these families now, but their bread is made on the road because they really can’t push albums.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    @alaska3636

    So how do you explain Rush's ability to pack huge venues?

  231. @Anon
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    The human voice is the last part of your body to reach maturity. Opera singers are not advised to sing Grand Opera until after age 35 because up until then your voice is still 'growing' and maturing. Your voice gradually drops in pitch as you age as an adult. If you're a male who is recording at age 20, you'll have a higher voice than you'll possess at age 40 or 50. This is why older singers often have trouble hitting the high notes in the hit songs they sang in their youth. They acquire a new, lower range to compensate.

    If you have a sound recorder, I recommend recording your voice and keeping it around for many years, then listening to it again. My parents have some old tapes recorded back in the 1970s, and it's very odd to hear them because their voices sound so high and young compared to the way they sound now.

    A deepening voice as you age probably has much to do biological programming. A low pitch sounds authoritative, and the aged are wiser than the young. The pitch is meant to signal, 'listen, learn, and obey.'

    Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist, @Dave Pinsen, @Glaivester

    Your voice gradually drops in pitch as you age as an adult. If you’re a male who is recording at age 20, you’ll have a higher voice than you’ll possess at age 40 or 50.

    Which answers the question of why the heroic star parts tend to be tenors. People want the star of their opera, musical, etc., to be the young guy, with the older people in support positions or as the powerful antagonist. A deeper voice says older, which is not as conducive to being a romantic lead, and most of these stories tend to have an element of romantic love to them.

  232. @syonredux
    @SteveO


    On the third hand, those factors are more important in women. In a man, a high level of virility can outweigh bad skin or a too-big nose.
     
    Sure. Factors like fame, wealth, and power play a big role in stimulating the female libido*. Still, all other factors being equal, being good-looking is a definite plus.




    *After all, Ric Ocasek

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ric_Ocasek#/media/File:Ric-Ocasek.jpg

    bagged Paulina Porizkova

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAO60aTAyEA

    Replies: @Brutusale

    My Paulina Porizkova story.

    A high school friend was a financial exec in Boston in the late 80s/early 90s, and he and his fiancee lived in the same building on the same floor as Ocasek and Porizkova. The fiancee (a fairly attractive woman and the one who loves to tell the story) had a big interview with a non-profit and spent half the morning getting dolled up for her meeting. She strolled to the elevator feeling like Helen of Troy, and here comes Paulina behind her, dressed in a t-shirt, ratty sweats, hair in a bun and no makeup and, as fiancee put it, looking 100 times more beautiful than she did on her best day. She said she wanted to go back to her condo and crawl under the bed.

    Porizkova still looks great:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3562127/Watch-Gigi-Hadid-Supermodel-Paulina-Porizkova-51-joins-Instagram-posts-sexy-bikini-shot-snap.html

    I have a hard time coming up with a couple more disparate in looks than this one.

    • Replies: @Glaivester
    @Brutusale

    I'll always think of Ms. Porizkova as Dallas, the drug dealer who raped Thomas Jane's character in Thursday.

  233. @Steve Sailer
    @carol

    Drugs play a big role in touring -- get up for the show, konk out after the show. That burns you out, though.

    I'm starting to wonder if a big part of the British dominance of the pop charts from 1964 to the early 1980s has something to do with British working class use of amphetamines. The British military handed out a lot of amphetamines during the War to keep soldiers awake (e.g., bombing runs over Germany). Their kids took them but not for the sake of taking drugs, like people take recreational drugs like LSD or cocaine, but as a performance enhancing drug to go out dancing all night.

    I'm now guessing that a lot of the British advantage in touring and stage shows was from using performance enhancing drugs.

    Replies: @syonredux, @syonredux, @stillCARealist

    Sailer, you’re making me doubt every performer, athlete, and hero that’s ever existed. I’d like to think that the muscles and training for the athletes are enough without juice. and the talent and the practice for the musicians is enough without pills. As for the heroes, well… I’m going to hang onto my hope for a while.

    ah, the villains. Are the suicide bombers tripped out on something before they detonate? What about regular criminals who go on a gang hit or rob a store or steal a car? Are they doing something other than alcohol?

    Maybe we all need to stop analyzing human nature and society and just focus on drugs.

  234. @cthulhu
    @whorefinder

    How does your theory explain Geddy Lee of Rush, the band beloved of nerds who came of age in the '70s and never got laid? (I'm serious about the nerd angle; I think that the core audience for Rush is engineers. Fortunately I got bowled over by the Who and the Allman Brothers before I got to college and found all of the Rush fanatics among my classmates.)

    Replies: @unpc downunder, @Brutusale, @whorefinder

    Rush shows aren’t the sausage fests they used to be, but they’re still not a place to cruise the chicks. Many more women in the crowd at the r40 show last year than at the ones in the 70s.

  235. @syonredux
    @Steve Sailer


    A notable part of the 1960s mod subculture in the U.K. was recreational amphetamine use, which was used to fuel all-night dances at clubs like Manchester's Twisted Wheel. Newspaper reports described dancers emerging from clubs at 5 a.m. with dilated pupils.[25] Mods used the drug for stimulation and alertness, which they viewed as different from the intoxication caused by alcohol and other drugs.[26] Dr. Andrew Wilson argues that for a significant minority, "amphetamines symbolised the smart, on-the-ball, cool image" and that they sought "stimulation not intoxication ... greater awareness, not escape" and "confidence and articulacy" rather than the "drunken rowdiness of previous generations."[27]Wilson argues that the significance of amphetamines to the mod culture was similar to that of LSD and cannabis within the subsequent hippie counterculture. Dick Hebdige argues that mods used amphetamines to extend their leisure time into the early hours of the morning and as a way of bridging the gap between their hostile and daunting everyday work lives and the "inner world" of dancing and dressing up in their off-hours.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_and_culture_of_substituted_amphetamines#History_of_amphetamine_and_methamphetamine

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Brutusale

    A major subject in the Who’s Quadrophenia. “Jimmy” liked his pills.

  236. @Steve Sailer
    @Clifford Brown

    Seger's live album that finally made him famous in the mid-70s seemed real good.

    Replies: @Brutusale

    It didn’t hurt that Seger went out on tour with the most popular band in the world in 1976, KISS, to support the Live Bullet album. I saw them at the old Cape Cod Coliseum, and it was a great show. Kudos to KISS for giving Seger a full set and an encore.

  237. @Daniel H
    @whorefinder

    >>Freddie Mercury wasn’t gay, he was bi—or, more clearly, he was just into whatever sexual thrill was coming around.

    Wrong. Bisexuality in men doesn't exist. I don't care how many chicks he banged, the fact that he had sex with dudes is sure sign that he was gay, 100% gay.

    Replies: @jon, @whorefinder

    People have known for a long time that sexuality is malleable by circumstances. This is why a variety of cultures (Greeks, Persians, Chinese, Turks, French, etc.) have considered gay behavior as a personal moral failing rather than a sign of permanence. “Born gay” is a modern political tactic by homosexuals in the movement to try to release themselves from personal responsibility and to force others to accept them “because you can’t change it”.

    The behavior of straight men in prison and, previously, the all-male military should suffice as proof that, when push comes to shove, men will seek alternatives to females.

    Sexual excess has also been known to breed sexual experimentation. Emperors and kings were long known to have dalliances with teen boys and men whilst also having mistresses. Caesar himself-renowned as a great seducer of women-had a very large gay rumor propounded about himself and a foreign king. The more powerful the man, the more women willingly and easily submitted to his hand, and the more he was drawn to further that high through sexual experimentation.

