Patterico's Pontifications

5/9/2007

The Buffoon That Is Roger Friedman

Filed under: Buffoons — Justin Levine @ 11:12 am

[posted by Justin Levine] 

First, he dares to speak about Anna Nicole Smith’s neighbors without watching the entire Anna Nicole Smith Show, then he says these outrageous remarks regarding one of the best bands still working today:

Rush is back. The big hair, fake falsetto heavy metal group that made the 1980s so irrelevant musically sold 84,000 copies for Atlantic Records last week with a new album called “Snakes & Arrows.” Never underestimate the low standards of the buying public, I guess. Journey, Poison, shoulder pads and perms shouldn’t be too far behind at this rate.

I don’t even know where to start here. Is this guy for real??

[Update: More Friedman ass-ripping over at the Rush Is A Band blog. I am more convinced than ever that Friedman is getting Rush confused with Ratt. A serious mistake to be sure – but perhaps an honest one.]

49 Responses to “The Buffoon That Is Roger Friedman”

  1. Comparing Rush to Poison?

    Next thing you know, someone will say Andrew Sullivan blogs at Instapundit!

    Rustmeister (f4f57d)

  2. Rush is my favorite band of all time. Their newest music (I haven’t heard the current album) is very weak compared to the classic stuff, but at their peak, they were the best.

    Patterico (111732)

  3. is he acting well-rehearsed routines,
    or playing from the heart?
    It’s hard for one to know.

    papertiger (90f9f1)

  4. The new Rush album is gettin rave reviews from critics. Comparing it to the Hemispheres-era of Rush music. A return to form.

    Justin Levine (7ad338)

  5. Um, when’s the last time any member of Rush had “big hair”? The days of the flowing robes, I’m guessing.

    The last time I checked, that’s Geddy Lee’s real voice, not some contrived “fake falsetto” (does that term even make sense? — a fake fake?). Yes, it’s an acquired taste, but it is what it is.

    “Heavy metal”? Maybe, once upon a time (first album, before Neal Peart?)

    How much ignorance can one person cram into four sentences?

    truthwins (31aa78)

  6. “you’re only immortal, for a limited time…”
    And some people waste their 15 minutes of fame beclowning themselves.

    tyree (b2fade)

  7. I’m beginning to suspect that Friedman may have honestly confused ‘Rush’ with ‘Ratt’ in his own mind. That would be the only logical explanation for his silly comments.

    Justin Levine (7ad338)

  8. How much ignorance can one person cram into four sentences?

    Careful — somebody’s bound to take that as a challenge.

    Friedman, maybe.

    McGehee (25adee)

  9. Sorry about his floundering review. Maybe he should leave it to people who really know the music.

    One thing I’ll say for Friedman — and I don’t agree with Katie Couric’s politics — but he did defend her when the inside circle (likely Bob Schieffer, which sounded reasonable) told nasty tales outside the employee lounge. RF did a couple of good columns in her defense, and I just thought it was classy. Maybe her efforts on 6:00 won’t turn out as all had hoped… but network news is in a new era and some changes had to be made.

    Okay and Rush rules. The band not the host.

    Vermont Neighbor (a385c8)

  10. I’m beginning to suspect that Friedman may have honestly confused ‘Rush’ with ‘Ratt’ in his own mind. That would be the only logical explanation for his silly comments.

    I’ll bet you’re right. Rush has always struck me as more of a 70s than an 80s band anyway.

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  11. Sorry about his floundering review. Maybe he should leave it to people who really know the music.

    One thing I’ll say for Friedman — and I don’t agree with Katie Couric’s politics — but he did defend her when the inside circle (likely Bob Schieffer, which sounded reasonable) told nasty tales outside the employee lounge. RF did a couple of good columns in her defense, and I just thought it was classy. Maybe her efforts on 6:00 won’t turn out as all had hoped… but network news is in a new era and some changes had to be made.

    Okay and Rush rules. The band not the host.

