Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Keith Richards' comments on being a music fan

  1. #1
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1985
    Location
    Stevensville, MD
    Posts
    3,428

    Keith Richards' comments on being a music fan

    http://<iframe width="100%" height="...V62"></iframe>

    Someone asked Keith Richards if he was still a music fan after all these year. I posted a link to his direct quote, but to paraphrase he says that musicians listen to music with a critical ear and they try to figure out how something was created but they have lost the innocence of simply enjoying the music. The same thing can be said for foodies, wine connoisseurs, photographers, car guys and a host of others. It seems for many that the essence of the subject is lost because the details are being over analyzed.

    What do you think? Is it possible for a musician, to borrow a phrase from George Michael, “listen without prejudice”?

  2. #2
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,502
    This exact concept was discussed yesterday on The Gear Page with regard to the film genre. there is a thread there that is entitled "What is the most disturbing Movie you have ever seen?". A difficult thread, unless you are a real horror (and related genre) movie fan. anyway, one of the most recent contributors to the thousands of posts was a movie maker himself. His comment was that he no longer gets squeamish or queasy at any of the worst of the gory effects. he views it with the critical eye of "How did they do that effect?" or "How can I replicate that effect?". His capacity to be "disturbed" by the content is no longer a possibility.

    That being said, I am sure that there are still movie directors/filmmakers who become affected by certain scenes....and comparably, there must be professional musicians who are able to listen while suspending their "professional capacity" and listening as 'civilians". I'd imagine that more musicians listen from a non-critical vantage point than from a "how can I replicate that, or what were they using to get that tone" vantage point.

    Besides....Keith has hit his head so many times ( how many years ago did he fall out of the coconut tree and require brain surgury??) that he'll probably forget what he said in this interview and change his opinion next time he's asked.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dirty Bob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    State of Confusion (NY)
    Posts
    1,707
    I will always be a music fan. Your exact question though is a heck of alot more difficult to answer.

    I can speak only to my own experience....if I'm listening to music just for the sake of listening...I have to say No...I think it's impossible to listen without a critical ear...or an appreciative ear...or an awe-struck ear...it's kind of the way I'm wired...although that doesn't mean I'm not emotionally moved or that the music does not have an impact on me. It most certainly does...I just tend to be more analytical.

    If I'm doing something else like working out maybe less so...but then I'm not really listening the same way.
    -Bob

  4. #4
    Pull My Goldtop... Goldtop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Texxas, USA
    Posts
    2,790
    I sort of echo what DirtyMoonsRJT says. I often catch myself critiquing what I'm listening to, especially the guitars. I also catch myself trying to figure out what equipment is being used. All of that is second nature to me, and I doubt if I could turn it off even if I wanted to do so.

    But, there are plenty of times when I'm able to focus more on the music itself, and the enjoyment of it rather than the technical side of it. Certain artists, certain songs just touch me in a different way or place and make everything else take a backseat (at least temporarily).

    Having said all of that, the one thing I guess I'm obsessed with (for lack of a better word) is the tone of the music I'm listening to. There are songs where I like the artist, the rhythm, the lyrics, most everything about it, but if the guitar tones don't cut it to me then I just can't get beyond that. For example; Not to name names, or step on any toes, there are a number of artists these days who sound like nothing more than Stevie Ray wannabes to me. I may like some things about them, but I can't get past their tone and what is IMO their poor attemp to copy Stevie. That's probably not fair of me, but it's how I am. If that makes me unable to 'listen without prejudice', then guilty as charged.

    Goldtop
    'And the answer is... none. None more Gold.'

  5. #5
    Senior Member solacematt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Delray Beach, FL
    Posts
    180
    I'm going to come at this from two different positions, as a musician and as an entertainment writer, because this really is a somewhat complicated question. I'm going to apologize if this is just too lengthy of BS'ey for some.

    As a musician, I used to be somewhat critical of players. Before I started playing the instrument I looked up to players such as Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) Ed Roland and Ross Childress (Collective Soul), Chris Cornell and Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), and Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains). After maybe a year or so of being addicted to guitar I got fairly good and in learning some of my favorite artists songs I got kind of down on them because I couldn't believe how simple my favorite artists music really was. There was one instant where I figured out an album by ear in an afternoon. That didn't make me feel accomplished and proud, I felt like my favorite artists were kind of hacks.
    Through the years when I would go on and learn more favorite albums by Creed, Sevendust, Puddle of Mudd, Nickelback, Finger Eleven, Godsmack, Our Lady Peace, Tool, I just got annoyed at the simplicity. Finally I graduated high school and went to college and didn't know what to major in, so I majored in music theory biased to jazz, which I still don't know why. My professor one day told me he was a big fan of some of the bands I wore shirts by and he gave me a different perspective that I never thought of. These guys, some great clean players (Ed Roland and Ross Childress, Jerry Cantrell), some sloppy (Billy Corgan, Kim Thayil) were actually kind of geniuses. Why? Because they could write a great song that stuck with you, musician or not, that appealed to more than just one type of person. Never thought of it that way. So I gained a new respect for all of the players whose music I once thought was retardedly simple.
    So now when I'm learning some of my favorite bands songs, or can figure some out without an instrument in hand I kind of admire the genius of it and don't try to sit and analyze it. Why bother, obviously they're not just doing something right, they're doing something great.