    And how do you explain a clearly “straight” man like Charlie Sheen? He has had sex with trannies and other men. Yet no one would deny his strong sex urge when it comes to women.

  238. Woody Guthrie meditates on alternative mating strategies:

  239. @Peter Akuleyev
    @whorefinder


    But so many record companies and MTV and such are run by homosexuals who demand the same kind of favors from wanna-bes as do the studios for Hollywood movies.
     
    Maybe in your sexual fantasies, but not so much in reality.

    Replies: @whorefinder

    you’re living in denial if you think otherwise. the amount of gay power and maneuvering in the music industry–especially in the record and music television portion– is enormous. Years ago, a former staffer at an agency told me that the easiest way to get a client’s video played on MTV was to send a bunch of gay twink hookers over to MTV offices.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @whorefinder

    seems strange that mtv execs -in other words , multi millionaires - would greenlight projects based upon gifts of male prostitutes . seems twinks in hollywood are pretty easy to come by , and cheap as well.

    Replies: @whorefinder

  240. @whorefinder
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    Much of the "teen idol" phase girls go through is because they genuinely fear the masculine power they are witnessing in their male peers during puberty. They recognize that the boys are getting much stronger than them--and the more booming and deep the voice, the stronger the boy usually is. Plus Dad----the most powerful male in her life, if he's around---usually has the a voice deeper than all her peers.

    All of this combines to make the girl want, at first, a less-masculine boyfriend--someone who has just enough testosterone to attract her, but whose voice is high enough to tell her "it's ok, he's pretty harmless, he's not super strong." The teen idol boys fulfill this function. Later, when she's more sure of herself, she'll turn to a more masculine man---unless she's in arrested development and stays with the pretty boys forever (which is becoming more common as Dads don't stay around, screwing up her normal attraction for men with masculine power).

    Replies: @cthulhu, @flyingtiger

    You may be on to something. A woman once told me that when she saw the Road Warrior movie when she was ten, the Mel Gibson character terrified her. When she saw the movie again, she saw Mel Gibson’s character as strong and caring. He would be her idea male.

  241. @education realist
    Lagertha, I'm thinking of you. Hoping all goes well.

    As I imagine some of you know, a teenaged Glenn Frey played with Bob Seger, most notably on Ramblin Gamblin Man (you can hear him clearly on backup vocals). Kenny Rogers gave Don Henley's first band a record deal.

    I dunno, even back when the Eagles were huge, music critics sneered at them. The hate-on that someone mentioned above seems more relevant.

    Besides, Henley had an outstanding 80s. BTW, Henley put out a new country album last year with practically every name in the business (Jagger, Parton, Haggard, McBride to name just a few) that did well and got excellent reviews.

    Two bands mentioned above: Doobie Brothers, definitely not fey. Van Halen--great mention of a band that played a tad fey, but definitely wasn't. The late 70s, early 80s seemed to bring that on.

    My one claim to barely coolness, musically speaking: I saw Van Halen in 1979, just as they released their second album, before they were huge, right before the fuss about general admission open seating caused by the Cincinnati deaths. I am a total nerd and was only at the concert because my friend, extremely shy, needed a wingman to do things like talk to people in case we needed directions. I'd barely heard of Van Halen and had very little experience at concerts. My friend had found seats, and I'd gotten up to go to the bathroom when the mad rush to the front began. I got swept up in it, pushed to the front, saw the whole concert barely 8 feet away. Which was a good thing, because I was holding my glasses when the push began, dropped them, never saw them again. I'm short, but that didn't matter either, because the crush was so tight my feet never hit the ground. I am undoubtedly describing this badly. I told my (much cooler) brother about the concert the next day, and he was jealous, so I was proud.

    Replies: @whorefinder, @flyingtiger

    The Eagles have long been known as a half-country band. People who don’t like country but want to be polite to country fans will say “but I like the Eagles.” Then country fans always say that, for non-country bands, The Eagles rock. Heck, there was (decades ago) a tribute album called “The Best of Country Does the Best of the Eagles.” So a lot of the hate for them comes from the latent hatred some people have of country music.

    This is why the scene in The Big Lebowskiwhere the black cab driver guy loving the Eagles is even funnier once you know these facts. The Coens’ movies are always get better on repeat viewings when you know a bit more about the situation. Those dudes are geniuses.

  242. @education realist
    Lagertha, I'm thinking of you. Hoping all goes well.

    As I imagine some of you know, a teenaged Glenn Frey played with Bob Seger, most notably on Ramblin Gamblin Man (you can hear him clearly on backup vocals). Kenny Rogers gave Don Henley's first band a record deal.

    I dunno, even back when the Eagles were huge, music critics sneered at them. The hate-on that someone mentioned above seems more relevant.

    Besides, Henley had an outstanding 80s. BTW, Henley put out a new country album last year with practically every name in the business (Jagger, Parton, Haggard, McBride to name just a few) that did well and got excellent reviews.

    Two bands mentioned above: Doobie Brothers, definitely not fey. Van Halen--great mention of a band that played a tad fey, but definitely wasn't. The late 70s, early 80s seemed to bring that on.

    My one claim to barely coolness, musically speaking: I saw Van Halen in 1979, just as they released their second album, before they were huge, right before the fuss about general admission open seating caused by the Cincinnati deaths. I am a total nerd and was only at the concert because my friend, extremely shy, needed a wingman to do things like talk to people in case we needed directions. I'd barely heard of Van Halen and had very little experience at concerts. My friend had found seats, and I'd gotten up to go to the bathroom when the mad rush to the front began. I got swept up in it, pushed to the front, saw the whole concert barely 8 feet away. Which was a good thing, because I was holding my glasses when the push began, dropped them, never saw them again. I'm short, but that didn't matter either, because the crush was so tight my feet never hit the ground. I am undoubtedly describing this badly. I told my (much cooler) brother about the concert the next day, and he was jealous, so I was proud.

    Replies: @whorefinder, @flyingtiger

    Van Halen were macho. Part of the fun of this band was David Lee Roth triying to be fey, but he failed because he was too masculine.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    @flyingtiger

    Ian Astbury of The Cult, the son of a merchant seaman, tried the fey look in the '80s when hair bands became popular, and he looked ridiculous, like a Johnny Depp pirate. He looked much more comfortable aping the grunge look in the early '90s.

    , @Peter Akuleyev
    @flyingtiger

    Van Halen were macho

    Eddie is more aspergery than macho. Classic Van Halen actually covered all the sterotypical male bases - flamboyant macho - DLR, solitary genius bordering on aspergers - Eddie, and working class salt-of- the earth type - Michael Anthony.

  243. @cthulhu
    @whorefinder

    How does your theory explain Geddy Lee of Rush, the band beloved of nerds who came of age in the '70s and never got laid? (I'm serious about the nerd angle; I think that the core audience for Rush is engineers. Fortunately I got bowled over by the Who and the Allman Brothers before I got to college and found all of the Rush fanatics among my classmates.)

    Replies: @unpc downunder, @Brutusale, @whorefinder

    Geddy didn’t play music that appealed to teen idol phased girls—music about first loves, rush of first kisses, avoiding disapproving parents, how hot she is, etc.

    Ya gotta do that to get their attention.

  244. Why Do Pop Stars Tend to be Fey?

    The big concert promoter in my old neighborhood was named Barry Fey.

    He brought us the Rolling Stones in Boulder, Colorado — in a black helicopter no less. We all cheered when they landed just outside our football stadium, right behind their pink stage.