    Vermont Neighbor (a385c8)

  12. He’s strong enough to know what’s right but weak enough not to choose it.

    JVW (69c11f)

  13. Hmm. I bought one of those 84,000.

    “Irrelevant musically”? And I can’t figure out what he thinks the relevance of shoulder pads, Journey and Poison are. I don’t think he has ever listened to any of the bands he mentions.

    Or else, more likely, he’s overcompensating because he’s embarrassed that he still has Air Supply’s complete collection on vinyl, and all of the bootlegs on cassette.

    Wiz (041bc8)

  14. Idiot. Great band.
    One of the best rock bassists and drummers to ever play a note.

    deanfv (195ba7)

  15. I hate that terrible Frank Sinatra, with his “Coward of the County”. And that awful beard!

    tom (612cba)

  16. Guy’s trying to fill the void left when Larry King’s column of decerebrate utterances got pulled.

    Dan Collins (1e2e08)

  17. BTW, is the LAT allowed to say this?

    Giuliani’s foes see abortion as chink in his political armor

    Dan Collins (1e2e08)

  18. All one has to do is read Roger Friedman and it shatters the illusion of integrity.

    Yeah.

    :-)

    Actually I think the era from 1982-1992 will be viewed as the last great era of the ALBUM format. Unfortunately for Roger you wouldn’t know that by catching an hour or two of MTV a year.

    Rich Horton (8018ee)

  19. Harrumph. Bunch of Rush sycophants here. This thread echoes with the sounds of salesmen. 😉

    (By the by, YYZ was one of the major selling points of Guitar Hero II for me)

    Rick Wilcox (71646f)

  20. I’m beginning to suspect that Friedman may have honestly confused ‘Rush’ with ‘Ratt’ in his own mind. That would be the only logical explanation for his silly comments.

    I’ll tell you the truth — I didn’t go for the flavor-of-the-month metal bands out of the Whisky-A-Go-Go during the ’80s, but in retrospect, those AOR groups actually had some kickin’ guitar players, unlike the guys around now who think of musicianship and flashy solos as passe. Say what you want about the final product of Ratt, Dokken, Winger, etc.; at the time, you knew the axeslingers blistering the fingerboard like you know the starting QBs in the NFL. (For the record — Warren DeMartini, George Lynch, and Reb Beach).

    On the competency front, things are starting to come around with the advent of Brit bands like Arctic Monkeys and Kaiser Chiefs, but then there are the losers like the Strokes. I had high hopes for Franz Ferdinand, but not so much anymore. The arrogance of Brandon Flowers notwithstanding, the Killers recapture the passion U2 left behind on its first three LPs, and are just as talented musically. I can’t stand John Mayer’s soft and sappy solo stuff, but love the John Mayer Trio, and he’s a fantastic guitar player when he wants to be.

    I know I’m rambling, but this subject doesn’t come up too often, and it’s all spilling out in random order. I’ll conclude with this: Rush’s “Lock and Key” (from Hold Your Fire) is one of my favorite all-time songs: all the great qualities of a classic pop-rock tune, but with probing, thought-provoking lyrics about something really important. The only other song that does this as well is Tasmin Archer’s “Sleeping Satellite,” which, if you listen closely, is about how sad it is that conquering the moon has not reaped greater returns.

    P.S. It’s another Rush classic, but I can’t listen to “Subdivisions.” Bad high school memories.

    L.N. Smithee (e1f2bf)

  21. It’s another Rush classic, but I can’t listen to “Subdivisions.” Bad high school memories.

    How about the shopping malls, the basement bars, and the backs of cars?

    Opinions are provided.

    JVW (b840ac)

  22. It’s another Rush classic, but I can’t listen to “Subdivisions.” Bad high school memories.

    What about the shopping malls, the basement bars, and the backs of cars? Be cool or be cast out.

    JVW (b840ac)

  23. Smithee –
    I’ll disagree with you on one thing – “Open Secrets” gets to me the same way “Lock and Key” does. Then again, I did spend most of my teenage years and early twenties in and out of relationships plagued by lacks of communication and unresolved baggage.

    Rick Wilcox (71646f)

  24. Wow,

    There’s no accounting for taste, I guess.