    As an entertainment writer I not only interview artists, but I review live performances and full albums. With interviews there are a few basic questions, but if they're a renowned player my inner guitar geek can't help but ask a few questions. I've interviewed Warren Haynes and Mark Tremonti - how could I not ask them about gear questions and tunings?
    For live performances I think the only time I've ever analyzed the playing was with Collective Soul. Granted I've seen the band more with Joel Kosche than Ross Childress, but I still remember seeing and hearing Ross play those old songs flawlessly whereas Joel doesn't nail it the same way. However I'm there to review the show as a whole, not the people as players so I have to look at it non-objectively for that matter.
    As for albums...I don't even want to think about how many I've reviewed in the past 8 years. What stinks though is you come to a point where it all starts to bleed together. Sometimes I'll listen to an album in my car a few months after I've reviewed it and I feel bad because 1, I wish I had more time to listen to it before I reviewed it because it may be better than I originally wrote, and 2, now I feel bad because I like the album that much. An example of this is Bush's latest Sea of Memories album. I only had two days with it. It's actually one of my top 3 favorite albums released last year
    So in reviewing albums it's not about the playing, but if there are any key songs that grab you right away, continuity (they do pay people to order the tracks for song to song flow) and if the disc is worth it as a whole. There are times where I'll actually say, this song has two good tracks, go on iTunes or Amazon and get em there because the rest of this disc is filler. My rules that I give my writers are pretty much the same. If the album is great, great, why. If it's sucks, ok, detail why this is not the artist’s best work.

    Again, sorry if that was a little long. My apologies for that. Just figured I would throw my hat in from a different perspective.
    SFL Onstage - My New Publication SFL Onstage 'Like' us on Facebook
    PRS McCarty Hollowbody, PRS Custom 24
    Mesa/Boogie Rectifier -> Rectifier Cabs -> Boss Tuner -> Modded Tremonti Wah -> DOD Gonkulator -> T-Rex Tremonti Phase Shifter -> Boss Digital Delay -> EHX POG -> eBow

  6. #6
    Senior Member clcwarlock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    289
    I agree SolaceMatt, I got to a point in my life where I listen to the feeling more than technicality of what is being played. When I was a teenager I would listen to the song remains the same and think "Listen how sloppy Page played". This was in part because I grew up in the 80's era of shredders that were super clean. I listen to the same album today with wonder how he gets so much emotion in his playing.

  7. #7
    Senior Member 11top's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,501
    I'll bet the guys from Dream Theater can still dig a good three chord tune.
    Sh*tter's full

  8. #8
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Downers Grove Il.
    Posts
    5,151
    I think it is something you have to "unlearn", the enjoyment comes back, but in a different way.

    To borrow another phrase from George Michael, "Guilty feet have got no rhythm".

  9. #9
    Pull My Goldtop... Goldtop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Texxas, USA
    Posts
    2,790
    solacematt,

    Great post, and an interesting take on things. Speaking just for myself, not too long or 'BS'ey' at all. Thanks very much.

    Goldtop
    'And the answer is... none. None more Gold.'

  10. #10
    It's interesting to think about this stuff. I haven't been able to listen to music without breaking it down into its constituent parts since I was in high school in the 60s. And my analysis of what was going on in a performance or a recording only became more intense when I got into the music business as a composer and producer. So yeah, I'll never hear a song the way I did when the Beatles came out. Then again, I won't return to being 13 either, unless I get recycled somehow, and even then I won't really know.

    On the other hand, knowing what a piece of music I'm listening to is all about increases my enjoyment, and I can listen to tunes I really like over and over, discovering new details in them.

    As far as rock artists being simple, well, sure! The simplicity is one of the things that distinguishes it from more complex forms of music; then again, a dozen rock songs can all employ the same simple chords, and sound quite different from one another, and therein lies the beauty of the genre for many listeners. And a good tune is often about the use and placement of space, as opposed to filling every nook and cranny of an arrangement.

    I write orchestral music professionally, as well as jazz and rock, and the bottom line is that they're all actually difficult to create on a world-class level, but for different reasons. As no doubt you've already discovered!
    Last edited by LSchefman; 08-03-2012 at 07:53 PM.

  11. #11
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 1985
    Location
    Stevensville, MD
    Posts
    3,428
    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    As far as rock artists being simple, well, sure! The simplicity is one of the things that distinguishes it from more complex forms of music; then again, a dozen rock songs can all employ the same simple chords, and sound quite different from one another, and therein lies the beauty of the genre for many listeners. And a good tune is often about the use and placement of space, as opposed to filling every nook and cranny of an arrangement.
    Nicely put Les. Sometimes it's the things that aren't there that make a song wonderful.

