15.05.2008 19:51 - Artistry Vs. Public
Have you ever wondered why your favorite musician often goes through a phase of being completely uncommercial and very experimental?
I'll tell you why.
It's because that's when they get their first stalker.
Because, you see, meeting your fans can be a shock - especially when it's the sort of fan who sends you letters. The ones written in their own blood. (With the possible exception of death metal, where it's considered de rigeur). Hard-core fans often have serious problems - usually in relating to reality. Having one of these bear down on you can make you question your whole direction in life, and lead you to make music in a deliberate effort to get rid of your fans. (Something which Radiohead seem to have spent most of their career doing).
Obviously not all fans are living on planet wibble - it's just the ones who are single-minded enough to try and track you down. That's the modern world, though. In days gone past it was relatively easy to meet the artist, as the artist/fan divide hadn't really been widened by the use of powerful hallucinogenics to the point where popular psychiatry had started taking notice of the phenomenon. However, the ideological gap between performer and consumer was still often enough to cause the performer to run off screaming. For example, Charlie Parker. Why do you really think he turned to drugs? I'll tell you. Because he met his audience, and found that his audience were a bunch of bank-clerks using his music as a soundtrack to get laid to. This is enough to send any musician a bit doo-lally.
It also explains bebop and avant -garde jazz. Just TRY getting laid to that.