A Word (or two) about Vinyl
As this is The Vinyl Word I thought I really should give a mention to Vinyl, the new HBO series produced by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger which started this week. Set in the New York music business of the early seventies, with occasional flashbacks to the sixties, it's sex, drugs and rock and roll in all its glory. Starring Bobby Cannavale as record man Richie Finestra on the brink of selling his ailing label, American Century, to a German company, it is typical Scorsese, with coke being snorted liberally, occasional sex, plenty of violence and central characters who would make anyone thinking of going into the music business think again.
There's a hell of a lot of fantasy about all this of course. Most of the characters are so obnoxious or weak that they make the flawed Richie look halfway human, and in most cases they are cardboard cut-outs. The collapsing building is, presumably, symbolic, rather than real, but who knows? And there are various sub plots which may develop as the series continues. But there's a tremendous energy about it and a lot of style.
The best part of Vinyl is probably the music itself. In episode one we had Chris Kenner (or rather a vocal group miming to I Like It Like That), a female singer miming to Ruth Brown for no apparent reason, Bo Diddley (Richie is given a square guitar as a birthday gift), Blue Cheer singing Summertime Blues, Chuck Berry and Otis Redding, plus Slade (who were rubbished by the A and R guys at the record company) and Abba.
'You can't always get what you want', to quote one of the characters, but Martin and good old Mick have put together a series that is well worth following, and I shall be tuning in over the next ten weeks - if only for the background music,