  245. @PiltdownMan
    @Harry Baldwin


    That’s a nasty piece of snark and the writer sounds like a hateful little nonentity.
     
    She disqualifies herself completely when she writes I hadn’t realized until adulthood that there was a connection between Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles...

    Kinda basic knowledge.

    I despise the modern hipster trend of retroactive cultural snark addressed mainly toward baby-boomer era culture by critics who are unfamiliar with the period by reason of being born too late. They want to eat their cake by using that popular culture as currency, but want to have it too, in that they want to reserve the right to denigrate it—because old.

    Get off my lawn.

    Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist

    Another example of Tocqueville’s quip about democracy denying ancestors and hiding descendants.

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
    @yaqub the mad scientist


    Another example of Tocqueville’s quip about democracy denying ancestors and hiding descendants
     
    Nice. Very nice.
  246. @Lot
    J Michael Bailey has a big new review article about homo and bisexuality.

    http://psi.sagepub.com/content/17/2/45.full

    He seems to favor a prenatal cause for homosexuality. Against a "gay germ" theory, he notes that the rate of male non-heterosexuality seems to be about the same in every place and time studied.

    He also notes that by far the best predictor of homosexuality in both men and women is childhood gender non-conformity, something noticed by age 5. He notes that the typical male homosexual, looking at childhood gender non-conformity, would rate at the 89th percentile of heterosexuals.

    Looking at it a different way, less than 1% of boys with typical levels of gender conformity will grow up homosexual, but about 60% of boys with high levels of non-conformity will end up gay or bisexual.

    Replies: @Jefferson, @anonymous coward

    he notes that the rate of male non-heterosexuality seems to be about the same in every place and time studied.

    Oh really? Who is the brave soul who studied homosexuality in North Korea, Belgian Kongo and ancient Carthage? Or is there, perchance, a bias in the places and times that happened to be studied? (Lemme guess, the only places ‘studied’ just happened to be the same places that legalize and promote gay ‘marriage’.)

  247. @Whoever
    @Harry Baldwin


    Glenn Frey, cofounder of the Eagles with Don Henley, was multi-talented as a singer, songwriter, and musician in one of the most successful bands of all time. Frey died in January 2016 and I don’t recall his death getting anywhere near the attention that Prince’s did.
     
    Pierre Boulez died in January, 2016, as well.
    Yeah, I know. Who?

    Replies: @vinteuil

    Wow – Boulez died last January? And I only found out about it now?

    In a way, that’s kind of comforting: his brand of serialism was a total, unmitigated disaster for “classical” music. As a composer, he fully deserved to die forgotten & unlamented.

    On the other hand, he could be a pretty good conductor. His Petrushka wasn’t bad at all.

    • Agree: Kylie
  248. @Psmith

    but then the super showmen Jerry Lee Lewis and Keith Emerson were straight
     
    Jerry Lee still is, as far as I know.

    Replies: @duncsbaby

    The Killer will out live us all.

  249. @Brutusale
    @syonredux

    My Paulina Porizkova story.

    A high school friend was a financial exec in Boston in the late 80s/early 90s, and he and his fiancee lived in the same building on the same floor as Ocasek and Porizkova. The fiancee (a fairly attractive woman and the one who loves to tell the story) had a big interview with a non-profit and spent half the morning getting dolled up for her meeting. She strolled to the elevator feeling like Helen of Troy, and here comes Paulina behind her, dressed in a t-shirt, ratty sweats, hair in a bun and no makeup and, as fiancee put it, looking 100 times more beautiful than she did on her best day. She said she wanted to go back to her condo and crawl under the bed.

    Porizkova still looks great:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3562127/Watch-Gigi-Hadid-Supermodel-Paulina-Porizkova-51-joins-Instagram-posts-sexy-bikini-shot-snap.html

    I have a hard time coming up with a couple more disparate in looks than this one.

    Replies: @Glaivester

    I’ll always think of Ms. Porizkova as Dallas, the drug dealer who raped Thomas Jane’s character in Thursday.

  250. @jon
    @Daniel H


    Bisexuality in men doesn’t exist.
     
    On what do you base that? And how do you explain guys like Jagger and Bowie who are known to have had sex with men, but then ended up settling down with women?

    Replies: @Daniel H

    >>And how do you explain guys like Jagger and Bowie who are known to have had sex with men, but then ended up settling down with women?

    Neither of them had sex with men. It was a con invented by rock journalists. They didn’t bother to contest the stories because it made no difference to their personal lives, popularity or records sold.

  251. @Anon7
    @Steve Sailer

    "It’s a word that’s changing in meaning over the centuries."

    Actually, no. The OED, my trusty Webster's 1890, Random House 1969, and Webster's New Unabridged 1989 all agree on the meaning of the word.

    Changing over the last few years, maybe.

    One person submitting to Urban Dictionary thinks the derivation might be "Fairly gAY":


    fairly gay, as applied to a heterosexual male with homosexual stereotypical traits
    Just because your fiance has a shoe obsession and plucks his eyebrows doesn't mean he's gay; rather, he's fey.
     

    Replies: @random observer

    MW online:

    Definition of fey

    1
    1
    a chiefly Scottish : fated to die : doomed

    b : marked by a foreboding of death or calamity

    2
    2
    a : able to see into the future : visionary

    b : marked by an otherworldly air or attitude

    c : crazy, touched

    3
    3
    a : excessively refined : precious

    b : quaintly unconventional : campy

    followed by “Fey is a word that defies its own meaning, since it has yet to even come close to the brink of death after being in our language for well over 800 years. In Old and Middle English it meant “feeble” or “sickly.” Those meanings turned out to be fey themselves, but the word lived on in senses related to death, and because a wild or elated state of mind was once believed to portend death, other senses arose from these. The word fay, meaning “fairy” or “elf,” may also have had an influence on some senses of “fey.” Not until the late 20th century did the word’s most recent meanings, “precious” and “campy,” find their way onto the pages of the dictionary.”

    My Scottish grandmother used the world, usually in some mix of senses one and two, but could understand the third. I dimly recall it being a common expression put in the mouths of elderly Scottish women in literature written by elderly Scottish women [maybe Canadian Margaret Laurence, whose work was foisted on us in high school].

    Funny thing, having learned it that way the word has always run those senses together in my head, with the last being understood as not exactly camp, but a tad feminine.

    I am surprised it is only speculative in the dictionaries- the interconnected meanings of the word caused me to always think there was a connection with the fae, or fairy people, who in the myths of the Celtic fringe always possessed all these qualities.

    Or consider elves, whether in myth or modern fantasy. Always possessing all these qualities.

    The beautiful, the refined of appearance and manner, the otherworldly, the touched, the doomed (or at least haunted); concepts linked in art for centuries now.

    • Replies: @Anon7
    @random observer

    Very good! Thanks for the anecdote about your grandmother. As fast as I can tell, if you look back, you encounter "fey" meaning pallid or sickly, which is not surprising if the root meaning refers to people who seem near death. Diseases like consumption, as TB was called in the 19th century, probably produced an association with sickly, thin aristocrats. Which gets you to associations like excessively refined or precious.

    Stars like Prince, Petty, Jagger, Bowie and others have that quality. However, the point of Steve's article was that Prince and other rockers have obviously effeminate behavior. If that's what you mean, just spit it out and title the article "Why do rock stars tend to be effeminate?" It's a really interesting question. It has lots of red pill blue pill implications, if you're into that sort of thing.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  252. @education realist
    As a coda to the Glenn Frey conversation, here's the New Yorker's take on the "peaceful, queasy feeling". Nasty to Frey throughout until the last couple sentences.

    Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist, @The Last Real Calvinist, @Harry Baldwin, @Brutusale, @random observer

    I just read that Larson piece after hoping against hope she was the same Sarah Larson who used to date Clooney. Alas, no.

    I have no idea what on earth her point was. I really don’t. I reached the end and had failed to understand any point larger than “I don’t like the Eagles”. I could only even get the high-class snark out of it because I had already assumed it was there. Even when she says something is “icky” she doesn’t bother to back it up by citing anything icky.

    Has the New Yorker gotten lazier than Slate?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @random observer

    Has the New Yorker gotten lazier than Slate?

    About four years ago, the East Coast trad media capitulated to Salonista teenybopper writing. Imagine Rolling Stone going Tiger Beat.

  253. @alaska3636
    @Steve Sailer

    You can't forget the legendary jazz bass of journeyman, NBA power-forward Wayman Tisdale.

    Here's his version of Get Down On It
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7Vuxvaw2k8

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @The preferred nomenclature is...

    Wayman Tisdale’s father was a well-known preacher in a large Tulsa Black Church. There is a freeway in Tulsa named after his father (which before was named after an Indian tribe). His brother has been the pastor since his father’s passing. Wayman was a good man.

  254. @yaqub the mad scientist
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    I've read in a couple of places where one of the little things that set Led Zeppelin apart as a game changer band was how waif Jimmy Page had rounded up a huge, muscular singer and drummer from out of town. At that point, "Small Faces" was appropriate for a lot of British bands who had grown up at the end of war-era food rationing. Plant and Bonham literally towered over a lot of their peers, and were serious high-T personalities.

    Replies: @Alec Leamas, @Dave Pinsen, @The preferred nomenclature is...

    I’ve stood 15 feet from Plant as he performed in a small club about 10 years ago. Dude’s got a HUGE head.

  255. @random observer
    @education realist

    I just read that Larson piece after hoping against hope she was the same Sarah Larson who used to date Clooney. Alas, no.

    I have no idea what on earth her point was. I really don't. I reached the end and had failed to understand any point larger than "I don't like the Eagles". I could only even get the high-class snark out of it because I had already assumed it was there. Even when she says something is "icky" she doesn't bother to back it up by citing anything icky.

    Has the New Yorker gotten lazier than Slate?

    Replies: @Anonymous

    Has the New Yorker gotten lazier than Slate?

    About four years ago, the East Coast trad media capitulated to Salonista teenybopper writing. Imagine Rolling Stone going Tiger Beat.

  256. @anonymous-antimarxist
    @Dave Pinsen

    In an interview with NPR's Terry Gross, Robert Plant played a couple of his early recordings. His first record company was trying to pitch him as a younger working class rocker version of Tom Jones singing in his same register. Obviously meeting Jimmy Page along with the improvements in guitar amplification in the late sixties that allowed for sustained high end notes to be blasted out to arena sized audiences required lead singers even with Plant's range to strain to make adjustments.

    Speaking of Liv Tyler, her mother Bebe Buell the notorious groupie/model/Playboy bunny played the "muse" to Jimmy Page prior to Steven Tyler, Todd Rundgren, Elvis Costello and countless others.

    I don't know if Bebe inspired any specific Led Zep classics, perhaps just any number of 30 minute drum solos..... wink wink nudge nudge....

    Replies: @yaqub the mad scientist

    Speaking of Liv Tyler, her mother Bebe Buell the notorious groupie/model/Playboy bunny played the “muse” to Jimmy Page prior to Steven Tyler, Todd Rundgren, Elvis Costello and countless others.

    I don’t know if Bebe inspired any specific Led Zep classics, perhaps just any number of 30 minute drum solos….. wink wink nudge nudge….

    One thing she probably inspired was for Todd Rundgren to masculinize himself after she pretty much cucked him by banging Iggy Pop and running after Jimmy Page, with him offering to let her daughter think that he was the father rather than a messed-up Tyler. Check out what he looked like in 1973 compared to the way he looks now. Not just the look and outfit, the whole way he carries himself in this video- I cringed. His face looks like a supplicating bottom feeder fish.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    @yaqub the mad scientist

    There was an interview where Liv Tyler said she first realized Steven Tyler was her father when he was getting changed and she thought they had the same legs.

  257. @Steve Sailer
    @Jefferson

    But what are the odds Curry will be better next season? Probably less than 25%.

    But Curry was better this year than last year when he was MVP so the future is unwritten for him. He's very interesting because he invented for himself a new thing: shooting from immense distances. It could be just a fluke unique skill, or it could turn out to be a historic breakthrough that leads to lots of imitators, the way Babe Ruth around 1920 changed baseball.

    Replies: @alaska3636, @keypusher

    I think Curry will be a Babe Ruth figure. Bill James pointed out that hitters before Ruth’s time were taught not to uppercut, because a fly ball was an easy out. No one cared what Ruth did, though, because he was a pitcher. And then he started hitting home runs, the Yankees got him, and baseball was never the same.

    No one can do what Curry can at the moment, but that’s largely because (as with Ruth) no one has been trying. Well, now everyone from age 5 up who can shoot a basketball is going to start trying.

  258. @Harry Baldwin
    @PiltdownMan

    I think there is a much greater component of “coasting” after career success in youth with successful rock musicians

    The ability to coast is something that musicians have, but visual artists and writers do not, at least to the same extent. A band like the Grateful Dead can tour for decades playing the same old stuff and still draw crowds, because people never get tired of hearing the music they love over and over again.

    Granted, there are actors that at a certain point just seem to coast, like Jack Nicholson or Robert Duvall always playing themselves late in their career.

    Replies: @alaska3636, @Former Darfur

    The Grateful Dead were a unique case, since while they played “the same old stuff” to audiences consisting largely of the same people from town to town-they’d follow them!-they never played the same thing twice the same way. What Deadheads valued was the small differences amongst a constant of familiar “big things”.

    Jerry Garcia, of course, was the focus, and he was actually a surprisingly good guitar player when he was young. By the seventies he’d become the epitome of the self indulgent rock star and his skills atrophied, but by then he learned how to sound passably good with very little actual concentration and discipline needed.

    I never liked the voices of anyone who sang for the Grateful Dead, and I always had a lot of things better to do than sitting through a 40 minute rendition of “Dark Star”.

    The same is true of bluegrass music in general-it’s the same old stuff, with the avatar being Bill Monroe (I met him once, I thought he was an ignorant hick) instead of Garcia.

    • Replies: @stillCARealist
    @Former Darfur

    Grateful Dead and music? Honestly. The one guy I knew who followed them around (50+ concerts in two years) was there solely to do drugs with his "deadhead" buddies. If their music was attracting people, the drugs were attracting 10x as many.

  259. @jon
    @JohnnyGeo

    It's funny how silent the MSM is on this. An almost middle-aged guy with a receding hairline pretends to be a teenager so he can more easily immigrate to Canada and hang out at a high school, where he almost certainly committed statutory rape, and be a basketball star. Nothing to see here apparently.

    Replies: @Anonymous

    Middle age begins at 30?

  260. @Priss Factor
    @Alec Leamas

    "Prince was one of a kind but proves a theory that I’ve heard and ruminated on for a while – that is, that artists are their most creative and brilliant as young men. The history of popular music and rock and roll sort of shows that artists peak around 27 (age of death of Hendrix, Morrison and others), after which their music and artistry declines. Someone theorized that it has something to do with getting laid too much and losing some of that drive and tension to create, which is a sublimation of sexual desire and longing."

