Posts Tagged ‘entertainment’

Last week the guitar company Gibson Brands Incorporated, the manufacturer of the legendary Gibson Les Paul electric guitar, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  A lot of people, including myself, wondered how and why this could have happened. How can such an iconic guitar company with such notable players such as Jimmy Page, Slash, Zakk Wylde, and many more, go from multi million dollars in sales to having to file for bankruptcy?

Many people blamed the high prices of Gibson guitars. A top of the line Les Paul is often priced between $5000 to $10000, sometimes more. A mid priced Les Paul goes for about $1000 to $3000. These guitars aren’t cheap for sure, but people forget that Gibson owns the Epiphone line of guitars which sells Epiphone Les Pauls in the $100 to $500 price range. In fact, it’s these affordable Epiphone Les Pauls which account for most of the company’s sales.  So I don’t think this is the problem.

In my opinion Gibson’s downfall goes far deeper than just a pricing issue. It signifies the death of Rock as a cultural force. The term “Rock Is Dead” has been said for years but this time it’s really happening. Well, it’s not exactly “dead” but like Jazz, it’s become a niche. It will keep it’s core audience which grew up on Rock but it’s not exactly growing armies of new listeners.

Gone are the days like when I was younger, when you would hear bands like Guns N’ Roses, Nirvana, Metallica, etc. on mainstream radio. You not only heard them on radio but they were also pushing pop culture and selling multi platinum records while selling out stadiums. Rock just isn’t pushing popular culture anymore.

The new generation just isn’t into Rock for whatever reason. There’s just too many other things these days for a kid to get into, whether it’s video games or a newer form of music like Hip Hop. Sometimes you’ll meet a kid who will like Rock when they hear it, but as said before, it isn’t pushing popular culture anymore. Most kids these days don’t know Eddie Van Halen from his elbow. And there’s no guitar hero that’s going to bring Rock back to become a cultural force again. Time marches on. Sinatra never came back after the world heard Elvis.

Thinking about all of this brought me back to my younger years when me and friends knew this older Jazz guy named Tom who would play Jazz guitar and collect old Jazz records. We would laugh about how he was just so into this old style of music and really be into it.  This was his niche. We looked at him like he was some kind of dinosaur.

What comes around goes around. Now some youngster is probably amused by my taste in music with my collection of old Rock cds. This is my niche.

Now I’m the dinosaur.



Hollywood has remade many famous movies in the past years. Some remakes were good, even surpassing the original.  I’ll name one movie that I thought was better than the original: ‘The Fly’. In my opinion, the 1986 remake starring Jeffrey Goldbloom was superior to the 1958 original.  It was not only better in special effects but also an improvement in the story. But I think these are rare occasions. Most remakes I’ve seen just don’t cut it.

Most remakes don’t live up to the original because they forgot what made the original great. A bigger budget and loaded with special effects does not equal a better movie. Take ‘Clash Of The Titans’ for example. The remake actually wasn’t bad, but they changed things in the movie thinking that it would be an improvement when actually it took away the appeal of why the original was great.  Part of the reason the original one was great was because of the character Bubo, The Mechanical Owl. The remake omitted this character except for a small cameo appearance.


Bubo was necessary in the film because he helped with the plot line and provided comic relief. Without him, it felt heavy handed and like something was missing, kind of like Star Wars without R2-D2. The original also featured the stop motion animation of Ray Harryhausen vs. the CGI special effects and computer graphics in the remake.  As cheesy as some of the stop motion animation looks now by today’s standard, I still preferred it to the computer graphics in the remake because I thought the stop motion animation fit the whole ‘mythology’ aesthetic better.  Ancient mythology should look old and archaic, which is the look that stop motion animation provided. The remake isn’t bad (I actually suggest watching to fans of the original to compare) but, some may not agree with me when I say this: ‘Clash Of The Titans’ belongs on the list of movies that should never be touched, along with ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.’ Oh well, too late.

There are lots of other movies that should never EVER be remade- it would equal sacrilege. There is a long list but I’ll just name a few that immediately stand out to me:

1) ‘Star Wars’ – Absolutely not.

2) ‘The Wizard Of Oz’- No, just no.

3) ‘The Godfather’ -Don’t even try it.

4) ‘Saturday Night Fever’- Don’t go there.

5) ‘Forrest Gump’- “Life is like a box of chocola”….oops….I mean, Don’t You Dare.

Anyway, this is all just my opinion of course. Take it for what it’s worth.