If, however, you believe Stone Temple Pilots and Buckcherry are where Ted Nugent would have ended up if he didn't OD on elk jerky and NRA propaganda, then you feel much like John Hinckley probably did after his psychologist let him watch Taxi Driver on DVD: deeply appreciative but still wondering what all the fuss is about.
THE SONG NOT THE SAME?
The mythology of classic rock holds that everything used to be one big fantasy sequence from The Song Remains the Same: coked-up druids, trashed Hilton suites, and roadies deep into black magic. The reality is that the vast majority of classic rock is nerdy or nonthreatening. You're more likely to hear Supertramp, Fleetwood Mac, Yes, Journey, and Jethro Tull on an Aflac commercial than see them carved into the arm of a berserker teen. The Bone has always needed to appeal to men and women, hawks and doves, parolees and nonparolees. Until the change in format, ubiquitous classic rock loser ballads like the Who's "Behind Blue Eyes" and Pink Floyd's "Mother" represented the shadow self of the average Aleister Crowley–worshiping Bonehead. After the tweak the Bone forced its aging listeners to ask themselves a fundamental and humbling question: "Am I getting too old for this I-Roc?" Bone listeners older than 40 — who weren't impressionable suckers when music, fashion, advertising, and public relations merged with movies, television, and politics in the late ’80s — had to swallow a bitter pill: it's really all the same now, just younger.
The old Bone — despite its marketing and popularity with grown men who paint their faces silver and black and dress up as Norse war gods for their children's Pop Warner football games — always played an embarrassing amount of lame music. For every "Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap)" or "Kashmir," there were two pieces of shit like "Gimme Three Steps" and "China Grove." The new Bone basically employs the same formula: Rainbow, Metallica, and Alice in Chains but now with acoustic Nickelback and blink-182 thrown in for the women and the younger sensitive guys.
This, objectively, is no wimpier than the old wimpy stuff, just more corporate and more easily marketable. The new Bone plays songs that strippers born after 1984 can lap dance to and still seem credible to their under-30 clientele. A lot of the new Bone stuff — by so-called active rock bands such as Audioslave and Velvet Revolver — easily out-rocks anything by Don Henley — and anything he ever touched.
Sometimes it's better to just sound good than appear consistent. What rocks for me doesn't necessarily rock for my next-door neighbor, unless Alice Cooper is now living in a pupuseria on 24th Street and Harrison. As for the ultimate judge, Bruce Lee's legacy, I say the Bone still facilitates a Bay Area dialogue, even if it's only seen Enter the Dragon and the first 10 minutes of Game of Death. SFBG
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