Reply to "Mark Hart"

BRANDO BRANDT posted:
So the idea that bands are simply in it for the love of music is very romantic but also naive. 

Make no mistake, Neil and Nick are (and deserve to be) looking to maximize the exposure and profit of their next project (whatever it may be).

Why shouldn’t they call it Crowded House? Why shouldn’t they be allowed to attempt to reach new audiences and achieve higher levels of commercial and critical success?

I find it funny how some fans become Uber-Purists who believe they know more and better, than the actual artists who’s  work they so passionately adore.

Personally, I don't see it as "knowing more" or being naive. Music is a commodity, but it also has the capacity to stir emotions. It isn't just product. And I think its mildly patronising to those who invested their emotions heavily in the work of any band to call them naive when they complain at how that band's reputation is being used.

I don't know the legal side of things. I strongly suspect that once Capitol's original deal with Crowded House (to which Neil, Paul and Nick were signatories) ended, Neil took sole ownership of the band name. As a result, I suspect that anyone (including Nick) is now merely a salaried employee of Neil's. In that situation, it's clearly Neil's call as to who is in (or out) of CH.

But there's a wider point here: CH generated a massive amount of goodwill among its fanbase. Goodwill that has sustained Neil's solo career far longer than that of many of his contemporaries. And that goodwill was generated as much by the personality and musical ability of the other members of CH as it was by Neil and his songwriting. Neil acknowledged that back in 1998 when he refused to continue to use the band name for his solo work. It was something I was immensely grateful to him for doing, because it also acknowledged the he was aware of the emotional connection the band had made with people like me.

His decision to release Time on Earth as a CH album and now his decision to just jettison MH suggests to me that Neil has long since disregarded the special connection he, Nick, Paul and Mark made with their fanbase. And that saddens me.

Of course, from a practical point of view, I'm not sure what else he can do. If he wants to work with Nick, his choice is to either rehearse a show's worth of material that will be new to Nick (and which, of course, Neil quite publicly chose not to work with him on in the first place) or rehearse and play CH songs. And if Neil and Nick are on stage playing CH songs, well, it would be bizarre not to bill the band as CH...

 

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