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September 20, 1985 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-09-20
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By Beth Fertig
It's hard to get one hit after
the other.
It's the public more than the
She could have a song that's
better than
anything she's done but it's
timing... what's out at
the time and if it's right for the
mood of the
era. It's the recognition you get
for it.
All Faucera
of Brothers Management
speaking of Gloria Gaynor

P OP MUSIC. Like proverbial
hamburgers on the giant grid-
dle of a fast food restaurant, pop
singles are continuously being
primmed and condimented by the
record industry before being tossed
into the mouths of the ever-wolfish
public. If the public eats one up -
instant fame and fortune for that ar-
tist lucky enough to burst onto the
Top-40 charts. Suddenly, every
which way you turn your dial,
they're playing that song. And a
name you've never heard before has
rocketed to household familiarity.
Like the public it reflects, pop
music is constantly changing, the
hits of one generation differing
vastly in mood and tempo from those
of another. Rock and roll - that
demi-god we pay homage to with
purchase of records, cassetts, con-
cert tickets, and now, compact discs

- has only been with us for 30 years
or so. College-aged people have
never known a day without its
existence. Although this generation
can take the Beatles for granted, for
most, earliest memories of pop
music date back to the '70s.
The '70s was a generation that
gave us mood rings, pet rocks, the
sexualsrevolution, andedisco - to
name but a few societal trends. Ad-
vanced recording technology and
the use of the synthesizer had begun
to permeate the music of this era -
yet the music of the '70s, like that of
any other decade, was extremely
It was during the '70s that
thousands of musical performers
cracked the Top-40 charts with their
first big hits. We might not be able to
remember all of their names now -
but we would certainly recall their

hits. Some of these artists continued
selling hit records and were
catapulted to an even higher fame,
while others seemed to vanish as
quickly as they appeared. Some did
quietly continue to record, although
not with the same degree of success
that they had previously enjoyed.
There are many questions concer-
ning what makes pop music suc-
ceed. That band who everyone
predicted to be the next Beatles
might suddenly turn out to be in-
capable of producing another hit
single. Remarked songwriter-
guitarist Don McLean, to Newsday
(1/9/81), "Success is like a shot of
heroin. It's up to you to decide
whether you want to continuedto put
the needle in your arm," and quip-
ped, "Being famous is nothing more
than having what's said behind your
back printed."

Manager Al Faucera, whose clien-
ts include the Village People and
Gloria Gaynor, attributes success to
timing. "There's a strategy to
releasing singles. You go for it when
the least amount of singles are out in
a certain market," said Faucera.
Scott Berkstein, who co-managed
The Knack, said, "It's a business.
You should approach it that way."
All of the following artists ex-
perienced Top-10 during the '70s -
hits which are recognizable even
now, upon reminiscence. to almost
everyone. After all, isn't that the
definition of pop? Grandmothers
and teenagers alike danced the
Hustle. That crazy dance had us all
believing it was the key to getting a
date on a Saturday night. And
everyone of us went to Dance clubs
or experienced a disco Sweet 16 or
Bar Mitzvah at some time.

Cover story
If pop music mirrors the public's taste, then
it also mirrors the public's viciousness. Many a
pop star has hit the top, made his mark in the
water, only to arc downward on a trajectory
toward oblivion. Ten years from now, will
Madonna be as forgotten as The Captain and
Tennile? Not to pass judgement, but there is
the law of projectile motion. And if Madonna
does fade to just a statistic in box office take,
what will her shadow mean in the context of the
culture of the 1990s? See above.

Music scene
Green On Red, taking to the road in support
of their new EP No Free Lunch on Enigma,
will land in Ann Arbor Monday night. With in-
fluences ranging from Neil Young and Bob
Dylan to The Doors and Creedence, Green On
Red will hit the stage with everything from
country-rock to straight-out psychedelia, blun-
tly sentimental to bitterly observant songs, and
a loudly anthemic to hauntingly emotional
tone. Read about the stuff such dreams are
made of. Page 5.

This regular feature of Weekend magazine
proves there's more to Ann Arbor nightlife
than walking around smashing bottles. And
let's not forget afternoon and morninglife. En-
tertainments is your guide to what's playing in
campus and first-run films, concerts of all kin-
ds, theatre, and dance. And for the day when
nothing quite looks good, check out the "Fur-
thermore" listings. See page 6.
Catch of the day
This week, Weekend columnist Mike Fisch

snags a feature on Olga, of Olga's Kitchen on
State Street fame. See page 9.
Food for thought
Hunger abatement, like many primal con-
cerns, is a priority occupation of collegiate life.
While food as sophisticated entertainment is
often subverted by budgetary considerations,
it is essential to keep abreast of the diversity of
eats - to be prepared for any sudden or
calcualted mood shift - and fill the tank ac-
cordingly. See page 11.
Cover photo by Dan Habib.

L ETTERWRITING AS AN art and discipline is fast
losing ground. In this age of fast times, fast food, and
automatic redial, a common complaint is that there's not
enough time to get everyting done, least of all letter-
Writing a letter takes time - a lot longer than it takes to
buy a Quarter Pounder to put things in perspective. And
just like any bozo can buy a Quarter Pounder, anyone can
drip words from the tongue.
But writing as opposed to speaking opens up whole new
worlds of structure. Even the most well-conceived flow of
talk is still steam-of-consciousness as compared to a
decent letter.
Letterwriters is would seem are a special breed.
Writing a letter presupposes you have something impor-
tant to say. Something important enough to organize in a
formal, focused manner. The conclusion then is that
people who don't write letters, never have anything im-
portant to say. A Quarter Pounder to go and on their
merry way.
The Weekend magazine Letters page is your ready and
willing forum for criticizing Art and Entertainment
reporting. Tear our viewpoints apart, supply your own, or
whatever. If you don't have time to write us, by all means
call. But that doesn't make for a very good public forum.
Mail a piece of your mind to:
Weekend magazine
c/o The Michigan Daily
420 Maynard St.

Magazine Editor ......................Chris Lauer
List Editor............................ JoyceW elsh
Contributing Editor .................. Randall Stone
Cover/Graphics ......... .......... .. Peter Williams

Business Manager ................. Dawn Willacker
Sales Manager ..................Mary Anne Hogan
Assistant Sales Manager .................Yuna Lee
The magazine is edited and managed by students on the staff of The
Michigan Daily at 420 Maynard, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109. Copyright 1985,
The Michigan Daily. Weekend, (313) 763-0370; News, 764-0552; Circulation,
754-0558; Display Advertising, 764-0554.


2 Weekend/Friday,September 20, 1985

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