The Seven Ages of Rock: Left of the Dial



On account of my fucking miscalculated trip to Glastonbury, I missed the grunge edition of the The Sevens Ages of Rock which, to date, has been utter fucking twaddle. It’s been as incisive and as genuine as the Hairy Bikers pretending to arrive at a destination under their own steam and actually cook something unaided without a vast crew and scripted ‘quips’. I maintain they’re homosexual and use sex toys in such a disgusting manner they’d make Elton John cry. They have fake beards too.

Moving on from those fat cardboard twats, I knew The Grunge episode was going to fall over on its Frank Black-sized arse when Mudhoney weren’t mentioned within 30 seconds of the programme’s beginning. This seems to have been a common theme of fuckery from the shows inception, the blatant disregard of pioneers in order to rush to the crowd pleasers, in this case Nirvana and REM, bafflingly.

I’m a huge fan of REM, but they’re about as grunge as The Hairy Bikers in a luxurious motorhome, touching. Surely they should’ve been on the stadium rock one that I deliberately missed because, despite my liking for REM, I don’t do stadium rock – the sort of thing Princess Diana liked. The programme makers tried to justify their ‘stadium’ credentials by insisting that REM were once just a bunch of guys touring tiny venues in the back of a beaten up old van… Really? Oh… I thought REM had been made in a factory for the sole purpose of Stadiums, that all the musicians in REM were simply injected with ability by scientists and that the mere thought of performing in a venue that held one person less that two million causes Michael Stipe to shut down and leak plasma from his ears.
Apart from the fact that Michael and Kurt were ‘mates’ and that Kurt may or may not have been listening to REM when he hurt his head with a 12-gauge banger, the grunge connection begins and ends there.

We were treated to brief look at The Pixies and Black Flag, and whilst, again, a big fan of both, neither can be called ‘grunge’ simply because they’re not. Grunge is about Seattle, dirty guitars, heavy drumming, fucking shouting and scruffy trucker clothes. Both bands have elements of each, but only Mudhoney, the grunge pioneers and Nirvana have all the necessary qualities and ingredients.
There was some tantalising footage of pre-fame Nirvana. Pre-fame to the wider public that is, and some interesting, albeit brief interviews with Chris Nosvelickszas, Novelesksids, Novesk, oh you know, and Dave Grohl. The latter was looking a bit bloated, the former looked like the Tooth Fairy from Michael Mann’s Manhunter. In fact such was my jaw dropping shock at the state of him, I didn’t absorb a single word from his maw.

So, as usual, it was load of factually inaccurate crap designed to pander to those that simply know nothing of the scene and indeed, the music. The only aspect of it that hit home was the reason for Kurt’s personal demise and subsequent death. In short, he’d become everything that he hated and through the naive eyes of the programme makers his death made more sense to me than it had in over a decade since he was taken from us.

So to summarise, utter bollocks.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Responses to “The Seven Ages of Rock: Left of the Dial”

  1. Badger Madge Says:

    Two things:
    Totally agree with the whole realisation thing. I was only 13 when Kurt died and although I loved the music of that time, I wasn’t totally IN the scene as it were. So I never really understood his death. Not really. But as soon as they went from Nirvana’s first major step on the ladder of fame to a catwalk runway of ‘grunge’ fashion, the penny dropped for me. I was quite ashamed and disgusted. No wonder he wanted to leave the insipid world he had created.

    Also: the programme wasn’t about Grunge. It was about bands that were left of the dial: college rock, and yes a bit of grunge and IMO all these fitted in together. I liked the way it showed how Nirvana took its influences from other bands, but you’re right that there was far too much emphasis on Nirvana.

  2. proudfoot Says:

    I agree.

    I feel the grunge scene should have been just been referenced rather than being the focal point of the whole show.
    There was too much other interesting music going on in that era too ignore the way they did. It’s been the same for the whole series from what I’ve seen of it, particularly the very first episode where so much was overlooked for the sake of Jimi Hendrix.

    It’s all been utter bollocks.

  3. proudfoot Says:

    Shitt, me speling woz orful in dat last koment.

  4. Joe C Says:

    “the blatant disregard of pioneers in order to rush to the crowd pleasers”


    I’m not sure who they thought their audience was. It seemed to be marketed in such a way that it would appeal to people like us i.e. those who know what happened, from the underground up, but would have liked some further context and insight.

    Unoftunately, the reality was it was actually made for my Mum and Dad i.e. people who like music and like knowing about the hiostory of music but wouldn’t ever listen to Mudhoney in a million years coz they are too noisy and smell.

  5. Mikey Says:

    REM , no way grunge music. They were in the early eighties seen as a guitar band , an antidote to all the synth bands of the time. Not really sure what grunge is, some sort of Seattle expression….for bands that rightly considered Neil and Crazy Horse a la “Weld” as an example of a great sound.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: