Sunday, June 29, 2014

Aging rock stars and how it can be a bit sexist

On Wednesday, I went to see Blondie in Cologne.  I'm not a huge Blondie fan, but big enough that I was really excited to hear hits like "Heart of Glass," "Atomic," and "One Way or Another."  To be clear, I don't actually follow Blondie at all; I actually just listen to the music and don't look out for them in the media.  And this is probably what my problem was because when Debbie Harry came out on stage, I thought to myself, "Whoa, Debbie Harry is old!"

Before you tell me I'm a raging idiot and of course Debbie Harry is old, let me clarify why this came to me as a surprise.  Debbie Harry's face is so tightly bound to Blondie's image that when the band was getting popular back in the day, everyone actually thought Debbie Harry's name was Blondie (it wasn't, and there was a campaign from the band with buttons that said, "Blondie is a group.") Everyone knows what Debbie Harry looked like in the 70s because she graces t-shirts and other items as modern vintage.  At the concert, they were also selling t-shirts with her face on it, but it was an image from the 70s, not from now.  Even if I google "Debbie Harry Rolling Stone," the search results show a German cover from July 2011.  And guess what?  It's not Debbie Harry as how she currently looks, but what she looked like 40 years ago:

Sure, the lead article is, "35 Years of Punk," along with "The Myth of Debbie Harry - Meeting with the Punk-Pop Goddess" and "Blondie - The New Album."  Although two out of the three articles deal with Debbie Harry now, Rolling Stone chose to feature her image from the 70s.  It's only when you look inside that you see what she currently looks like.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Visit to Abbey Road Studios - The Sound of Abbey Road

Back at the beginning of May, I had planned a trip to London.  While talking to a friend, they asked if I was going to do anything Beatles-related.  I asked myself if perhaps Abbey Road Studios had changed its policy of no tours, so I checked their website.  To my surprise and delight, there just happened to be a talk in Studio Two the weekend I would be there, "The Sound of Abbey Road."  I immediately ordered my ticket, wondering if I should really drop the hefty £90 (114€/$150 USD) price to get in.  Friends and family thought I was nuts.  Some understood why I spent the money, others didn't.

Why did I even have my doubts?

Upon getting to the studios, I was out of breath from running through St. John's Wood to get there on time.  The guys up front assured me I was on time and that the talk hadn't begun.  As directed, I walked through a hall and down a staircase decorated with various black and white images of musical legends recording in Abbey Road -- from The Beatles to David Bowie to Oasis.  At the bottom, I made a right and entered the legendary Studio Two.