Wednesday 22 November 2017

TV Review: Fascinating insight into the psychology of rock excess

Motley Crue
Motley Crue

"They had more drink, drugs, groupies and debauchery than you could shake an eight-ball at."

50 years of rock excess – amps, whips and rebel riffs.

Channel 4. Sunday.

Narrated by David Threlfall, Sunday night's ...Amps, Whips and Rebel Riffs was a celebration of the kind of rock'n'roll debauchery that would have today's bad boys hiding under the sofa, screaming for their life coach.

Whether it was Keith Moon passing out on stage before being revived by a quick injection of speed into his arse, or Led Zeppelin introducing a fish to a part of a groupie's anatomy (making it a grouper?), this was an occasionally fascinating, if not blisteringly original, insight into the psychology of excess.

If we choose our rock stars to live the kind of life we would all love, then you'd have to wonder about the folk who would want the life lived by Motley Crue.

Sure, they had more drink, drugs, groupies, and gold plated, dumb-as-fuck debauchery than you could shake an eight-ball at.

But for all the offences against good taste, conventional morality and sartorial taste so enthusiastically engaged in by the likes of Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee, there was an overwhelming sense of joyless nihilism.

You don't need a Masters in Applied Head Shrinkery to see that when two men, as Sixx and Lee did, engage in a competition to see how long they could go without showering while still enjoying the loving ministrations of numerous groupies, you're not dealing with terrifying rock behemoths but, to quote Monty Python, some very naughty boys.

In fact, a cynic could look at their bouffant hair, make-up, blouses and the way they had sex in front of each other on a seemingly daily basis and wonder why they bothered shagging when you knew that their real, deepest desire would have been to bone each other instead.

But that would have been truly outrageous at the time – and poodle rock was never the smartest of beasts...

The Men In Black.

RTE One. Monday.

Debauchery and bad behaviour of a different stripe were on offer on Monday with an hour-long plug for Frontline security, a company which provides bouncers, sorry, door staff, sorry, crowd management officers for numerous public events.

For some, bouncers are the epitome of a bad end to a good night – black-coated lugs drunk on the unlimited thrill of being the man who decides if someone is sober enough to get in to the local chipper.

That is an onerous task, of course, and with such power comes great responsibility, or so we are led to believe.

In fairness, as someone who knows a few bouncers, you tend to get back what you give to them – whether that be a basic degree of civility or, if you're feeling foolish, taking them on in a scrap.

You wouldn't expect a pro-life rally to be a seething hotbed of pent-up resentment and anger, but when the security teams tried to stop some protesters from carrying placards to the rally one question sprang to mind – what gives them the legal right to remove something from someone in a public place?

But that question quickly evaporated in a wave of sympathy as they had to deal with a crowd so utterly bat shit crazy that one of the throng tried, while dressed as the Pope, to run them over.

"He seemed very angry," said one shocked security guard.

Well, there wouldn't be much point in dressing as the Pope and trying to run someone over if you weren't a bit miffed about something, would there?

Destination Truth.

Syfy channel. Saturday.

We're well used to visiting Americans looking at Ireland in amazement when they discover that we have running toilets, but the sight of 'explorer' Josh Gates arriving in Ireland to search for the mythical leprechaun was so bursting with superannuated cliché and lazy kitsch that you could probably lodge a half-decent racial discrimination claim against the producers.

Standing in Dublin airport, Gates bumped into some young Irish men dressed in those stupid bloody leprechaun hats as they waited for their flight to London.

Red faced and supremely stupid in their ridiculous hats, they explained the reason for their trip with a succinct: "To get drunk."

St Patrick may have rid this island of snakes, but as Destination Truth unwittingly uncovered, he unfortunately left all the idiots behind.

Irish Independent

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