    It depends on the kind of art form.

    Pop Music is mostly about youth, aggression, and sexiness, so young people have an edge.

    Classical music is richer, so the artist finds depth as he ages. Many seem to hit their peak in middle ages. Sibelius composed the greatest symphony ever when he was 50. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._5_(Sibelius)

    Also, some artists have one really good fresh idea and fail to grow.

    Other artists tend to evolve and find new meanings in their vision.

    Ingmar Bergman is a strange case. He wrote some of his best works late in life but they were mostly directed by others: Best Intentions, Faithless, Sunday's Children, Private Confessions.

    Later Chabrol was better than earlier Chabrol even though Les Cousins was an audacious start.

    Some works need maturity and reflection for depth and meaning.

    Pop music is mostly about sensations.

    Also, the lifestyle of the Rock stars tend to burn them out early.

    Replies: @Kylie

    “Classical music is richer, so the artist finds depth as he ages. Many seem to hit their peak in middle ages.”

    True. One more reason why Schubert’s early death was so tragic. He lived, composed and died in the monumental shadow cast by Beethoven. But had Beethoven only lived to be 31 years old as Schubert did, Beethoven’s shadow would not have been nearly so monumental. And Schubert, who composed the “Unfinished Symphony” and the “Death and the Maiden” string quartet while still only in his mid-twenties, would surely have continued to compose masterpieces well into middle age and beyond had he lived longer.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    @Kylie

    Kalinnikov also died too young.

    What a symphony.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVakXOkE2G4

  261. @whorefinder
    @Peter Akuleyev

    you're living in denial if you think otherwise. the amount of gay power and maneuvering in the music industry--especially in the record and music television portion-- is enormous. Years ago, a former staffer at an agency told me that the easiest way to get a client's video played on MTV was to send a bunch of gay twink hookers over to MTV offices.

    Replies: @Anonymous

    seems strange that mtv execs -in other words , multi millionaires – would greenlight projects based upon gifts of male prostitutes . seems twinks in hollywood are pretty easy to come by , and cheap as well.

    • Replies: @whorefinder
    @Anonymous

    Never underestimate the strength of the male libido. Or the human ego. Oscar voters get expensive gift baskets all the time, and that influences their votes, and most of those folks ain't crying poor.

    And these weren't "projects" to be "greenlit." This was just an attempt to get a certain artist's already-made video put into rotation or featured for a few days.

    And I doubt it was just the twinks making the sale. Some other payola prolly came in as well (licit as well as illicit).

  262. @random observer
    @Anon7

    MW online:


    Definition of fey

    1
    1
    a chiefly Scottish : fated to die : doomed

    b : marked by a foreboding of death or calamity

    2
    2
    a : able to see into the future : visionary

    b : marked by an otherworldly air or attitude

    c : crazy, touched

    3
    3
    a : excessively refined : precious

    b : quaintly unconventional : campy

    followed by "Fey is a word that defies its own meaning, since it has yet to even come close to the brink of death after being in our language for well over 800 years. In Old and Middle English it meant "feeble" or "sickly." Those meanings turned out to be fey themselves, but the word lived on in senses related to death, and because a wild or elated state of mind was once believed to portend death, other senses arose from these. The word fay, meaning "fairy" or "elf," may also have had an influence on some senses of "fey." Not until the late 20th century did the word's most recent meanings, "precious" and "campy," find their way onto the pages of the dictionary."

    My Scottish grandmother used the world, usually in some mix of senses one and two, but could understand the third. I dimly recall it being a common expression put in the mouths of elderly Scottish women in literature written by elderly Scottish women [maybe Canadian Margaret Laurence, whose work was foisted on us in high school].

    Funny thing, having learned it that way the word has always run those senses together in my head, with the last being understood as not exactly camp, but a tad feminine.

    I am surprised it is only speculative in the dictionaries- the interconnected meanings of the word caused me to always think there was a connection with the fae, or fairy people, who in the myths of the Celtic fringe always possessed all these qualities.

    Or consider elves, whether in myth or modern fantasy. Always possessing all these qualities.

    The beautiful, the refined of appearance and manner, the otherworldly, the touched, the doomed (or at least haunted); concepts linked in art for centuries now.

    Replies: @Anon7

    Very good! Thanks for the anecdote about your grandmother. As fast as I can tell, if you look back, you encounter “fey” meaning pallid or sickly, which is not surprising if the root meaning refers to people who seem near death. Diseases like consumption, as TB was called in the 19th century, probably produced an association with sickly, thin aristocrats. Which gets you to associations like excessively refined or precious.

    Stars like Prince, Petty, Jagger, Bowie and others have that quality. However, the point of Steve’s article was that Prince and other rockers have obviously effeminate behavior. If that’s what you mean, just spit it out and title the article “Why do rock stars tend to be effeminate?” It’s a really interesting question. It has lots of red pill blue pill implications, if you’re into that sort of thing.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Anon7

    Well, Tom Petty doesn't strike many people as effeminate, but I wanted to use him as an example of a more general phenomenon that extends beyond effeminacy. So the word "fey" served my purposes pretty well.

    Replies: @whorefinder

  263. @Steve Sailer
    @alaska3636

    Yankee outfielder Bernie Williams is enjoying a pleasant retirement as a jazzman.

    Paul Robeson was an all American football player and then became a famous singer.

    Athletes tend to be very good dancers. Athleticism and a sense of rhythm tend to go together.

    But generally it's extremely hard to be both an athlete and a musical star. Partly it's the time commitment, partly it's just it requires different aspects of personality.

    Replies: @Triumph104, @Clifford Brown, @whorefinder

    Bernie Williams has been rumored to have carried on extra marital affairs by, ahem, the playing for the other team.

    His early marriage, quiet nature, and fixation with jazz have long contributed to these rumors. (These days, fixation with jazz is either for white nerds (think Woody Allen) or a certain “type” of man who appreciates “the arts.” Blacks as a whole don’t care about it—it’s old people music–and few blacks know it was a popular form of black music and well praised. But this certain “type” of man loved the revival of Chicago on Broadway at the time.)

    And then some gay guy came out and wrote an article about having a long-term relationship with a then-current big-name MLB player on a major East Coast team (that was as specific as the article got). This was written in the late 90s/early 2000s, when Bernie was playing for the Yankees and was well-known; he seemed the most likely candidate.

    • Replies: @Penny Red
    @whorefinder

    when Bernie was playing for the Yankees and was well-known; he seemed the most likely candidate.

    Which explains why the sports press went after Mike Piazza.

  264. @Anon7
    @random observer

    Very good! Thanks for the anecdote about your grandmother. As fast as I can tell, if you look back, you encounter "fey" meaning pallid or sickly, which is not surprising if the root meaning refers to people who seem near death. Diseases like consumption, as TB was called in the 19th century, probably produced an association with sickly, thin aristocrats. Which gets you to associations like excessively refined or precious.

    Stars like Prince, Petty, Jagger, Bowie and others have that quality. However, the point of Steve's article was that Prince and other rockers have obviously effeminate behavior. If that's what you mean, just spit it out and title the article "Why do rock stars tend to be effeminate?" It's a really interesting question. It has lots of red pill blue pill implications, if you're into that sort of thing.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Well, Tom Petty doesn’t strike many people as effeminate, but I wanted to use him as an example of a more general phenomenon that extends beyond effeminacy. So the word “fey” served my purposes pretty well.