    Top Canadian Music Acts:

    1. Loverboy
    2. The Tragically Hip
    3. Triumph

    98. Chilliwack
    99. Rush
    100. Gino Vannei

    alphie (015011)

  25. Rush was never the same after lead singer Eddie Van Roth left the group to form The Honeydrippers. And publicity-wise, that scandal over his sex video with Pamela Anderson didn’t help matters either.

    Too bad. “Two Minutes to Midnight” was always one of my fave tunes.

    DubiousD (2cbdad)

  26. Oh, alphie. Oh, oh, alphie. Loverboy? You’re trolling for attention again, aren’t you? Oh, wait….

    Why are you guys freaking out about Poison? Journey????? Journey?????? What??????

    Just for the record, “Subdivisions.”

    CraigC (5ffe7f)

  27. rush blows chunks. i could never stand the high voice or preachy attitude of that singer. don’t sing falsetto unless your name is robert plant.

    assistant devil's advocate (ac81fe)

  28. I always associated Rush with Yes. To me, if you like the one, you should like the other. But Rush has been the better band.

    Rush is heavy metal? That’s laughable. What do we call Alice in Chains then, elevator music?

    Psyberian (de47c4)

  29. Top Canadian Music Acts:

    1. Loverboy
    2. The Tragically Hip
    3. Triumph

    It’s the Year of the Dog, and Triumph is ready to cash in. For Triumph The Insult Comic Dog, Come Poop With Me brings full circle a turbulent career that has spanned 63 dog years, dog years of struggle, faith, hope, spite, contempt, and now, at last, actual triumph.

    Few today are likely to remember Triumph’s early television appearances on the “Steve Allen Show,” where network censors forced him to say, “for me to go to the bathroom on.” Triumph overcame this and was an emerging star until his controversial 1968 appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” from which he was barred after his unfortunate ass-raping of Topo Gigio.

    In the ’70s and ’80s, aside from appearances on “The Love Boat” and “Donny and Marie,” Triumph was best known as part of a modern “Rat Pack” that included himself, Robert Goulet, Merv Griffin and the Chuck Wagon dog. Today, as a regular on “Late Night,” Triumph is adored by a whole new audience of not overly discerning young people. But Come Poop With Me, his first album in many years (the classic Songs In The Key of Poop may yet be re-released) reveals a lifelong passion. For Triumph grew up with music; it is as much a part of him as his tail or his pink thing. His father, a toy Rottweiler, sang in Yiddish Theater, and his mother, a sleek Afghan, looks like Celine Dion. (Triumph’s sister isn’t musical, but she smells like Christina Aguilera.)

    papertiger (493a4f)

  30. Patterico is right – he must have been thinking of Ratt. I saw Rush on tour a few times in the 80’s, and we all did that air-drum fill along with Neal Peart in Tom Sawyer. Pretty cool. Never understood how Lee could sing so well while playing the bass like that either. Talent.

    I am going to see Tragically Hip this weekend, so I guess there really is no accounting for taste in Canadian music. Or for alfie.

    Psyberian said:

    I always associated Rush with Yes. To me, if you like the one, you should like the other. But Rush has been the better band.

    Agree totally. I just bought the Rhino reissue of 90125 and it’s kinda fun to crank up loud again. I used that one to show off my big stereo when it first came out. (Although, I confess it is awkward to have a Yes album cranked with the windows down – have to have a Nas album cued up and ready to go, just in case who pulls up alongside ya)

    carlitos (b38ae1)

  31. er, Justin is right. Sheesh.

    carlitos (b38ae1)

  32. I caught (and Tivo’d) a high def broadcast from a Rush concert in Germany in early 2006.

    The guys certainly still have “it”. It was awesome.

    Davebo (7eb7ec)

  33. Never understood how Lee could sing so well while playing the bass like that either.

    Singing, playing bass, AND playing keyboard all the same time!

