We just watched "Alfie" the other day, a comedy with Jude Law playing some kind of British gigolo in Manhattan. Actually, we only saw the first half of it, since the DVD was scratched, & it's not as if I had been extraordinarily impressed by that half-a-movie to waste my breath on it, but something he (Jude/"Alfie") said in the movie only hit home roughly 24 hrs later.
During one of his typical monologues during which he seeks to impart his macho wisdom to the audience, he mentions that the most important things in life to him are "Wine, Women and..." then he pauses & says, "Well, that's it: wine & women." It only dawned on me today that the omitted third item on the list would have been "... and song." The one thing he could easily live without - as I'm sure many of his generation can, is music.
Oddly enough, there has never been more music around, nor a greater offer of music than today. And maybe that's precisely one reason why music has become so dispensable to some - to many folks.
Personally, I have my own little "conspiracy theory" (again) about what's behind people's dying love for music. It's the music itself. I believe that a musical prophecy uttered in Don McLean's song from 1971, "Bye Bye Miss American Pie" has been fulfilled, about "the day the music died."
Now, my audience has heard me joke many times when announcing this song (which I only play upon request), that the day the music died was the day Madonna recorded that song. This is supposed to be a joke, but there may be some truth to it. If you look at the nature of Madonna's recording of that classic: no more "living" acoustic guitar, piano, drums & bass rendering a song that was critical of the society in which it was born, and certainly way ahead of its time as far as the lyrics were concerned, let alone a voice like Don McLean's, which already inspired another songwriter to come down with "Killing Me Softly With His Song" in the 70s, but a sterile, monotonous beat, created in the same artificial manner as the rest of the "instruments," accompanying the sterile voice of a woman who has always been much more of a businessman than a musician.
People were "forced" to like it and to consume it because it was played on the radios until its lifeless beat was drilled into every head, fulfilling the very prophecy those words, now rendered in a non-chalant, meaningless way: "the day the music died."
Yes, ladies & gentlemen, music has been wiped off the list of the 3 essential things in life a man needs because it is dead, it has died, or rather, it has been killed, murdered, finished off.... drowned, strangled, suffocated, shot & stabbed.
At least on the surface, it has, and as far as the superficial "Alfie" types care to look. In reality, you and I know that it hasn't really died, just like they can't kill love off completely in spite of all their efforts to commercialize, industrialize & fake it. But compared to the importance it used to have in people's lives for millenia before Madonna, it's true: it's dead by comparison.
But there's an underground movement, very similar to a strange little Jewish sect in Palestine 2000 years ago, whose members were awaiting the resurrection of their publicly executed Leader. We, the true believers, know that music will live again, and it will live forever, just like true Christians know that one day their True King will reign, once He will have kicked out the usurper. I believe that in that process He will also kick out all those false "kings & queens of Pop," who are usurping the charts these days, and replace them with real, alive music again, such as people have known for thousands of years, when it still held a rank of importance, right beside "wine & women."

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