googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: The Job Of The Artist

The Job Of The Artist

Being an artist, and by artist I mean a writer, a filmmaker, a painter, a songwriter or a musician who is self employed, your job is not to please the public or the critics but to follow your own muse and create something that hasn’t been created before. Period. Forget about creating something ‘good’. The term good can only be applied to something that is a copy or at least derivative of something that has already been created and has weathered the critical attacks bestowed upon the new, the rebellious and the innovative and has eventually been accepted. Sometimes this process takes generations.

There isn’t a successful artist out there whose work is not hated by a large group of people. The ‘inoffensive’ artists do not stand the test of time. Art can been seen as method to elicit emotions, perhaps viewed as ARTificially created emotion. Those works that do not cause a strong emotional response are eventually forgotten, usually quite quickly. Strong emotional response means both love and hate. For every person who deeply loves something there is someone somewhere who really doesn’t like it.

A good example of this phenomena is The Three Stooges. People either are fans, or they can’t stand them. You’ll find few who know their work at all and are ambivalent. My sons and I are fans since I turned them onto the original Columbia shorts when the kids were small. My wife, like most women I know, find them useless. When my sons and I recently went to see the Three Stooges reboot movie I heard behind me, among all the male laughter, a lone woman’s voice saying, “This is STUPID!”

This LOVE / HATE relationship that artists (entertainers) have with the public is what fuels the fans. Some people will like something because they’re inspired by the hate that is generated in others. The Three Stooges are perhaps only rivaled in this love them or hate them category by The Rolling Stones. Their fans love them because other people, usually their parents, hate them. Liking both these acts seems like an act of rebellion. Certainly, you’re not suppose to condone the violent antics of The Three Stooges so laughing at them gives you both a sense of guilt as well as a sense of rebellion which feels like liberation. This is a major appeal of Rock and Roll as well.

As my old band mate and member of The Free Radicals, Randy MacKay, has said; “If you don’t offend at least twenty-five percent of your audience you’re not working hard enough.”

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