    Davebo (7eb7ec)

  34. Rush is heavy metal? That’s laughable.

    All I can tell you about that is when I was in middle school and into Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, etc., it was not only acceptable to like Rush, but it was sort of expected. Liking Yes was absolutely out of the question. Don’t ask me to qualify the reasons; it’s just the way it was.

    JVW (b840ac)

  35. Hey, don’t diss Loverboy. They ended with a whimper (Notorious died on the shelves, as it should have) but after a steady diet of grunge, techno, and nu metal for about half a decade, hearing “Queen of the Broken Hearts” on the radio following a years-long hiatus was like a palate cleanser. Good power pop never gets old, IMHO.

    L.N. Smithee (d1de1b)

  36. All I can tell you about that is when I was in middle school and into Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, etc., it was not only acceptable to like Rush, but it was sort of expected. Liking Yes was absolutely out of the question. Don’t ask me to qualify the reasons; it’s just the way it was.

    What about Blue Oyster Cult? Seems like BOC fits right in the middle between Sabbath and Yes.

    That being said (and I know this will upset some people)…There has always been talk about how metal songs contributed to suicidal thinking among the young and vulnerable. While depression and death and hopelessness and senseless violence cloaked in misinterpretation of Scripture were common topics in heavy metal, there is one song that I believe is pure evil, and that is Blue Oyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper.” Yeah, everyone laughs at the cowbell business, but that is the one song that you can point your finger at and say, “It recommends suicide.”

    I can hear people hitting their keyboards now searching for a BOC explanation of how “Reaper” isn’t about suicide. The same people probably buy that PUFF the magic DRAGon with little johnny PAPER wasn’t about pot, or the now-debunked story about “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” being inspired by a kid’s drawing, or Al Sharpton’s spinning of his bigoted statement about Mitt Romney. Save your cyberbreath.

    L.N. Smithee (d1de1b)

  37. Hold on a sec, there…
    there is one song that I believe is pure evil, and that is Blue Oyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper.” Yeah, everyone laughs at the cowbell business, but that is the one song that you can point your finger at and say, “It recommends suicide.”

    I can hear people hitting their keyboards now searching for a BOC explanation of how “Reaper” isn’t about suicide.
    So, in other words, you think it’s about suicide, therefore it’s about suicide. I always heard it the way BOC talks about it – love lasting for eternity, the sort of goth-romantic concept of someone’s passed lover coming for them at the moment of their death, things like that. Not about suicide pacts. I suppose your analysis necessarily trumps mine?

    The same people probably buy that PUFF the magic DRAGon with little johnny PAPER wasn’t about pot
    I suppose the Ogden Nash poem, “The Tale of Custard the Dragon”, which was the inspiration for Puff, was a drug reference too? You seem to lend yourself exceptionally well to believing urban legends, Smithee.

    or the now-debunked story about “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” being inspired by a kid’s drawing
    Who debunked this and when? I’d like to see it.

    Save your cyberbreath.
    Ah, the old favorite, argumentum ad LALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU.

    Rick Wilcox (71646f)

  38. I always heard it the way BOC talks about it – love lasting for eternity, the sort of goth-romantic concept of someone’s passed lover coming for them at the moment of their death, things like that. Not about suicide pacts. I suppose your analysis necessarily trumps mine?

    My analysis is based on the actual lyrics of the song.

    40,000 men and women everyday…Like Romeo and Juliet
    40,000 men and women everyday…Redefine happiness
    Another 40,000 coming everyday…We can be like they are

    Like Rush says all the time, words mean things. You can pretend all you want that “The Reaper” that is not to be feared is something other than death, that “like Romeo and Juliet” isn’t indicative of a suicide pact, and that such an action isn’t described as a freeing experience. It won’t change the truth.

    Perhaps Eric and Buck and the boys just hammered on typewriters like the proverbial 10,000 monkeys, and the idea of romanticizing suicide was happenstance. Yeah, that’s the ticket. They wrote something they really didn’t mean.

    I suppose the Ogden Nash poem, “The Tale of Custard the Dragon”, which was the inspiration for Puff, was a drug reference too? You seem to lend yourself exceptionally well to believing urban legends, Smithee.