    • Replies: @whorefinder
    @Steve Sailer

    "Sissy" might work as well, but it's considered more vulgar, and these days its meaning has been conflated with gay, as opposed to wuss/mama's boy, as it was used in previous eras.

  265. @Steve Sailer
    @Anon7

    Well, Tom Petty doesn't strike many people as effeminate, but I wanted to use him as an example of a more general phenomenon that extends beyond effeminacy. So the word "fey" served my purposes pretty well.

    Replies: @whorefinder

    “Sissy” might work as well, but it’s considered more vulgar, and these days its meaning has been conflated with gay, as opposed to wuss/mama’s boy, as it was used in previous eras.

  266. @Anonymous
    @whorefinder

    seems strange that mtv execs -in other words , multi millionaires - would greenlight projects based upon gifts of male prostitutes . seems twinks in hollywood are pretty easy to come by , and cheap as well.

    Replies: @whorefinder

    Never underestimate the strength of the male libido. Or the human ego. Oscar voters get expensive gift baskets all the time, and that influences their votes, and most of those folks ain’t crying poor.

    And these weren’t “projects” to be “greenlit.” This was just an attempt to get a certain artist’s already-made video put into rotation or featured for a few days.

    And I doubt it was just the twinks making the sale. Some other payola prolly came in as well (licit as well as illicit).

  267. @Former Darfur
    @Harry Baldwin

    The Grateful Dead were a unique case, since while they played "the same old stuff" to audiences consisting largely of the same people from town to town-they'd follow them!-they never played the same thing twice the same way. What Deadheads valued was the small differences amongst a constant of familiar "big things".

    Jerry Garcia, of course, was the focus, and he was actually a surprisingly good guitar player when he was young. By the seventies he'd become the epitome of the self indulgent rock star and his skills atrophied, but by then he learned how to sound passably good with very little actual concentration and discipline needed.

    I never liked the voices of anyone who sang for the Grateful Dead, and I always had a lot of things better to do than sitting through a 40 minute rendition of "Dark Star".

    The same is true of bluegrass music in general-it's the same old stuff, with the avatar being Bill Monroe (I met him once, I thought he was an ignorant hick) instead of Garcia.

    Replies: @stillCARealist

    Grateful Dead and music? Honestly. The one guy I knew who followed them around (50+ concerts in two years) was there solely to do drugs with his “deadhead” buddies. If their music was attracting people, the drugs were attracting 10x as many.

  268. @Hapalong Cassidy
    @Boomstick

    In spite of his liberal tomfoolery, Bruce Springsteen always struck me as a manly musician who appealed to women. Same with his glam metal counterpart Jon Bon Jovi. Yeah, he had the hair spray and the spandex, but he had a masculine-sounding voice and wasn't waif-thin. In fact he was rather jacked up physically - a trait which seems to have been passed to his son, who plays football at Notre Dame.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @yaqub the mad scientist, @Dave Pinsen

    Springsteen has a son who’s a fireman in NJ.

  269. @alaska3636
    @Harry Baldwin

    The appeal of the Grateful Dead is not hearing the same old songs over and over. If they played the album versions of their songs, nobody would follow them.

    What really drove the Dead was their tendency towards long-form improvisation over the main chords of their songs. They treated their own material like many jazz musicians treated standards. Nerdy music lovers, experience junkies and, especially, amateur music recorders distributed mix tapes of live shows that showcased a wild and new experience with each rendition of Scarlet Begonias.

    They inspired a brand new form of music that thrives today mostly on the live scenes: the jam band. There is a whole sub-genre of touring musicians, mostly in the North West and the South, that attract a dedicated and loyal following akin to the Dead. Basically, these are the last of the real musicians and many of them are very gifted technically, but they lack the mainstream appeal of a Justin Bieber. I always felt kinda bad for bands like Umphries McGee because they all have these families now, but their bread is made on the road because they really can't push albums.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen

    So how do you explain Rush’s ability to pack huge venues?

  270. @flyingtiger
    @education realist

    Van Halen were macho. Part of the fun of this band was David Lee Roth triying to be fey, but he failed because he was too masculine.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @Peter Akuleyev

    Ian Astbury of The Cult, the son of a merchant seaman, tried the fey look in the ’80s when hair bands became popular, and he looked ridiculous, like a Johnny Depp pirate. He looked much more comfortable aping the grunge look in the early ’90s.

  271. @yaqub the mad scientist
    @anonymous-antimarxist

    Speaking of Liv Tyler, her mother Bebe Buell the notorious groupie/model/Playboy bunny played the “muse” to Jimmy Page prior to Steven Tyler, Todd Rundgren, Elvis Costello and countless others.

    I don’t know if Bebe inspired any specific Led Zep classics, perhaps just any number of 30 minute drum solos….. wink wink nudge nudge….

    One thing she probably inspired was for Todd Rundgren to masculinize himself after she pretty much cucked him by banging Iggy Pop and running after Jimmy Page, with him offering to let her daughter think that he was the father rather than a messed-up Tyler. Check out what he looked like in 1973 compared to the way he looks now. Not just the look and outfit, the whole way he carries himself in this video- I cringed. His face looks like a supplicating bottom feeder fish.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen

    There was an interview where Liv Tyler said she first realized Steven Tyler was her father when he was getting changed and she thought they had the same legs.

  272. @Kylie
    @Priss Factor

    "Actors have to be feisty. Joe Pesci."

    I simply adore Joe Pesci. He can do it all: drama, comedy and romance. Yes. Romance. He conveys as much suppressed passion in "The Public Eye" as, say, Anthony Hopkins does in "The Remains of the Day". It's very understated, touching performance.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    How many times have we brought up Joe Pesci’s 5 minutes come out of retirement scene in “The Good Shepherd?” The only actor with a higher power to weight ratio on his resume than Pesci was John Cazale, Meryl Streep’s fiance, who died of cancer after five movies, all of them nominated for Best Picture Oscar.

  273. @Steve Sailer
    @e

    I wonder how high Curry jumps on those 1,000 practice shots per day. It's not the jumping that wears a body down, it's the landing.

    Replies: @Polynikes

    Not real high, competitively speaking. He has a compact and quick shot where he starts the ball a little lower using slightly less legs and more arms.

    His partner Klay Thompson has the text book looking jumper, but Curry may be redefining that.

  274. @Priss Factor
    @Harry Baldwin

    I overlooked the Big Lebow because I got tired of Coen's smartass cleverisms and hyperboles but I must say that is a bonafide instant classic with one of the most memorable characters in recent cinema. It is fun fun fun.

    And Goodman's goy-Jew act. It kills me because there was a guy like that in high school. Teutonic, right of Attila the Hun, gung ho, etc. But he luuuuuuuuuuuuuuved Israel like the SS loved Nazi Germany. Whenever he would go off about Israel and praise Jews, Jewish kids would look at him like this:

    https://youtu.be/UH-CDhLtS7c?t=44s

    Replies: @Anonymous

    John Goodman’s character is based on screenwriter John Milius, who is Jewish. He was born Jewish, while Goodman’s character is a convert, but I guess the Coens always just know better.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    @Anonymous

    I think the Goodman character was inspired by the external tough-guy persona of Milius.

