28 April 2008

The day the music died

Buddy Holly has a lot to answer for.

Or, rather, his estate does - for I am sure that he little imagined, when he buckled himself into his seat aboard that Beechcraft Bonanza back in February 1959, what a monster he had spawned. Thirty years later, someone chanced upon the idea of turning his life story into a stage play, complete with soundtrack. They set in motion a terrible bandwagon that has culminated in the head-on collision that is "Never Forget - the Take That story", currently being advertised across London. Truly the new theatrical genre of "Jukebox Musical" has reached its nadir.

To date there are approximately 9,588 pop groups being written up for the stage, with another 5,116,225 in development. Having already been hit with Abba (Mamma Mia), Boney M (Daddy cool), Madness (Our House), Billy Joel (Movin' out), The Beach Boys (Good vibrations), Rod Stewart (Tonight's the night), Queen (We will rock you) and Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons (Jersey Boys), I do begin to wonder where the line will be drawn. Milli Vanilli? Toni Basil? Or maybe "Shaddap You Face - the Joe Dolce Story".

Perhaps more worrying is the impact this will have on future creative endeavours of the pop stars of tomorrow. When the Amy Winehouses of next year are discovered, will the A&R men suggest they write an extra track that could be turned into a first half closer for the musical of their life? Will future artist sing summaries of their careers to date, in order to give any future stage show a lift halfway through the second act?

Even more frightening is the prospect of "Unbreakable - the Westlife story", coming to a stage near you. At which point I will launch a campaign for the reinstatement of the Lord Chamberlain's office as licenser of plays to the west end stage. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

1 comment:

PW said...

I vote for a Bucks Fizz musical called My camera never lies. I'm sure one of the original members of the band could be persuaded to take on a cameo role.