The Josh Homme-fronted QOTSA sported a roaring, wildcat guitar sound, Homme isn’t a typical headbanger. He slowed down on moody “The Vampyre Of Time and Memory” and slinky “Make It Wit Chu,” during which he yelled at security for making a woman get off her boyfriend’s shoulders. “Take the rule book and shove it … would you? This is Philadelphia, we know how to have a good time!”
Right on, Josh Homme for sticking it to L’Homme! For this act, we award you the Prestigious Rock Badge of Courage. Take away female concertgoers’ right to sit atop their boyfriends’ shoulders and you take away the right for the audience to get a peak at some potentially bare breasts!
Popular music discussion blog Rock Town Hall has awarded one of its very own Townspeople, andyr, its second annual Rock Badge of Courage for his live vocal performance of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” at a recent show by the Narberth, Pennsylvania–based cover band extraordinaire Narband.
You may recall our initial Rock Badge of Courage recipient, Bruce Springsteen, for his performance of “Born in the USA.” The Rock Badge of Courage is the highest artistic decoration awarded by Rock Town Hall, even higher than induction in the Hall’s Foyer of Fame. It is bestowed on musicians who distinguish themselves “conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her artistic cred above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against The Man, apathetic bandmates, or any other enemy of The Power & Glory of Rock.” Springsteen’s award required little explanation, but andyr’s may require some context.
I’ve counted andyr as a “close personal friend” for 40 years. Not once, in all those years and countless musical discussions and experiences has he ever expressed even the slightest admiration for anything related to Pink Floyd. Trust me, he’s a cool guy and typically has great taste in music, but he doesn’t even care for the Syd Barrett stuff or the song “Wish You Were Here.” He even finds the good in stuff a lot of us might think is crap, provided it has cool drum and bass parts, but he may be the only music lover I know who hasn’t at least acknowledged that “Floyd has some cool album covers.” Even E. Pluribus Gergely would grant the band a cool album cover or two. The man has been steadfast in his refusal to enjoy a single thing about Pink Floyd.
Then, no more than 2 months ago, a musical mission was hatched that would test andyr’s rock courage like no test before. He and Townsman Sethro, another one of my longtime bandmates and close personal friends, were asked to join Narband, led by another Townsman, ace guitarist Buddy Whelan and a mutual friend of Whelan and our Rock Badge of Courage recipient who lacks, as far as I know, an RTH handle. Andyr was a little anxious but excited to cram for 2 sets’ worth of mostly Classic Rock and early ’80s new wave hits—especially with his trusty drummer buddy at his back—but one song on the proposed set list caused beads of sweat to form on his brow even as he discussed it with us at rehearsal one night: Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb.”
Popular music discussion blog Rock Town Hall has awarded Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen its first-ever Rock Badge of Courage for His heroic efforts to lift “Born in the USA” to the anthemic heights the song required.
The Rock Badge of Courage is the highest artistic decoration awarded by Rock Town Hall, even higher than induction in the Hall’s Foyer of Fame. It is bestowed on musicians who distinguish themselves “conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her artistic cred above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against The Man, apathetic bandmates, or any other enemy of The Power & Glory of Rock.”
Although the song “Born in the USA” first saw the “light of day” while being composed for possible inclusion in the Michael J. Fox/Joan Jett movie of the same name, the rocking studio version had yet to be recorded as Bruce and His E Street Band neared completion on their 1984 album. With the band off for Presidents’ Day and The Boss anxious to record this passionate tribute to veterans of the Vietnam War, he took matters into his own hands. For the rhythm track He looped a recording of Max Weinberg‘s kick-and-snare drum check at the old Meadowlands. For the distinctive synth riff He called on the services of His 12-year-old nephew, Nelson, who had recently received a Casio keyboard for Christmas. Bruce played the rest of the tracks and singlehandedly carried the slipshod arrangement on the strength of his lyrics and vocal performance.
Rock Town Hall’s Rock Badge of Courage Commission is accepting nominations for future recipients of this honor.