Check Out This Playlist of Good Bands That “Blew It,” Compiled by the Melvins’ Buzz Osborne
Like my headline says, the Melvins’ Buzz Osborne has made a playlist for The A.V. Club consisting of “bands that were good, but blew it.” It’s obviously more than a little thought-provoking to see which bands Osborne selected for the mix, but just as thought-provoking are his thoughts on exactly how those bands “blew it.” For example…
“They started off so promising and ended up so ridiculous. It’s an Elvis scenario: You give any penniless hick $1 million and they’re going to go crazy. I’m sure Metallica is surrounded by sycophant yes men who do nothing but agree with them. Nobody is there to go, ‘Guys, this is fucking horrible and you guys are acting like idiots!’”
“I picked these guys because we played their last round of shows with them and they were better than they’d ever been. Then they decided it was time to completely break up, which is totally and completely ridiculous… I think [the idea of “quitting while you’re ahead” is] ridiculous. You do this much work, so you should continue doing that much work. I’ve always had the idea that multi-millionaire rock stars should work harder than anyone, because they have the ability to do it. Look at an artist like Andy Warhol. He never stopped working even after he didn’t need to work again. I think when he died he was worth $200 million. He certainly didn’t need to work, but he did. Francis Bacon was a brutal alcoholic, but painted from like 6 a.m. to noon every single day until he died.”
I’m not sure I agree with Mr. Osborne on that last point; there certainly is something to be said for quitting while you’re ahead, especially if you’re not confident that you can soldier on doing the same level of work. Some fire clearly burned deep within Francis Bacon that he kept on keepin’ on, but Metallica, to choose another one of his examples, should have thrown in the towel years ago. Granted, it’s probably not easy to know if you’re about to jump the shark or not, but I respect Isis — and bands like them — for never letting it get that far out of hand.
Check out Osborne’s entire playlist below; you can read his accompanying explanations here.
Thanks: Adrien Begrand