So, this post is going to be pretty deep. More discussion, emotions and unfortunately not a funny one. However, it’s an important one. I’ve given it some time to write this, due to recent events within the music industry.
A week ago, Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington took his own life following a long battle with depression. Two months earlier, Chris Cornell, of Soundgarden, also took his own life.
These deaths shook the music industry and fans of the bands to the core. They are both highly influential people and have given fans of their music so much hope and strength. They have made incredible albums, songs and have been loved by so many people. They left an impact on people’s lives.
So, why does the media forget about them within a few months?
*Disclaimer- I am not talking about all media, as music journalists will not forget about these, ever. I am talking about main media, major news programmes etc.*
I find it very frustrating when channels or news outlets such as the BBC, Channel 4 etc, give certain artists more recognition and remembrance when the pass away, and give other artists barely any airtime at all. Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead, Hawkwind) passed away on the 28th December 2015. David Bowie passed away on the 10th January 2016. Both incredible, influential musicians- the difference between them though? Lemmy received a 30-second segment announcing his death for a couple of days, yet David Bowie received tribute upon tribute, programme after programme, for months.
Don’t read this as though I dislike David Bowie. I was just as upset when he died as I was with Lemmy. My anger is at the media.
The same happened with Prince, Pete Burns and George Michael. All passing away in 2016, all receiving different amounts of remembrance from the main media. For example, there are still news stories from papers being written about George Michael and his death. However, with Pete Burns, the articles stopped within a few days.
Is this because artists such as Pete Burns and Lemmy were *shock, horror* a little controversial? Not particularly media/radio friendly?
To lay it out:
– Lemmy was notorious for drinking, swearing, saying controversial things, and making heavy metal music, the least played genre of music on mainstream radio.
– David Bowie constantly changed his image along with how the music industry changed, put out radio-friendly music and did charity work. The most controversial thing Bowie said was that he was bi/gay in an interview with Melody Maker back in the 70’s.
The music Lemmy and Pete Burns put out was not of a genre that would frequently get airtime on mainstream radio stations, because it didn’t appeal to as many people as the music of George Michael and David Bowie did. Michael and Bowie’s music appeals to all ages, reaching a wider demographic than heavy metal or new-wave. Which is why, news programmes focused on, put out tribute shows on and kept news stories going for months on David Bowie and George Michael, because they would bring in the ratings. Which is so disappointing.
Every musician that dies should be remembered equally.
Every musician that dies rips a hole in the music industry and affects so many people’s lives, that the media should not pick and choose who to give more airtime to.
Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell, Lemmy Kilmister, David Bowie, George Michael, Prince and Pete Burns are all equal in the eyes of the music industry and their fans.
The music industry will not be the same as it was without these musicians putting out their incredible music. Their songs had so much meaning and meant so much to a hell of a lot of people. So much that fans say, ‘Chester/Lemmy/David etc saved my life’. Surely that statement alone warrants endless recognition.
I could go on a rant for ages about this subject, going on different tangents, but those are for other blog posts. I am going to leave it here for now.
I will always remember musicians such as Chester, Lemmy and Chris, as equally as Bowie, George and Prince, and you should to. They all saved lives.