The Photo That Killed Music Dead!


This is it. This is the picture that killed music.

Yep, that's holiday-parade-float-strutting-boy-band veteran Justin Timberlake wearing an MC5 t-shirt on the cover of a hip-hop magazine, creating what scientists call an "inverse cultural self-suck" wherein black is white, square is round, and Justin Timberlake is taken seriously as an artist.

Not that it'll ever happen, but if this writer should EVER run into Mr. T, I will kindly hold him upside down until he names three MC5 songs. Don't say I didn't warn him.

See, he could have worn an Aerosmith or Led Zep shirt and aroused no suspicion whatsoever. He'd have successfuly shown his vintage street cred without sticking his neck out too far because, based on MY experience, anyone wearing an MC5 is gonna be seen as a poseur by any and all truly discerning rock fans until they prove otherwise. Heck, I'm tempted to buy this particular issue of Vibe just so I can scan the article for a "wardrobe by ________" credit.

See, there's this slyly ambitious campaign to legitimize Justin Timberlake as an artist. Of course, as a closet Duran fan, I'm still seething that Nick Rhodes would let such a putz produce part of their album, Red Carpet Massacre, while also letting a frustrated Andy Taylor leave the band.

What's sad is that visionaries like Duran Duran and New Order are put out to pasture when also-ran's like Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears, ever reliant on the latest song doctors and producers, are afforded multi-decade careers instead of the one-hit wonderdom they truly deserved. Whereas Duran Duran had been a respectful offshoot of Bowie and Roxy Music, spearheading their own movement, in the process, JT is a product of what, a mere desire to be famous?

Had he arrived on the scene during, say, the '80s, JT would have had his one or two hits, and promptly joined the legions of "here today, gone later today" pop acts like Tiffany and Samantha Fox.

So when he pops up as a solo act wearing an MC5 t-shirt on the cover of Vibe magazine, it just doesn't pas the smell test and, trust me, it smells. Maybe if it had been Ice Cube wearing that shirt, you could almost believe it's because he actually knows who they are, but Justin?

No way he knows who they are.

And that, my friends, is how this picture killed music.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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