    While “Puff” works as a song independent of the drug meanings, it stretches credulity to believe that Peter, Paul, & Mary had no inkling that in the heyday of the hippie and psychedelic music, someone might presume that a song making reference to puff, drag, paper, etc. would be dope-tainted. Certainly the Nash poem was not.

    Do you believe that “White Rabbit,” with it’s hookah and mushroom and the refrain to “feed your head” was just about Alice?

    Who debunked [“Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” being inspired by a kid’s drawing] and when? I’d like to see it.

    Hmmm…lemme think, it’s on the tip of my tongue…Oh yeah, that McCartney guy.

    …He confirmed that drugs influenced some of the group’s songs.

    “A song like ‘Got to Get You Into My Life,’ that’s directly about pot, although everyone missed it at the time,” McCartney said.

    ” ‘Day Tripper,’ that’s one about acid (LSD). ‘Lucy in the Sky,’ that’s pretty obvious. There’s others that make subtle hints about drugs…”

    L.N. Smithee (0931d2)

  39. Smithee, seriously. You’re claiming absolute truth over your interpretations of song lyrics. Just how off the deep end can you get?

    I’m not too sure about McCartney, considering that he was previously on record as claiming that the title was not about drugs.

    I won’t even touch on the fact that you give McCartney’s words weight for truth because you agree with them, yet dismiss BOC’s explanation of Don’t Fear The Reaper because they disagree with your worldview. Your disingenuousness is astounding. You’re right; I shouldn’t have wasted my time trying to reason with someone who believes they are Right™.

    Rick Wilcox (71646f)

  40. I got into Rush when I was a kid from my brother. Roll the Bones was my first album that I got, but it was Chronicles that got me hooked. I remember being excited for the releases of Counterparts and Test for Echo. Vapor trails, not so much. I had heard they were coming out with a new album but I never saw it anywhere. Different Stages is one the best live albums IMO, though I never did get Rush in Rio. I wish I saw this blog before I went to the store, now I’ll have to make another trip. They’ve come to Atlanta several times over the past few years, but I always forget to get tickets…

    G (722480)

  41. I won’t even touch on the fact that you give McCartney’s words weight for truth because you agree with them, yet dismiss BOC’s explanation of Don’t Fear The Reaper because they disagree with your worldview.

    Not true. It’s difficult for me to believe that “Got to Get You Into My Life” is about marijuana, because it makes perfect sense as a cheerful, energetic love song. But what does Paul have to gain by admitting he wasn’t thinking of his beloved darling Linda, but a baggie of weed? He’s not hard-up for either attention or cash, and he’s got to know that his disclosure probably ruins the song for millions of fans for whom it has personal meaning (although among potheads, it might a new favorite).

    OTOH, other Beatles tunes like “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “A Day In The Life” (“…had a s-s-smoke/and somebody spoke and I went into a dream…”) are easy to imagine in a dope milieu. You don’t hear those words and think it’s a stretch to think perhaps narcotics are involved. IT MAKES SENSE.

    Back when Ted Nugent was riding high as the reigning wild man of rock ‘n roll radio, he made an appearance on a short-lived interview show hosted by comedian Robert Klein. Klein asked Nugent what “Cat Scratch Fever” was about. Just to remind you, here are some of the words to that song:

    Well I don’t know where they come from
    But they sure do come
    I hope they’re comin’ for me
    And I don’t know how they do it
    But they sure do it good
    I hope they’re doin’ it for free

    They give me cat scratch fever
    Cat scratch fever

    Well the first time that I got it
    I was just 10 years old
    I got it from some kitty next door
    Well I went and seen the doctor
    And he gave me the cure
    I think I got it some more…

    Well I make a pussy purr
    With the stroke of my hand
    They know they’re gettin’ it from me
    And they know just where to go
    When they need their lovin’ man
    They know I’m doin’ it for free

    Nugent gave Klein a line about how it was about the grime that accumulates on the underside of your car.

    Do you buy that just because the Nuge himself said it?

