I'm in a pub discussing music with strangers. We've hit familliar territory as we discuss our love of the rock and roll produced in the late 50's and then throughout the 60's. "It's a great era for music, like this tune now, you could re-record this for the likes of, Lady Gaga, and it'd still chart and be seen as a classic," I hear myself saying in reference to 'C'mon everybody' by Eddie Cochran playing in the background on the jukebox.
"Yeah, you're right, I love all this stuff, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, they're good aren't they?" says the alpha male of this little tribe in an anonymous pub, located in the back of beyond.
"Yeah, they're alright. Overall it's a great period for music with the level of creativity," I reply a little unsure. The conversation has only just got going and I'm prepared to let a fish or two escape the nets of my trawler. "And it continues today, with the likes of The Travelling Wilburys," he says. This time though, as I try to agree with him, I can hear the crack of hell attempting to freeze over.
"Nah, man, they're rubbish. Awful music."
I couldn't do it. No one who likes music seriously believes that, The Travelling Wilburys, belong anywhere other than on the infamous TV clipshow "When good times go bad...". What is this guy? A moron? I can't agree, even out of politeness, to such a stupid opinion.
A so-called "Super Group" the travelling Wilburys comprised of 60's rock 'legends' such as Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynn. They are liked by idiots who think that artistic endeavor can be created mathematically. All those people did good music once, the argument goes, maybe if we stick them in a room together it'll be like all their abilities to the power of four! This argument is revealed as being moronic in the extreme when you're confronted by the audio evidence to the contrary, which they consistently produced. They became like a nation that makes weapons to be used against itself, each song they performed provided only ammo for their critics and empty hollow enjoyment for their 'fans'.
No one thinks, The Travelling Wilsburys, did good music, they only pretend to like them because they owe a debt to the performers. You bought a copy of their albums in tribute to past glories, nothing more. That's not to say that on their own these artists were incapable of good work it's just that with a collective effort like that musicians hold back the better ideas for use on future solo records. What you end up with is all the ego and non of the talent. "Supergroups" are for people who see their musicians as "superheroes" and everyone knows that the day the gimmick of two superheroes joining forces is pulled often follows a dissapointing 'real world' drop in the respective characters' individual sales and appeal. In other words, it always happens when they and the work they're doing is not what it once was.
This rant mostly played out in my head but even so I've failed.
I've killed the conversation.
The pub goes silent. Me and my companion leave as I'm told in the car that I still have a lot to learn as regards "small talk".
"You should have just said, 'oh, The Travelling Wilburys, that's interesting,' and left it at that," comes the advice.