Pages

Thursday, September 25, 2008

GMVW # 38: "I Want My MTV!"

Gem Music Video of the Week # 38:  I Want My MTV!
Song:  King of Pain by The Police
(Songwriter: Sting)
September 25, 2008

Foxboro Stadium, 1983: Part 3 of 3

The 3rd and final band to hit Foxboro in 1983 was the Police. The Police rise to fame was rapid and was enhanced by the emergence of MTV at the same time.  Along with their numerous videos, the Police were regular guests with the MTV ‘VJs’, and as time went by, it was apparent that there was no love lost between the band members, particularly Sting and Stuart Copeland (reminiscent of Lennon vs. McCartney in the movie ‘Let it Be’).  By 1983, tensions were high and the end was near, but the show went on, and the tour was a grand success on all fronts.

The Police are proof positive that even yuppies can write good music (hold on, Glenn Frey already proved that!). A little harsh, perhaps, but that’s the way they appear to me as I view their old videos again.  After all, how many bands have done a video on the ski slopes (see the “Do-Do-Do-Do-Da-Da-Da-Da” video below, which is this weeks “Gem Light”).  Ok, I do seem to recall a certain Beatles film in 1965 that included skiing, but by this time John Lennon was yelling for ‘Help!’ (often admitting that these were his ‘bloated Elvis’ days), and it was not long before he was doing bed-ins with Yoko and practicing primal scream therapy.  For his turn, George Harrison was soon playing sitar with Ravi Shankar and squatting with the Maharishi (One other thought:  In the movie Help! the Beatles come across as pretty bad skiers… knowing Sting, he probably had a skiing form that would put
Picabo Street
to shame).

By 1983, Sting was on the verge of some life changes himself, however.  His solo career was about to take off.  More importantly, he was soon to become a staple in a variety of charity and protest concert tours in the late 80’s.  When I think of rock musicians that have dedicated themselves to charitable causes, the names that come to mind are Bruce Springsteen, Joan Baez, Peter Gabriel, CSN, Bono….and Sting.  Sting, as was the case with Lennon, realized a life of excess was not all it was cracked up to be and turned his life around to the benefit of himself and others. 

The Police were a band of extremes with their songs.  They were either playing music for the masses with a simple message and a simple sound (‘Every Little Thing She Does is Magic’, ‘Every Breath You Take’, and the aforementioned Gem Light) or they were waxing philosophy (‘Synchronicity II’ a song/storyline built on Carl Jung’s theory of meaningful coincidence). Another deep song was this week’s Gem, ‘King of Pain’, my favorite Police song.  Below the video url link are the lyrics to the song, which is said to be about clinical depression.

The recent reunion tour was nice to read about, but I didn’t have the urge to go myself:  In the case of this band, one show was great, and one was good enough for me. 

The Police were a rare breed of 3-piece bands.  Can anyone name at least 4 others?

- Pete

Gem Video of the Week: King of Pain

Gem Light: Do-Do-Do-Do-Da-Da-Da-Da

Lyrics to ‘King of Pain’

There's a little black spot on the sun today
It's the same old thing as yesterday
There's a black hat caught in a high tree top
There's a flag-pole rag and the wind won't stop

I have stood here before inside the pouring rain
With the world turning circles running 'round my brain
I guess I'm always hoping that you'll end this reign
But it's my destiny to be the king of pain

There's a little black spot on the sun today
(That`s my soul up there)
It's the same old thing as yesterday
(That`s my soul up there)
There's a black hat caught in a high tree top
(That`s my soul up there)
There's a flag-pole rag and the wind won't stop
(That`s my soul up there)

I have stood here before inside the pouring rain
With the world turning circles running 'round my brain
I guess I'm always hoping that you'll end this reign
But it's my destiny to be the king of pain

There's a fossil that's trapped in a high cliff wall
(That`s my soul up there)
There's a dead salmon frozen in a waterfall
(That`s my soul up there)
There's a blue whale beached by a spring tide's ebb
(That`s my soul up there)
There's a butterfly trapped in a spider's web
(That`s my soul up there)

I have stood here before inside the pouring rain
With the world turning circles running 'round my brain
I guess I'm always hoping that you'll end this reign
But it's my destiny to be the king of pain

There's a king on a throne with his eyes torn out
There's a blind man looking for a shadow of doubt
There's a rich man sleeping on a golden bed
There's a skeleton choking on a crust of bread

King of pain

There's a red fox torn by a huntsman's pack
There's a black-winged gull with a broken back
There's a little black spot on the sun today
It's the same old thing as yesterday

I have stood here before inside the pouring rain
With the world turning circles running 'round my brain
I guess I'm always hoping that you'll end this reign
But it's my destiny to be the king of pain

King of pain
I'll always be king of pain
I'll always be king of pain

----------------------
About the video: Live from the 1986 tour

Video Rating: 2 (although it was hard to find a quality live version of this song)

------------------------------------

Best Feedback: Most everyone replied to the question regarding 3-piece bands, including Steve:

Hey Mac;

Do you still weigh 140lbs soaking wet?lol!
How about;
Triumph
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Dinosaur Jr.
Beastie Boys
Dust
WolfMother
Blue Cheer
Ben Folds Five
Chevelle
Urge Overkill
Ten Years After
also, Sonic Youth and Talking Heads started as trios and added a fourth
member later

Cheers
Steve

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to comment: