Do We Really Know What's REAL?
The ILLUSION Episodes Part 1
MUSIC is not a GENRE - Season 2 Episode #24




“Move Ahead, Long Boy”

History of Modern Popular Music Using ONE SONG! – Live Concert


Fake.  Authentic.  Sellout.  Integrity.  Judgy, aren’t we?  Yes, we are.  We all know what’s real & what isn’t.  What has value and what doesn’t.  What is substance and what is fluff.  Except we don’t.  It’s ALL an illusion.  And ILLUSION is what I’ll be talking about in the next few episodes of BOTH of my podcasts.


All art is part truth, part trickery.  Even the most authentic works – the ones drawn from direct personal experience – have artifice to them.  They NEED to, or they wouldn’t be art.  It’s right there in the freakin’ word.  I’ll be getting more into this in Saturday’s podcast.  For now, let’s talk about this week’s pick, which might be the perfect entry into this conversation.


If you remember Milli Vanilli, you probably remember two things, and in this order: 1. They were stripped of their Grammy because the blokes performing the songs on stage did NONE of the performing on the recording; and 2. Their album was a huge success, with several smash singles, including this one here, “Baby Don’t Forget My Number”.  It was one of five Top Five US hits, three of which went to #1.  The songs were everywhere.  I remember being on a bus at the time, and everyone on it was singing “Blame It on the Rain”.  I’m pretty sure it was the only time I’ve experienced that with any group NOT in a music venue.


Things you may not know or may have forgotten.  The two dudes were Fab Morvan & Rob Pilatus.  Fab is a French singer-songwriter, rapper, dancer & model.  Rob was a German model, dancer & singer.  They attempted some comebacks, the last of which ended when Rob died from an overdose of drugs & alcohol.  Fab is still out there doing music, DJ-ing, and a bunch of other things.


There have been scandals in the music & general arts worlds since forever.  Plagiarism.  Misplaced credit.  Outright stealing.  Not paying artists their due.  Lip syncs that were supposed to be live performances.  Etc. etc.  But you’d be hard pressed to find one that was as big as Milli Vanilli.


There have also been tons of deliberate fakeries.  Artists recording music under other names, or writing for other performers under an alias.  “Classic” or “vintage” songs that turned out to be completely made up.  THEN there are the deeper fakes: artists pretending to be folk or blues or country through their work – some of them actually turning that fakery into darn near the real thing.  I’ll be getting more into the stuff in the paragraph in future episodes.


But what about poor Milli Vanilli?  What are we left with now?  As always, you can probably guess my answer: THE MUSIC.  I’m not excusing what the record company did, or who went along with it.  And I’m quite happy that the real singers got their credit and some recognition (and money!).  What I AM saying is that there hasn’t been one scandal related to quality art that has ultimately taken away from how good or enjoyable the work is.  Go listen to this week’s song, or any off that album, and I guarantee the music will get you pumping.


I enjoy a healthy helping of deliberate fakery.  I’m not going to tell you everything I’ve done – what’s the fun in that?! 😉  But I will reveal one BIG FAKE that I’ve been holding onto for the last few months.  Back in mid-June, I did a live online concert using one old folk song to illustrate how styles can change but a good song is a good song.  I played samples of other versions of that song that had been recorded throughout the years, including my own “cover”.  The entire thing was fake.  That old folk song was one I wrote & recorded.  All the versions I played I came up with.  All the artists I named never existed.  I dared the audience several times to discover this by looking up literally anything I said, but no one took the bait.  I was SO hoping to be found out, so here I am totally confessing.  Below is the link to the song itself, and another link to the live concert:


“Move Ahead, Long Boy” –

History of Modern Popular Music Using ONE SONG! – Live Concert -   


Do you remember Milli Vanilli, how HUGE they were, and how big the scandal was?  Do you remember any other music scandals?  How do you feel about any of them?  How important is it to you – if at all – that a song or performance be “true” or have “integrity”?  Discuss dammit!