In an interview for Q magazine sometime last year, Dave Grohl was discussing what he perceived as over-exposure of his band Foo Fighters. The gist of what he was saying was that he thought the band needed to take a break, not for their benefit, but for their audience’s benefit, as he was worried they would grow tire of hearing them.
I am sure there are large numbers of Foo Fighters fans that feel they can never get enough of their heroes. However, from my perspective I could see where he was coming from. As a fan of the band I did feel that I needed a rest from them. Fortunately there is plenty of other good music out there. But I wonder if I’m alone in finding that I need to ration myself on the stuff I really like, for fear of it becoming too familiar?
Unfortunately, my music loving life is filled with (what I consider to be) great albums, that I cannot listen to on a regular basis, because when they first came out I played them to death and in doing so they lost some of their initial ‘greatness’. Examples that spring readily to mind are Disintegration by The Cure and Nick Cave’s No More Shall We Part. Upon first hearing these 2 albums I thought they were both masterpieces and I just could not get enough of them. However, at some point, unbelievably I actually started to go off them….they were too familiar. I have since learned that if I only revisit these albums approx once a year, I can experience their majesty once again – it feels like visiting an old friend – and I can admire their greatness.
It’s a good job that I have such a wide taste in music, as it means there are plenty of albums out there that I think are wonderful. But I do feel cheated that I cannot listen too much to the ones I come across that completely blow me away, such as the new Dexys or the magnificent Ashes & Fire by Ryan Adams. There is a constant fear that the next time I play them, they just won’t have the same impact.
Given that I attend so many gigs where large numbers of the audience appear to know every word of every song, I can only assume I am in a minority in having to suffer this illness…in fact, I sometimes worry that I am alone with this malady?
In answer to my initial question it would seem that contempt is far too strong a word, as a part of me will always love these albums. No, contempt is what I feel for all the mindless, banal, boring drivel that gets too regular radio airplay these days….the sort of stuff my kids love!