19 June 2007

Music-Band Movies, or Why do fat guys always have to be drummer?

I've seen a million movies about music bands, and it's always the same story. The band members start off in their garage, being a pain in the ass to their parents and neighbors. They then show us how they compose their first song (which usually ends up being their biggest hit), which is usually like this: they're all feeling pretty low because they aren't able to compose shit, and then the guitarist 'accidentally' plays a riff while practising, and the songwriter 'accidentally' notices the riff, gets all excited about it, and then proceeds to add lyrics, and so on. This is probably one of the most depressing parts of the movie, because the song they've just composed usually sucks, and it's always depressing seeing people improvise on a song that already sounds awful. It's like putting in a lot of effort for something while going in the wrong direction.

Anyway, while at the pinnacle of their cacophony, their future manager 'accidentally stumbles' upon them, and, very impressed with their music, arranges for them to play a gig in some cheap club. They end up playing like shit, thanks to their nervousness and all, and they're booed like hell by the crowd. The manager, worried, calls them backstage, and gives them an inspiring speech full of assorted crap. So they let go, inspired, and give it their all, playing with all their heart and all, and lo! they're an instant hit!!

We then get to see how their song made it to #1 in the local radio, how they go to a recording studio and record their first album, which again goes on to climb all the charts, and we see rotating newspapers with blow-ups of the bands, more gigs, and so on. They also show some happy cigar-smoking record label boss patting the band members with cigar in hand, big grin and all, obviously impressed with their talent and the sales of these albums. If there's one thing I hate the most in the world, it's cigar-smoking record label bosses. They never fail to piss me off.

Anyway, after a few years of all this popularity, these guys are big shots, and act like pricey bastards. Then comes this big ego fight resulting in the band splitting. The fans are distraught. They send like 20 million letters urging the band to get together, but since the band members are egoistic bastards, they don't.

Many years later, they happen to meet in a gathering (probably the band manager's death), and they kinda make up with each other. And then they decide to play together once again, "for -band-manager-" or 'because -band-manager- had always wanted this". Someone always has to die for these fuckers to come together again. That's why the movies have characters like band managers. Normally, they're about as useful as a fork is when drinking soup, and their only purpose is to die and get the band members together again.

Anyway, these guys decide to play together ,and as you've guessed by now, the gig is sold out. The movie ends when the band, after singing a few of their numbers, decide to sing their first hit, the crap song. They exchange glances, grin at each other (which is shown in close-up), and then break into song, and when the crowd hears that familiar riff, they go mad.

What I hate the most in such movies, apart from the music, is that if there's a drummer in the band, it always has to be a fat guy, who almost always is nothing more than a part of the background. He doesn't even get to put on any starry airs, even during the scenes of the band splitting. Hell... the poor bastard doesn't even get a chick!

I do agree that the drums are important in a band and all, but then, you don't need great skills in order to play drums in a movie. The only proper skill you need for playing a drummer in a movie is your goddam stomach. And the bigger it is, the better your drumming is supposed to be. I can almost imagine the director, when casting, thinking "Ok... now the drummer. What we need is a fat guy with a lot of hair, who'll gel with the background. No... not this guy. We need a real mean drummer, and this guy isn't heavy enough to look like a good drummer." That always depresses me.

If I ever made a movie on a music band, I'll make sure the fat guy either sings or plays the guitar or does both, apart from getting all the chicks he wants. Those poor bastards deserve a break, you know.

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