Friday, April 27, 2012

Metalhead of the Day: Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert embodies the modern Shakespearean fool. He goofs on people with more stature, yet he seems to have clearer sense of how the world works than any of the pundits, commentators and politicians that are taken more seriously. Colbert also apparently has a better grasp on rock n' roll than most people in the media biz--he gave Rush their first United States TV appearance in 33 years.

For a band that has sold over 40 million records and fills up arenas all over the world, Rush has never received much media attention. Music critics turn up their nose at the band's extended breakdowns and helium vocals, while classic rock stations prefer less conceptual music and lyrics. Rolling Stone never gave Rush a feature until a few years ago. Colbert starts by acknowledging that lack of coverage ("I'm sorry it took me so long to get my show together,") kicking off an interview that gets funnier with every minute.

The band performs "Tom Sawyer." Even for a bunch of lifelong pros like Rush, I'm almost surprised at how hard they can rock in a TV studio. Wait for the ending...

Then follow-up with the next night's show:

If Stephen Colbert had just given Rush their first American TV audience since the 1970s, dayenu. Then at 2010's March to Restore Sanity, Stephen Colbert championed the music and principles of the former John Michael Osboune: 

Ozzy sounds like he doesn't know where he is, but watching Colbert air guitar, air drum and wag his tongue like a Blizzard of Ozz fanatic is a treat. He also dismisses Yusum (Cat Stevens) Islam's "Peace Train" as a "rainbow moonbeam choo-choo," even though its composer is crazier than Ozzy Osbourne.

Congratulations, Stephen Colbert. Call your next book I Am Metal (And So Can You).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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