It’s not just The Beatles and The Stones of course, last night I went to a playback of tracks from the new Aerosmith album and recently declined the opportunity to see the Led Zeppelin concert film.
We are obsessed with bands of the past, those who lived larger and broke boundaries doing so. Jarvis Cocker encapsulates it well in this review when he talks of us all being ‘children of the echo’, born just beyond the moment of the big bang and therefore condemned to try and re-capture those moments – to somehow try and get close.
A few things came to mind from the Aerosmith playback; they've got a fucking fantastic logo that still seems timeless – it just works. Indeed you could also say this of The Stones and possibly The Beatles (and Apple logo) or Zeppelin (four symbols and Swansong as much as their title logo).
I don’t know that bands do logos anymore but maybe they should, they’re iconic and can make the transition over many years. They also, perhaps this is why they've slipped from favour, give rise to the ‘band as brand’ theory. People love a good logo don’t they?
The other realisation from the Aerosmith playback was that this band are still pretty good, they've still got it. It’s a sad fact then for new acts that as well as competing with 50 years of pop history (the point of the original piece below) they’re also up against bands with a history that can still do it.
Naturally Aerosmith will command column inches for their comeback, they’re recognised entertainers, no-one has to do a sales job on them and they have great stories. I also don’t know many rock bands producing material as good as the stuff I heard last night, but it’s possible I need to get out more.