10 August 2007

Media Fakes

I welcome the recent exposures related to fakery on TV. Fake phone-ins; fake quiz shows; fake documentaries. But the revelations ought to go further. As a music fan, I get fed up with 'live' performances which are nothing more than a group of people strutting in front of cameras with pre-recorded music playing in the background. The past was bad enough, with pop 'stars' such as Marc Bolan pouting to camera whilst somebody else was playing his guitar in the back room - or the ridiculous Electric Light Orchestra, three 'performers' who were actually over-dubbed session musicians. Recently, I've watched the creepy Jules Holland on his show and felt sorry for those musicians who actually do play live, pitted against nonentities who are clearly miming to 'one I made earlier'. Flush em all out, I say. Let's see what you're made of!

Actually, come to think of it, this could go further. Watch this space.


mrboogle said...

Hi. Marc Bolan never used someone in a back room - you obviously don't know much about him - his ego would never had allowed it! The only time that he used overdubbing (other than overdubbing himself in the studio of course), was for the Born To Boogie film featuring one of his concerts where HE overdubbed some lead guitar because he was playing rhythm on stage.

Unless you have some evidence of course?

Roy said...

Well, you undoubtedly know more about MB than me, Mr Boogle.

My only evidence is visual - watching Marc flouncing around the TV studio waving his guitar around, with no fingers anywhere near the frets - whilst thuderous chomping noises flooded the airwaves - complete with backing vocals from people who were never to be seen.

I admit that I am using him mainly as a metaphor for something I'm sure yopu would admit was common in the pop music business.

Perhaps you could suggest some more obvious examples?

Maybe the Spice Girls - or are they too easy a target?

skipper said...

My understanding was that miming was outlawed by the BBC sometime during the 80s- though before that it was rife. Are you saying Jules Holland is no good on the old joanna? Don't think many would agree with that.

But maybe some of his guests might complain that his accompaniment was unwelcome or unnecessary as they don't seem to have much say in the matter- maybe it's a tacit part of the deal whereby they are invited in the first place

Roy said...

Well Skip, I think the definition of 'miming' might be more closely restricted than we imagine.

It's quite clear that all those boy/girl groups who are nothing more than pretty blonde dancers CAN'T be even singing along to a backing tape - because they're not wearing microphones (and of course they NEVER get out of breath).

Joolz Holland's piano playing is OK - as a pub-type pianist. It's his manner and appearance I find creepy.

If there's a set of guidelines used by TV companies on this matter, I would like to know what they are.

And if all the musical acts to be seen on TV turn out to be genuine - enacted live in the studio - then I will publicly stick my head up my own arse.