I thought it was pretty depressing when the Doors started getting all snitty with each other in the wake of the Oliver Stone film of that name -- arguing about who had the right to maintain the official Jim Morrison mythology. True, as a group they had conflicted previously with the estates (read: families intent on cashing in) of both Jim and Pam, but this infighting over Mr Mojo Risin's corpse was still pretty disheartening. Although, if you really want disheartening, I heard a rumor that Messrs Densmore, Krieger, and Manzarek are considering a reunion tour with an as-yet-unnamed vocalist...

Yet, somehow, it all seems dignified compared to what's happening now with Nirvana, Inc. One poor little talented, fucked-up bastard basically changes the face of popular music, then becomes dead. Years later, the aftershocks having settled, we find the Widow and the Rythym Section fighting it out to see who can tear off the last few scraps of meat from the carcass.

These are the kinds of things that happen when people with a lot of money think they need a lot more money.

Solutions? I'd like to see a democratization of the box-set/t-shirt/lunch-box approval process. A website is established for the purpose, and anybody willing to pay $20 becomes a voting member for life. Then, when the Widow (whom I really want to believe had no direct hand in the death of her husband) or the Rythym Section want to upgrade their houses by shifting some new units, they can present their pro-arguments on the site, alongside which will be placed the con-arguments, the rebuttals, etc, for a period not exceeding four weeks. A majority vote would decide the issue.

Of course I know it wouldn't work! All the financially interested parties would simply set up fake voters in an attempt to stack the deck, and eventually the entire mess would explode in everyone's faces, covering them with hot, steaming clumps of law and ensuring that any and all fiduciary instruments involved would be promptly surrendered to various members of the long-suffering legal profession. But at least it would prevent the aforementioned interested parties from wasting their valuable time on such hobbies as recording unremarkable rock albums, pretending to be thespians and/or anti-record-industry activists to disguise their inability to continue to produce unremarkable rock albums, or producing a political article once every five years or so.

Rock is Dead -- just ask Kurt Cobain or Jim Morrison. Or, for that matter, Jello Biafra. Long Live Law, the Final Frontier.

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