Tuesday, January 24, 2012


"The show must go on"

Several times in the past here and elsewhere I've mocked American Idol for its name and results. Almost nobody who competes ends up with any real career, and the ones that do aren't very major stars. Sure, there's been a few who've become somewhat popular, but the name of the show is American Idol and having as big a career as Billy Idol isn't what that implies.

An Idol would be someone like, say, Elvis or Marilyn Monroe. Not Elvis Costello, either. I watched a concert called Download from England on Palladia recently (quite an entertaining cable channel, really) and among the acts was Journey. But when I looked up to see the screen while enjoying a song, I was shocked to see an Asian guy singing. He sounds exactly like Steve Perry. I am not exaggerating here.

Turns out the guy's name is Arnel Pineda from the Philippines, and they found him when they saw him on You Tube. Like a lot of bands, Journey isn't terrified when they find a song of theirs online, and in this case, they found a gem. The video they saw was of him in his band The Zoo singing Journey hits and they immediately contacted him when they were touring in the Philippines.

He was in the studio with them 3 days and by the third day they knew they had their new lead singer, as Steve Perry had quit the band several years earlier. Now, with a new, fresh, energized singer (and he's dynamic on stage, he really looks like he's having a blast) Journey is touring again. Here's what they sound and look like now:

Queen's lead singer Freddy Mercury died of AIDS complications, ending an astounding singing and songwriting career. He really was the leader of the band and his voice seemed utterly impossible to replace. I mean, who on earth will be able to sing like that, he was truly unique, right?

Wrong. Marc Martel did this video to audition for the new lead singer of Queen and, well its uncanny. Apparently you need a moustache and a jaw like that to sing like Freddy, but he's astounding. And he's considered the front runner for the Queen cover band.

See, May, Taylor, and Deacon aren't up to touring any longer, and Deacon left the band so they're looking for guys to build a band who can tour for them. And this guy is almost certainly the best choice for the part. The Queen guys are excited by how this guy sings, and he'll almost certainly be in the band, but the decision hasn't been finalized yet.

These guys aren't from (insert country) has talent or American Idol. They aren't on some reality show, they aren't from a talent agency. Arnel had won contests and been in several bands, but he was found on YouTube showing his (and his band's) talent and got picked up for a big time, stadium filling job.

And that's what the new world is like. The television shows can be entertaining, and there can be a lot of talent on them (although it almost always ends up a certain kind of singer), but the truth is, they aren't putting out idols, and bands looking for a replacement don't go to a contest show. They watch online.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ed in texas

Here's the deal about 'Idol'. It's a Disney Co extension of the mouseketeers. To use a baseball analogy, it's Disney's farm team. They always hafta have new talent to sell, 'cause that's the business they're in.