    Surely, the Coens know that the real Milius is a far more interesting and complex man than a clown like the Goodman character. Much of Milius' act was just bluster. He actually has a keen understanding of history and cultures.
    And he has great respect for the enemy.
    He is after a Jewish guy with admiration even for tough Nazis. He is a white man who admires Geronimo. He is anti-communist but with respect for tough commies.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LD0rU6-7sKs

  275. For all you Princelings out there, 37 years of excerpts from his hometown freeweekly:

    http://www.citypages.com/music/remembering-prince-four-decades-of-city-pages-stories-8232830

    Also, from one of his personal chefs:

    http://www.citypages.com/restaurants/what-prince-ate-an-interview-with-princes-personal-chefs-8238997

    What he needed was a personal taster!

    Some big name tributes:

    http://www.citypages.com/music/9-must-watch-musical-tributes-to-prince-8236063

    Future poser: how will they ever pay tribute to Weird Al Yankovic? Put new tunes to his parodies? (Hat tip: the Mrs.)

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    @Reg Cæsar

    Bruce Springsteen sings "Purple Rain" as a tribute to Prince. It's all over the net. Sung by The Boss, "Purple Rain" sounds about as musically complex as "Mary Had a Little Lamb" in a dirge tempo. There really is not much there.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @Steve Sailer

  276. @Reg Cæsar
    For all you Princelings out there, 37 years of excerpts from his hometown freeweekly:

    http://www.citypages.com/music/remembering-prince-four-decades-of-city-pages-stories-8232830

    Also, from one of his personal chefs:

    http://www.citypages.com/restaurants/what-prince-ate-an-interview-with-princes-personal-chefs-8238997

    What he needed was a personal taster!

    Some big name tributes:

    http://www.citypages.com/music/9-must-watch-musical-tributes-to-prince-8236063

    Future poser: how will they ever pay tribute to Weird Al Yankovic? Put new tunes to his parodies? (Hat tip: the Mrs.)

    Replies: @Harry Baldwin

    Bruce Springsteen sings “Purple Rain” as a tribute to Prince. It’s all over the net. Sung by The Boss, “Purple Rain” sounds about as musically complex as “Mary Had a Little Lamb” in a dirge tempo. There really is not much there.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    @Harry Baldwin

    When it comes to covers, with Bruce, it's basically the thought that counts. His voice is just too distinctively "Bruce" to work on much else. For example, here's Bruce covering "Don't Change" by INXS in Sydney. The crowd cheers in recognition, as it's a tribute to an Aussie band but... eh.
    https://youtu.be/fAqcpc4e6hU

    In contrast, Brandon Flowers nails it:
    https://youtu.be/XeOPAR0UFC8

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen

    , @Steve Sailer
    @Harry Baldwin

    I admire Springsteen the man, but my view of Springsteen the musician has never recovered from "The Springstones" parody of Springsteen singing the Flintstones theme song:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Le2NYMfcvw0

    Replies: @Former Darfur

  277. I’m surprised no one has brought up Glenn Frey’s pretty good turn on the TV series Wiseguy. His nemesis was Tim Curry, who played a Jaggeresque version of Richard Branson, which is no surprise given his role in the Rocky Horror Picture Show and also his pretty good Mick Jagger impersonations on SNL. (The best was with Joe Piscopo’s Sinatra.)

    Deborah Harry was also on that storyline: she played a washed up pop singer trying for a comeback at the same time she really was a washed up pop singer trying for a comeback. That took a certain chutzpah. Eventually, of course, she did make the Big Comeback: the first Blondie album post-reunion was a megahit everywhere in the world except in her home country.

    There is a famous picture of the band Blur decked out as the band Blondie. I just can’t find it now.

  278. @Harry Baldwin
    @Reg Cæsar

    Bruce Springsteen sings "Purple Rain" as a tribute to Prince. It's all over the net. Sung by The Boss, "Purple Rain" sounds about as musically complex as "Mary Had a Little Lamb" in a dirge tempo. There really is not much there.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @Steve Sailer

    When it comes to covers, with Bruce, it’s basically the thought that counts. His voice is just too distinctively “Bruce” to work on much else. For example, here’s Bruce covering “Don’t Change” by INXS in Sydney. The crowd cheers in recognition, as it’s a tribute to an Aussie band but… eh.

    In contrast, Brandon Flowers nails it:

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    @Dave Pinsen

    So we're back to paste & match style not working.

  279. @Dave Pinsen
    @Harry Baldwin

    When it comes to covers, with Bruce, it's basically the thought that counts. His voice is just too distinctively "Bruce" to work on much else. For example, here's Bruce covering "Don't Change" by INXS in Sydney. The crowd cheers in recognition, as it's a tribute to an Aussie band but... eh.
    https://youtu.be/fAqcpc4e6hU

    In contrast, Brandon Flowers nails it:
    https://youtu.be/XeOPAR0UFC8

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen

    So we’re back to paste & match style not working.

  280. @Steve Sailer
    @Flinders Petrie

    The Clash were organized by Mick Jones who was trying to put together a masculine band. (He was partners with Chrissie Hynde, future leader of the Pretenders, for a few months. She had lots of talent but he wanted a blokes' band so they broke up.) First he recruited a big rugged guy who hung out with artists, Paul Simonon, who couldn't play an instrument, but who fit the look Jones had in mind. So Jones taught Simonon to play bass.

    Then Jones recruited Joe Strummer, who looked like a shorter version of Simonon. Strummer could play rhythm guitar and shout-sing.

    Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy, @Harry Baldwin, @Steve Sailer, @Former Darfur

    For a variety of reasons, most guys do not want to be in rock and roll bands with women. There are a lot of logistics issues that are no big deal when you are actually at the successful stage, but in the touring-in-a-van phase, it’s a serious problem. Plus there is always that sex thing going.

    So women who want to be in a rock and roll band have a limited number of choices. They can start a girl band, except that most other female musicians you will encounter in most places are even worse than most of the guys. They can have a husband or a “significant other” male in the band, then they are “the power couple”, but that’s also awkward. Chrissie did it the hard way, but, she’s Chrissie, a case-hardened sort with little care of what would have happened had it not worked out.

    • Replies: @Former Darfur
    @Former Darfur

    Unless you hook up with someone who's really good (Chris Stein, Lindsey Buckingham) the best game plan is to do what Jennifer Batten did: be a real pro and then it doesn't matter.

  281. @Harry Baldwin
    @Reg Cæsar

    Bruce Springsteen sings "Purple Rain" as a tribute to Prince. It's all over the net. Sung by The Boss, "Purple Rain" sounds about as musically complex as "Mary Had a Little Lamb" in a dirge tempo. There really is not much there.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @Steve Sailer

    I admire Springsteen the man, but my view of Springsteen the musician has never recovered from “The Springstones” parody of Springsteen singing the Flintstones theme song:

    • Replies: @Former Darfur
    @Steve Sailer

    That is funnier than hell. I love it.

    Bruce's big problem is that deep down, he doesn't see himself as a rock star. He sees himself as the Pope.

  282. @Former Darfur
    @Steve Sailer

    For a variety of reasons, most guys do not want to be in rock and roll bands with women. There are a lot of logistics issues that are no big deal when you are actually at the successful stage, but in the touring-in-a-van phase, it's a serious problem. Plus there is always that sex thing going.

    So women who want to be in a rock and roll band have a limited number of choices. They can start a girl band, except that most other female musicians you will encounter in most places are even worse than most of the guys. They can have a husband or a "significant other" male in the band, then they are "the power couple", but that's also awkward. Chrissie did it the hard way, but, she's Chrissie, a case-hardened sort with little care of what would have happened had it not worked out.

    Replies: @Former Darfur

    Unless you hook up with someone who’s really good (Chris Stein, Lindsey Buckingham) the best game plan is to do what Jennifer Batten did: be a real pro and then it doesn’t matter.

