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tom-hickman
3rd May 2012

The Generation of Idiots

As the Beach Boys celebrate their 50th anniversary tour, trawling the length and breadth of America and Europe off the back of their 30th studio album, one must hark back to pop music’s golden age. The Beach Boys were once part of one of pop music’s most notorious duels, in constant competition with four mop-haired […]
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As the Beach Boys celebrate their 50th anniversary tour, trawling the length and breadth of America and Europe off the back of their 30th studio album, one must hark back to pop music’s golden age.

The Beach Boys were once part of one of pop music’s most notorious duels, in constant competition with four mop-haired scousers from across the Atlantic. Thanks to unprecedented levels of press coverage there came the rise of the mob mentality, as plane flights were greeted by swathes of delirious young teens, desperate to catch a glimpse of any limb of their idols. Throw in a third-party in the form of The Rolling Stones, and you have one of the greatest three-way battles for public affection, one that ensured music received more column inches than ever before.

There is nothing better than a music rivalry; Oasis and Blur captivated the entire nation, whilst Biggie and Tupac came to fatal blows because of their mutual discontent.

Fast-forward fifty years from the Beach Boys, and that focus of teenage adoration is still upon on a mop-haired creation, but this time there’s only one of them, which (in this instance) must be seen as a great blessing. Recently being swamped upon his arrival into Heathrow last week, a certain Mr. Bieber went on to receive over 2,000 phone calls to his hotel room that night from desperate fans clamouring just to have the possibility of hearing his voice. His every move is scrutinised well beyond the level anything McCartney ever did. The tragic case of affairs in which he was said to have popped his load with Mariah Yeater has traumatised the young buck to such an extent that he has found song-writing solace in his experience. His forthcoming album shall detail some of the ‘things he’s going through’. Who’d have thought it.

Before I go on, I am not for one moment comparing anything Justin Bieber has done, or will do to for that matter, to being worthy for messrs Lennon, Jagger or Wilson to wipe their arse with. Nevertheless, we haven’t got a challenger to the little sap’s throne. We haven’t got a figure so inane, so moronic as to match the young Canadian, and that is exactly what we need. Otherwise the clown will become astronomically big, and his ego with it.

Some do come pretty close though.

Adele, a figure of adoration not only in this country, but also across the globe, was recently voted as one of the 100 most influential people on the planet. She has her fanbase, but is too astute to be drawn into a slanging match with the fresh-faced teen, and will be too busy writing another album condemning an ex-boyfriend for having made her tea too strong or forgetting to put the bins out.

Rebecca Black tried, and failed, to gain acclaim, by detailing the days of the week. Even so, the closest competitor to Bieber’s IQ level must be Nicki Minaj, recently displayed by her return to the Twittersphere. An exodus of a week which brought many fans close to tears was ended with Minaj’s incisive proclamation that she “*salutes the nation of Pinkslam* *hugs the barbz* *kisses the barbz*.” Profound.

These new musical ‘pioneers’ are the idols of the next generation. They’re celebrated wherever they go. They bring happiness to the youth of today, and are admired and venerated by millions. Meanwhile, Leonard Cohen, one of the finest song-writers of our (and any other) generation is sure to have to continue his seemingly endless world tour for many more months, shovelling his decrepit carcass from pillar to post, still having not recuperated the millions siphoned from his account by recently imprisoned manager, Kelley Lynch. Sometimes life’s just not fair.

Tom Hickman

Tom Hickman

Music Editor.

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