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 Post subject: UNDERSTANDING THE IDEA.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:46 am 
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I've been compelled to become, reluctantly, involved in a discussion on Facebook concerning tribute bands, in particular ones that aim to reproduce Be Bop Deluxe's recordings.

Most of our regular Dreamsville members will already know my personal dislike of tribute bands but I thought it might be interesting for those fans not on Facebook pages to read one of my comments from the thread on the topic.

There are a lot of Be Bop Deluxe fans on FB that love the music I made 40 something years ago but who have either not bothered to listen to the music I make now or find it too alien for their tastes, which is fine by me. However, I always try to encourage an open mind (and ear) to the newer recordings though this can be sometimes a difficult, if not impossible task.

In the FB thread I'm referring to I posted several, hopefully helpful, pointers on the subject of being 'yourself', originality, the lure of nostalgia and the emptiness of merely copying someone else's work. My comments were greeted with applause but also with criticism from the rather more conservative members of the fan base.

I thought that it might be of interest to copy here just one of my replies to the thread which might illuminate my thoughts for those here who more intimately know my motives. Here it is:


"You know, Be Bop Deluxe wasn't just a band, it was an IDEA. A concept of sorts that was progressive, (though not necessarily in the 'Prog' sense.) I wanted to embrace a spirit of enquiry and experimentation within the confines of rock music. I certainly didn't want it to become mired in the more conservative notions of rock. It was meant to contain elements of both the past and the future, to be open ended and have the potential to mutate and develop. That's why, for instance, 'Drastic Plastic;' is an entirely different album to 'Axe Victim' and so on. The IDEA was to encourage a forward looking approach to rock music, to sweep fans into the next development, to help them grow in their understanding of what the basic idea was about. And it wasn't about sticking with what had been done before but more with what was possible, what perhaps COULD be done. I split the band when the inevitable consequence of whatever success we had forced us into a tight corner and a potential stagnation. I enjoyed that success but wasn't comfortable with exchanging it for musical conformity. I don't make music with commercial success in mind, I just make MUSIC. Some folks will get it, some won't, and that's the way of the world. But to try and second-guess what will sell or won't sell is not the path of an artist, it's the way of an entertainer, and I guess I'm only that by accident. I'm all about music, and, for better or worse, little else."


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 Post subject: Re: UNDERSTANDING THE IDEA.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:05 pm 
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I agree Totally! Just keep doing what you are doing, moving FORWARD and don't worry about what other people think ( I know you don't, really!) I could see a band doing their OWN music and MAYBE a song or two in tribute to a GREAT BAND, but yes, be original.....take that IDEA of Bill's and expand on it! Go in your OWN Direction! If Bill pursued BeBop all these years, we wouldn't have the other WONDERFUL things he's done......Auditoria is a FAR place from BeBop, and I might add, an absolutely BEAUTIFUL ablum(s)!!!!! Now if we could just hear those other 12 albums waiting in the wings!!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: UNDERSTANDING THE IDEA.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:25 pm 
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skyrocket2 wrote:
Now if we could just hear those other 12 albums waiting in the wings!!!!!


You know, it might actually be more than 12 at this point.

.

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"I'm a man of vision… and I like what I see."


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 Post subject: Re: UNDERSTANDING THE IDEA.
PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:12 pm 
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Just listened to The Sparkling Idea


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 Post subject: Re: UNDERSTANDING THE IDEA.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:12 pm 
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alec wrote:
Just listened to The Sparkling Idea


... and it fits the sentiments expressed by Bill.

Bill, I keep wondering when the topic of Be-Bop Deluxe is brought up of your idea of reuniting the band but record something entirely different, improvised and reminiscent of nothing previous . 8)


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 Post subject: Re: UNDERSTANDING THE IDEA.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:04 pm 
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alec wrote:
Bill, I keep wondering when the topic of Be-Bop Deluxe is brought up of your idea of reuniting the band but record something entirely different, improvised and reminiscent of nothing previous .


Well, alec, I think now, after some years of deliberation, reuniting the band would seem little more than a calculated financial exercise, and maybe a worthless one at that, particularly given the way the music industry works. Also, it could never be quite the same band without Charlie.

We, (and I,) have to accept that what was once relevant to its time is now long gone, and gone forever. But that's ok. There's nothing to fear about that. It's just the natural way things go. The music we made back then remains on the recordings and there's not much to be gained by reconstituting the band and trying to inject fresh life into it. We've all gone our separate ways, and in different directions. It's far too late to consider such options.Warmed over food is never as nutrition as fresh.

As for the future, I guess I'm doing now exactly what I'd be directing Be Bop Deluxe to do if the band was still in place. I wasn't shackeled by the bands itself, only by people's expectations of its name. Trapped by the BRAND if you like. Stereotyped like a soap opera actor doomed to forever play the same role that the audience were happy with. Not my style, I'm afraid.

What you get to hear now is the same idea that empowered Be Bop Deluxe, but pushed forward in time, developed, mutated, evolved, become more personal, more real, more honest, more true.

No one is missing anything other than their own youth. Now I make my music for grown-ups, for people who have come to terms with time and tide...This is the way it goes, this is the way it stays relevant. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: UNDERSTANDING THE IDEA.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:09 pm 
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All very good points .

I'm glad ex-Japan did it with Rain Tree Crow, completely chucking out what was expected of them by us Japan listeners, not this listener, mind, and I think you had that sparkling idea first


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 Post subject: Re: UNDERSTANDING THE IDEA.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:40 pm 
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Bill Nelson wrote:
No one is missing anything other than their own youth.


Well, there's that.

.

_________________
"I'm a man of vision… and I like what I see."


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 Post subject: Re: UNDERSTANDING THE IDEA.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:47 pm 
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Everyone likes the stuff they heard in their youth and hopefully we keep finding new stuff to inspire us .

I even like stuff from other peoples' youths, like the Swing and Big Band my parents used to always play .

Guess my first Be Bop Deluxe memory was when I was an 11-year-old so that's pretty youthful .

Rain Tree Crow was the goodbye-to-our-youth record for the Japan listeners . It's a shame that a sticker that proclaimed "Japan", etc. had to be stuck on it but then, again, maybe units wouldn't have been moved at all without and it would've been yanked after only one day in the shops .


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 Post subject: Re: UNDERSTANDING THE IDEA.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:26 pm 
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We're all part of the continuum of our history. It is probably even more acute, when that history includes a landmark (in Bill's case a very developmental concept) event in a genre that has become historic (proof ie. The Museum of Rock and Roll).

So it is understandable that some people would want to continue/investigate such a landmark event. It is probably a bit of a conumdrum when a living aspect of a landmark event does not want to actively involve themselves in the continuance/investigation, since they are carrying on - with great success - I say!

As remarked, it may inspire some to investigate the present and catch the ever-ride to the future.


:) (onward and upward)


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