  283. @Steve Sailer
    @Harry Baldwin

    I admire Springsteen the man, but my view of Springsteen the musician has never recovered from "The Springstones" parody of Springsteen singing the Flintstones theme song:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Le2NYMfcvw0

    Replies: @Former Darfur

    That is funnier than hell. I love it.

    Bruce’s big problem is that deep down, he doesn’t see himself as a rock star. He sees himself as the Pope.

  284. @Steve Sailer
    @Peter Akuleyev

    The Eagles were always kind of a grown-up band for grown-ups. One reason they sold so many records is because they appealed to working people with jobs who could afford to put an album in the shopping cart, whereas more frantically loved bands appealed more to kids with limited allowances.

    Other than maybe Joe Walsh, the Eagles didn't seem to have super strong urges to be rock icons personally, the way Bowie really really wanted to be Bowie. (And Walsh has a great sense of humor about it -- thus, "Life's Been Good.") A lot of their songs are about how maybe they should get the hell out of L.A. and quit this crazy rock star life.

    Replies: @Alec Leamas, @Peter Akuleyev, @Priss Factor

    The Eagles were always kind of a grown-up band for grown-ups.

    Yes, that is a better way of making my point. Bowie and Prince appealed to teen-agers in their formative years, the Eagles were not that kind of band. It makes perfect sense that middle-aged women would go into hysterics when their teen idols died but not care about Henley. Musical talent or quality has very little to do with it. If Madonna drops dead in the next 5 years…

  285. @flyingtiger
    @education realist

    Van Halen were macho. Part of the fun of this band was David Lee Roth triying to be fey, but he failed because he was too masculine.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @Peter Akuleyev

    Van Halen were macho

    Eddie is more aspergery than macho. Classic Van Halen actually covered all the sterotypical male bases – flamboyant macho – DLR, solitary genius bordering on aspergers – Eddie, and working class salt-of- the earth type – Michael Anthony.

  286. @yaqub the mad scientist
    @PiltdownMan

    Another example of Tocqueville's quip about democracy denying ancestors and hiding descendants.

    Replies: @PiltdownMan

    Another example of Tocqueville’s quip about democracy denying ancestors and hiding descendants

    Nice. Very nice.

  287. @whorefinder
    @Steve Sailer

    Bernie Williams has been rumored to have carried on extra marital affairs by, ahem, the playing for the other team.

    His early marriage, quiet nature, and fixation with jazz have long contributed to these rumors. (These days, fixation with jazz is either for white nerds (think Woody Allen) or a certain "type" of man who appreciates "the arts." Blacks as a whole don't care about it---it's old people music--and few blacks know it was a popular form of black music and well praised. But this certain "type" of man loved the revival of Chicago on Broadway at the time.)

    And then some gay guy came out and wrote an article about having a long-term relationship with a then-current big-name MLB player on a major East Coast team (that was as specific as the article got). This was written in the late 90s/early 2000s, when Bernie was playing for the Yankees and was well-known; he seemed the most likely candidate.

    Replies: @Penny Red

    when Bernie was playing for the Yankees and was well-known; he seemed the most likely candidate.

    Which explains why the sports press went after Mike Piazza.

  288. Priss Factor [AKA "Polly Perkins"] says:
    @Anonymous
    @Priss Factor

    John Goodman's character is based on screenwriter John Milius, who is Jewish. He was born Jewish, while Goodman's character is a convert, but I guess the Coens always just know better.

    Replies: @Priss Factor

    I think the Goodman character was inspired by the external tough-guy persona of Milius.

    Surely, the Coens know that the real Milius is a far more interesting and complex man than a clown like the Goodman character. Much of Milius’ act was just bluster. He actually has a keen understanding of history and cultures.
    And he has great respect for the enemy.
    He is after a Jewish guy with admiration even for tough Nazis. He is a white man who admires Geronimo. He is anti-communist but with respect for tough commies.

  289. Priss Factor [AKA "Polly Perkins"] says:
    @Kylie
    @Priss Factor

    "Classical music is richer, so the artist finds depth as he ages. Many seem to hit their peak in middle ages."

    True. One more reason why Schubert's early death was so tragic. He lived, composed and died in the monumental shadow cast by Beethoven. But had Beethoven only lived to be 31 years old as Schubert did, Beethoven's shadow would not have been nearly so monumental. And Schubert, who composed the "Unfinished Symphony" and the "Death and the Maiden" string quartet while still only in his mid-twenties, would surely have continued to compose masterpieces well into middle age and beyond had he lived longer.

    Replies: @Priss Factor

    Kalinnikov also died too young.

    What a symphony.

  290. Priss Factor [AKA "Polly Perkins"] says:

    Infectious

  291. Priss Factor [AKA "Polly Perkins"] says:
    @Steve Sailer
    @Peter Akuleyev

    The Eagles were always kind of a grown-up band for grown-ups. One reason they sold so many records is because they appealed to working people with jobs who could afford to put an album in the shopping cart, whereas more frantically loved bands appealed more to kids with limited allowances.

    Other than maybe Joe Walsh, the Eagles didn't seem to have super strong urges to be rock icons personally, the way Bowie really really wanted to be Bowie. (And Walsh has a great sense of humor about it -- thus, "Life's Been Good.") A lot of their songs are about how maybe they should get the hell out of L.A. and quit this crazy rock star life.

    Replies: @Alec Leamas, @Peter Akuleyev, @Priss Factor

    “The Eagles were always kind of a grown-up band for grown-ups. One reason they sold so many records is because they appealed to working people with jobs who could afford to put an album in the shopping cart, whereas more frantically loved bands appealed more to kids with limited allowances.”

    Eagles was the phoniest band of all time. They were to country-rock what Billy Joel was to singer-songwriter.

    The idea of country rock was itself sort of shaky as its main practitioners were not much accepted by the country music scene.
    When Dylan, the Band, Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Grateful Dead, and etc were doing country rock in the late 60s and 70s, they were moving into uncertain territory.
    Even though rock n roll has country roots, country music back then was associated with conservatism and everything at odds with counter-culture.
    But some of these rock acts of the late 60s began to treat country as bona fide traditional music to draw inspiration from. Indeed, its very conservatism seemed a bit ‘radical’ when so many were into psychedelic and crazy stuff.
    And there were also figures like Johnny Cash, a kind of bridge because he was respected by real country music folks and by rocker folks.

    Even if rockers doing country wasn’t totally authentic, there was genuine passion and rspect, and it wasn’t mainly for the money. Byrds didn’t have big hits doing country. And Flying Burrito Brothers did it for love.

    But then, things got more commercial and slick with Crosby, Stills, and Nash. And Poco and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. And America and John Denver. CSN, to their credit, did have links to the 60s, and Still at his best was really good.

    Eventually, Eagles came on the scene and they slicked it up so much. They turned an effort, an experiment, a commitment… in pure commercialism. It’s like ‘country items’ one finds in souvenir shops.

    Eagles is country rock what Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is to the Anti-Western. It was country rock completed as cross-over to people who never care to see the country or hear country. It’s no wonder so many of their country-inflected songs are set in urban areas and are about urban neurosis.

    Hotel California is an impressive song but a put-on.

    But I love Lying Eyes. That is a perfect song.
    Even fakers can do it right. It’s like Billy Joel is a faker, but Just the Way You Are is a great one.

  292. Priss Factor [AKA "Polly Perkins"] says:

    He’s dancin’, he’s dancin’.

  293. Is “fey” like an old people word for homo?

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