By: Kidman J. Williams
We’ve heard all the jokes about how Rolling Stone Magazine hasn’t been relevant for many years. They’ve been out of touch with the youth and most of all…they wouldn’t know good music if it jumped up and bit them on the genitalia that they used to have when they tackled hard-nosed journalism.
It has become more apparent than ever when I came across a review of Yoko Ono’s three reissues by Christopher R. Weingarten.
Instead of telling you ‘this is what we think about Yoko Ono’s reissues,’ the author and Rolling Stone editors felt the need to passively ask you a question in the title, “Reconsidering Yoko Ono: Three Reissues Honor Legacy of Avant-Rock Icon.” On top of it all, they call Ono a rock icon, further flushing the legacy that streaks the toilets at Rolling Stones’ newsroom.
Ono’s vocal style is exceedingly ribald. She sounds as if a beluga whale gave birth to a full grown rhinoceros and Weingarten wants us to believe that her style is horribly misunderstood by the rest of the world who has eardrums.
Weingarten, who I usually enjoy (the self proclaimed last rock critic standing, and Twitter critic) has all the qualities I look for and admire in a colleague. He is brash, unapologetic, cocksure, and innovative.
This piece giving Ono credit for paving the way for rock stars like Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle), Sonic Youth, and even crediting Ono for being a link to punk music is a shame to everything great about music. Sure, Sonic Youth did an album with Ono, but it sure wasn’t anything that resembled real music.
Now, I could swallow some of this if he didn’t go that one step too far. Weingarten, much like a child lying his/her way out of the broken vase they knocked down took the lie too far making me wonder if he was told by the Stone that rolls down hill to give Ono a good review.
Weingarten states in his review that the songs, “Why?” “Touch Me” and “Open Your Box” should earn Ono a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for single-handedly wiring the post-punk and no wave engines more than half a decade early.”
Too, too, TOO far you rotten pignut! That would make a mockery of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Buddy Holly was so mad after your review that he turned around and punched John Denver in teeth just so Lennon understood how much of a travesty it was before Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin found him, sucker punched him, and kicked him in the codpiece.
I too have been approached before by magazines I’ve worked for to write a stellar review for a record label’s desirable new ball playing wallet widener. Swallowing a live alligator isn’t fun, but with little job prospects out there for music writers, sometimes you need to swallow that gator teeth first.
Giving Ono a five star rating is irresponsibly daft. Helen Keller would have even had enough sense to not approach this reissue with injudicious praise. Especially when satire and nose thumbing in writing seems to get lost on a lot of readers nowadays, or maybe I’m giving the writer too much credit.
I’m going to leave on this note. Before one compares the music of Pink Floyd and Frank Zappa to Yoko Ono and Lennon’s abortion of music (which Weingarten DID), there are a couple of things to know.
Floyd, Zappa, Beefheart, all experimented with noise. This is true Weingarten. But those bands also knew the value of melody, rhythm, and composition. Oh yeah, I almost forgot. They also knew how to write lyrics and be entertaining.
There’s no musical value in a girl who screams with searing volume unless she is in the pornography business.
Yoko Ono Musical Examples