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Rock Dinosaurs We Salute You

Posted on 22 September 2010 by Joe

Two years ago the NME almost hammered the last nail into the coffin of the Glastonbury Festival with its scathing criticism of the 2007 line up, which included so-called dinosaurs of rock The Who.

It was a welcome piece of campaigning journalism from the publication that has been sadly lacking since. But while it was right to attack organiser Michael Eavis, himself a middle aged man, for hiring The Who, it is not fair to say that festivals and the modern music lover should ignore all dinosaurs of rock and music.

Yes by all means ignore Pete Townsend and Roger Daltry. After one good album in the mid 60s their descent into rock opera should quite rightly be shunned.

But when it comes to other veterans such as former Husker Du frontman Bob Mould or Talking Head’s David Byrne, these middle-agers should be treated with the respect they deserve.

This month Neon Filler has been paying tribute to these two dinosaurs of alternative music. Byrne was this month performing at the Brighton Dome, UK, as part of his tour of Brian Eno collaborations. While the crowd of forty-somethings dancing in the aisles may have been embarrassing, the 56-year-old Byrne dressed purely in white, remained, as ever, cool personified.

Just listen to his Everything That Happens Will Happen Today album of last year with Eno and its stand out track ‘Strange Overtones’. This together with classic talking Heads tracks such as ‘Once in a Lifetime’ sound as new and innovative as anything being put out today, often by bands who are old enough to be his grand children.

And as for 48-year-old Bob Mould, whose ninth solo album Life and Times was released this week, he is still one of the most influential artists working in alternative music. From his bands Husker Du and Sugar and solo work Mould continues to influence and challenge. Fast/slow rock, hardcore, power pop, all labels that Mould either invented or mastered. If you don’t already own Zen Arcade, Husker Du’s 1984 album, get it and ask yourself this question. Would Nevermind and zillions of albums since have ever been made if it wasn’t for Bob Mould?

Mould and Byrne, rock dinosaurs, we salute you.

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