Saturday, January 29, 2011

Let's 'Rock'

My place, Kerala, always stood at the cultural cross roads. Simply because, it’s slow in catching up with the changing tastes- be it in fashion, movies, music or any other form of arts.

When it comes to rock music, I can safely say, India as a whole has been very reluctant to catch up with the ‘Rock’ music. And the majority who have chosen it safely reside in the select metros. The population who despise the ‘Rock kids’ label them as Satanic, drug peddling, unclean couth. And the Rock kids regard the rest as under developed, prehistoric sissies.

There was a time when the churches labeled Rock music as Satanic chants. There were even ridiculous rumors like reversing the Rock songs will produce Satanic chants. Today many new age churches have chosen Rock over old age hymns to attract the Gen-X. It’s pretty amusing to see, the pastor’s son spotting a goatie and flashing a bull’s horn for the camera.

Last week something interesting happened in our workplace which resulted in the clash of these cultures. On the D-day some flex boards announcing a ‘Technofest’ suddenly materialized in the amphitheatre of our IT Park. We were bit amused because no prior announcements or advertisements were made. But still a few hours of entertainment is what anyone would love to get the minds out of the dreary deadlines. Sadly, no detailed list of programmes was given. Thus everyone assumed that there would be some musical performance from a celebrity, a few hot item dance numbers and a fashion show. After all this is the normal itinerary for any program in the city.

And the crowd assembled at the open air theatre by 7pm (Note: I use the word ‘crowd’ and not ‘audience’). There was no one to be seen in the stage for a program that was supposed to begin at 7. At 30 minutes past 7, a long haired guy came on the stage to do the ‘sound check’. The crowd thought he was there to sing. On the top of it the sound systems resembled the quality of a radio. The patience of the crowd was stretched. Then started the catcalls and boos. The crowd entertainment continued even when the real show started. Now it was the vocalist’s turn to get his patience stretched. Right from the stage and through the microphone, he gave choicest names to the genealogy (mother & father to be specific) of the crowd. He challenged them to come out in front for a confrontation. The division was like this. Some 20-25 head bangers in front who stood with ‘heavy metal’. A few people in the dark space who had no idea what ‘heavy metal’ was about and wanted to have a gala time booing. But no one dared to make it physical, resulting in police action and ultimate job loss. The ‘heavy metal’ band left in a huff and peace reigned as usual.

My good friend happened to be the manager of this band and I got a clearer picture from his ‘note’ in facebook. The fellow rock lovers lamented with him on degradation of our culture and the persecution a common rock fan suffered from the society. Here are a few excerpts.

1. always happens.... retards

2. Rock is religion.. so dont let down d religion.. fight fight fight....

3.Sadly the word "rock" has taken on so many disgusting meanings thanks to the god damn dumb fuck MTV culture....anyways fuck those re-turds.......may the metalheads live on...

4.This is the shit we go through everyday. But we have to agree, metal is for a niche section of society.....those who dont understand it, should just stay away.


Anonymous said...

Many, many years ago I had a boyfriend who played bass guitar in a Punk Rock band ... we went to lots of concerts, by your account the crowds haven't changed much!

OtienoHongo said...

I actually believed at one time that rock music was indeed satanic, that is what they pumped into us at church. One day I got into really listening to it keenly and I have loved rock since then (at least some). Anyway, I once had a nasty experience when I went for a spoken word event and half of the crowd was noisily chatting away hence making it difficult for the performers and those of us interested in listening keenly. I have never understood why people not interested in a certain genre of performance cant simply keep off.

sm said...

Lets Rock
yes agree Rock is religion