  12. #12
    Senior Member cosmic_ape's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    212
    One of my teachers in Music school told me he has basically lost the ability to be amazed. Everything sounds (to him) like it's been done. That made me feel pretty bummed, because I have already started to notice it myself. Sure, knowledge gets in the way. I'd say the more knowledge, the worst it will get. In my case, perfect pitch gets in my way. It's my personal door to over analyzing...

    Luckily for me, I have not been completely ruined just yet. There's still music out there that is so mesmerizing, I just fail to do anything but enjoy it and take it all in. Sure, after a couple of minutes the intellect kicks in and gets in the way, but the memory of that first encounter remains and the enjoyment can be found again.

    I think it's funny that in some cases I would listen to some music that I have not listened to in a while, and realize how good it is. Intellect does not get in the way there. If, on the other hand, I realize the music sucks, then I get immediately critical about everything!

  13. #13
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,502
    In reading these posts I feel someone bad for those who can't distant themselves from technique and just enjoy a good tune. To be honest, I love the Ramones and Neil Young.....I've never felt the need to break down a Ramones tune into its component parts....and I think I'd go nuts if I had to dissect a typical Neil Young lead solo in "music theory" when he has Crazy Horse backing him up. I just enjoy his ability to go off in different directions and return to the same place....usually after causing shivers to run down my spine.

    If Johnny or Dee Dee Ramone are reading this thread from up above....they are laughing.

  14. #14
    Senior Member vchizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    2,180
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn@PRS View Post
    http://<iframe width="100%" height="...V62"></iframe>

    Someone asked Keith Richards if he was still a music fan after all these year. I posted a link to his direct quote, but to paraphrase he says that musicians listen to music with a critical ear and they try to figure out how something was created but they have lost the innocence of simply enjoying the music. The same thing can be said for foodies, wine connoisseurs, photographers, car guys and a host of others. It seems for many that the essence of the subject is lost because the details are being over analyzed.

    What do you think? Is it possible for a musician, to borrow a phrase from George Michael, “listen without prejudice”?
    Shawn, great thread. It's a conversation that I've had numerous times with friends over the years since I first started picking apart music....even just listening to specific instruments within a song. We came to the conclusion that it's actually more difficult to just casually listen to music as a whole without picking it apart and spotting the little thing we may not care for.

    My bigger problem recently has been not liking parts of the production or sonic qualities of certain things on songs/albums, to the point where I'll listen to/not listen to certain things just because of that. When in reality, I may like the piece just fine as a whole
    It's a gift and a curse I suppose. Need to be able to flip the switch to turn that portion of the brain on or off.

  15. #15
    Junior Member MrKnaggs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    18
    I haven't listened to music for entertainment in many years. When a musician progresses from listening with a consumer's ear to listening with an educated and critical ear, he hasn't been ruined, rather he's been enlightened. Takes a lot of years of study to develop that discerning ear. A gift and a curse to be sure, and I wouldn't change it for the world.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Manchester, Maryland
    Posts
    535

    Victor Wooten, and beautiful silence.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn@PRS View Post
    Nicely put Les. Sometimes it's the things that aren't there that make a song wonderful.
    In the 10th anniversary (I think??) edition of Bass Player magazine...They asked 10 top bassists to give there favorite riff, and there are 10 different licks written out , with Victor's...it shows two measures with rests...no notes. Stating ...its the spaces/silence between that make a good groove.
    Looking very forward to the weekend...see you all tonight. An Early Thanks to PRS family for these awesome events!!!
    BTW: Tremonti solo disc is great. And David Grissom will give an awesome lesson in T-O-N-E!!!!!

  17. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    33
    I think for me, the way I keep music fresh is by changing my tastes so often. I used to be a pure metal guy through and through - the more complex the better. But then I suddenly found myself bored to tears by metal and searching for something else. I then shifted through indie, electronic, commercial hard rock, soul and acoustic singer-songwriters to arrive with a much more complex and interesting set of interests. Music still amazes me in all its forms, and I think it's down to that open-minded approach. I do agree that some people let being a musician utterly ruin music for them, but personally whenever I discover something I haven't heard before I get chills, and it gives me a drive that I know a non-musician just wouldn't get. It doesn't matter whether it's Jeff Buckley, Mastodon or Skrillex - there's always room to find some inspiration for new sounds and ideas. If only I was good enough at guitar to play all of it!

  18. #18
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    31
    Honestly I think it depends on the person. I've been playing guitar for 9 years and unless I'm intentionally trying to learn a song I'm listening just for the enjoyment. I've seen people that sit there and over analyze the production on an album or do tone talk but to me it doesn't matter unless you want to go out and do what they did. Other recreating the sound of the music there's no reason to get that deep into it. With that said I am somebody that does like to know the lyrics to a song, I think songs mean more when they say something but I have no problem listening to the latest pop song when I want to dance.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •