Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Album Selection of the Fittest

i get these crazy requests for albums all the time
it's like people have connected with the series
and see us a vehicle for personal bliss
i love it
but certain albums don't make sense for us to delve into
- jethro tull
- lynyrd skynyrd
- madonna
- kansas
- elo
these are albums - that while great - kinda - don't fit into our criteria

so what is our criteria?
and how do i go about choosing?
the answer is crass
the ones that sold the most - the people's albums

critical acclaim is dodgy
zep got continually panned back in the day
you can find bad reviews of sgt. pepper dating back to it's release date
meanwhile albums by rem and lou reed receive the gold star awards
we could do those albums
fine albums
but no one would come

so money
people vote with their dollar
what better test is there?
it's all so subjective - but money leads to the truth
this is distasteful - i realize this
i'm hard pressed to find a better gage

i had this discussion with a theatre director recently
he was mentioning that some well tested shows weren't doing the numbers
i asked how his classic rock shows were doing
through the roof - very strong
meanwhile the broadway stuff was tanking
so what's his mandate?
clearly it's to maintain and cultivate the arts
i'm all for that
but you have to remain flexible on just what the arts is
certainly the touring polish folk singers have a place within our communities
but if kim mitchell is going to sell more tickets - wouldn't that better define the community?

yes and no
the theatre directors have such a difficult job
they want us to come to their theatres and discover new things
not only is that important
but it's noble
it's important for us to embrace all of the arts
all that
it's important to explore new entertainment
i see CAL as a catalyst to get more people to come to the theatre
you come for the zep
but stay for the spamalot

which brings me back to my album criteria
i don't like taking too many left turns with album selection
and i try not to interject too much of my personal taste
if i did that we'd be touring non stop stones dylan and springsteen
but i love the classics
the zeps the floyds the beatles
given that we only do 3 to 4 shows a year in each theatre
it would be too self serving to throw in a clash show
when i know a pepper show would draw ten times the people

but keeps those requests coming
i love the discussion
and i love the choices that people think would fit CAL

right now i'm spinning neil young's freedom album
i love this album
and while i listen to it
i picture it on stage with all the proper instrumentation and execution
and while this show will never take place
i like hiding in this part of my imagination

april 13, 2011
coffee with nicky


  1. Well get ready , cause Neil Man is coming home to Massey in May 2011 - Tix on Friday !

  2. Hi Craig,

    Saw your Dark Side Of The Moon concert here in Powell River, BC last week. It was an amazing concert. Almost sold out.

    Earlier in the week we went to see April Wine here and it was almost sold out. Great show.

    In the middle of the week we went to a classical music concert which was incredible but the attendance was maybe 1/5 full. Maybe 60 - 80 people.

    People like classic rock and they do vote with their dollars. I hope the theatre directors learn from examples like this and bring in more shows that people are willing to buy tickets for.

    Keep up the good work. Looking forward to seeing one of your groups again soon, hopefully.

    Robin Murray

  3. Last Sunday I went to see Classic Albums Live perform Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" (and other material) in North Vancouver. Great show! Of course it finished off with "Comfortably Numb", which has what many argue is rock music's best guitar solo.

    Well Craig, what album would I like to see performed live with the CAL treatment? King Crimson's landmark progressive rock masterpiece, "In the Court of the Crimson King".

    The Japanese band Ningen Isu pulls off a very good trio version of "21st Century Schizoid Man" which you can see at:

  4. right on david
    but no immediate plans for any fripp related music