The music world erupted in both tribute and despair last week when The White Stripes announced they were no more. After having made some of the classic tracks of the last decade, the end was strangely understated.
A statement from the record company to the fans, saying both were fine and well and the reason for the split was “mostly to preserve what is beautiful and special about the band and have it stay that way”. But for all your ‘Seven Nation Armies’ and festival headline shows, that one sentence could be the bands greatest achievement.
Far too many bands go on well beyond the limits of their welcome or their talent. Guns N Roses live on more as Axl Rose’s ego than a real band. KISS are gearing up to release their 24th studio album, no longer the cutting edge but just sad old men wearing facepaint.
When Oasis, Britpop’s sacred cow, unsurprisingly and acrimoniously exploded in Paris in 2009, fans mourned. But they mourned for ‘Morning Glory’, not ‘Don’t Believe the Truth’. More bands should follow The White Stripes and end at the top of the game, rather than becoming pale imitations of their former selves.
[‘Sad old men?’ I refute this claim. Any band that wears facepaint and breathes fire is, in fact, the shit: Music Editor Tom]