Sunday, March 2, 2014

Fishbone, "Freddie's Dead"

Angelo Moore, what were you thinking? When a woman took Fishbone to court this year for breaking her skull and collarbone during one of Moore's stage dives at a 2010 show, the lead singer apparently told the court that he doesn't warn the crowd because "people want to be on the edge when they go to a Fishbone show," and that ambulances get called to Fishbone shows "every few months." The judge has now ordered the band to pay $1.4 in damages, which made me think of the scene in Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone where present-day Moore moves back in with his mom because he can't afford his own home in his 40s. As foolish as his actions were, and as awful as it is for the plaintiff, I hate to think of how long it's going to take the band to pay her back. Three decades of credibility apparently doesn't buy you anything.

They wrote some great songs and are excellent musicians, but every fan with a pulse will tell you that Fishbone's expertise is in performing. No surprise then, that their best song is a cover, a punk remake of Curtis Mayfield's Super Fly classic (and the inspiration for Nightmare on Elm Street 6). Fishbone is often credited with connecting punk with soul, and by reaching back to Mayfield they showed how closely the two were already linked by reality-based lyrics and anthemic choruses. Channeling their live energy and ditching the silliness of their earlier albums, "Freddie's Dead" finally gave Fishbone the song that they deserved.

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