    L.N. Smithee (e1f2bf)

  42. From your L.S.D. link:

    Since John Lennon is unfortunately no longer around to contribute further to this narrative, we’ll leave the final word on the subject to Paul McCartney:

    This one is amazing. As I was saying before, when you write a song and you mean it one way, and then someone comes up and says something about it that you didn’t think of — you can’t deny it. Like “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” people came up and said, very cunningly, “Right, I get it. L-S-D,” and it was when all the papers were talking about LSD, but we never thought about it.
    What happened was that John’s son Julian did a drawing at school and brought it home, and he has a schoolmate called Lucy, and John said what’s that, and he said, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” — so we had a nice title.

    Last updated: 15 February 1998

    Last updated June 4, 2004.

    Quoting Peter Yarrow from your Puff link:

    When ‘Puff’ was written, I was too innocent to know about drugs. What kind of a meanspirited SOB would write a children’s song with a covert drug message?

    Yeah. What kind of person would want to do something that would be so potentially harmful to children? He’d have to be some kind of immoral, indecent sicko!

    L.N. Smithee (e1f2bf)

  43. Long time Angeleno and conservative here.

    My 2 cents? Rush sucks. So Does Poison. So does freaking Loverboy.

    In the 80s I was going to hear local bands The Minutemen, The Plugz, X, Los Lobos, The Blasters. East U.S. and British acts like The Clash, The Selecter, The B-52s, Talking Heads, The Police etc.

    Hair bands had more chicks at their shows and that was about it. Their music is for chimps.

    harkin (1d6951)

  44. Hey, harkin: I feel sorry for people like you who can’t dislike music without insulting people who like what you don’t. I can’t stand 95% of rap, 90% of what is referred to as “pop” nowadays, or 75% of jazz, but don’t feel the need to question the humanity of people who do. I was always caught in between snobs who couldn’t believe that I liked Earth Wind & Fire, Led Zeppelin, Sheena Easton, Pink Floyd, Alan Parsons Project, Lakeside, the Bee Gees and the B-52s all at once.

    Maybe Jann Wenner convinced you that The Clash were really “The Only Band That Matters,” but the rest of us knew better than to think he mattered. And it’s funny about The Clash, who were supposed to be the alternative to “corporate rock” like Foreigner, Styx, and REO Speedwagon; their music is licensed to corporations just as much as any other artist/group. So much for their reputation for integrity.

    There really is no such thing as “bad music,” just music you don’t particularly like.

    L.N. Smithee (c2ea77)

  45. Smithee said –

    “Hey, harkin: I feel sorry for people like you who can’t dislike music without insulting people who like what you don’t”

    I hope you relish the juicy irony of this comment in a thread calling a writer a ‘buffoon’ for making ‘outrageous remarks’ because he’s dissing a band someone else worships.

    Before you accuse someone of aping Jann Wenner, you might want to make sure they’ve quoted him or something. I didn’t read Rolling Stone much after the 70s, but if I remember correctly, they didn’t jump on the Clash bandwagon until years after the band had broken up. Now it is a has-been rag trotting out ‘Top 100′ lists which seem to effect you much more than I.

    Sorry to inform you but Foreigner, REO Speedwagon and Styx (especially Styx) were the 80s equivilant of a truck full of empty garbage cans running into a truck full of hogs. In case you think that it has to be punk for me to like it, I would include The Ramones and The Sex Pistols in the list of useless bands.

    harkin (1d6951)

  46. Reaper author Buck Dharma has said that the one thing he failed to do was show the passage of time in the song. He wrote Reaper after a personal health scare, and was thinking of his wife Sandy living without him. The song is about the one lover coming back for the other after many years.

    Rob Reich (273e95)

  47. If you guys want to email Roger Friedman, here is his PERSONAL email address

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/08/27/brett-ratner-is-lucky-to-_n_62043.html

    ripka (35e8b6)

  48. […] If that didn’t hurt Friedman’s credibility enough though, it gets worse: he hates Rush, Poison, and Journey. […]

    FoxNews Pans Intelligent Design Film Expelled! « The Bad Idea Blog (cef7a4)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2861 secs.