I’m not a fan of Justin Beiber and I doubt I’ll ever be. It isn’t that he doesn’t have a certain amount of talent but he is akin to so many of today’s artists that are so technically enhanced it’s hard to dig beneath the effects to discover whatever abilities they might possess. Having said that…the kid didn’t deserve the reception he received at yesterday’s 100th Grey Cup Game in Toronto. I give him due credit…he handled it well.
I’m sure he won’t be appearing at the 156th Annual Grey Cup game when he’s seventy-four although I’m also pretty sure I won’t be there to say “told ya so…”
Gordon Lightfoot is Canadian music. He was there before the Canadian content regulations forced radio stations to play a certain amount of home-grown artists. He drove from town to town, probably hauling a trailer, promoting his music. He was selling records that were pure Canadian. Lightfoot made it work in his country without crossing the border, another thing Beiber has been criticized for. Hey, he went where the money is…and the fame. Most people would do the same.
Don’t boo Justin. They asked him to perform and he said yes. I assume he was honored by the invitation…I’m not sure. Instead we should boo the great minds behind that invitation. I can’t believe the same team of experts who thought (quite rightly) of having Lightfoot open the show also decided that an eighteen-year-old manufactured popper lip-syncing pre-pubescent drivel in front of a rag-tag mix of drunken Canadian football fans was a really good idea.
Okay that was a bit harsh but, as I said, I’m not a fan. The Beiber marketing machine is still in high gear and in his position I’d ride it for as long as I could. I’d also like to think that whoever is guiding this guy would take a page from the Beatles. They captured the teeny-bopper market then grew musically to establish themselves as the single most powerful influence the music business has ever witnessed. As they grew so did their audience.
Is Justin the next John or Paul? Hardly…and I doubt there’s anyone out there who would even entertain that notion in passing let alone seriously. But I do seem to recall watching a television newsman back in the sixties. He came off a clip of the Beatles on Ed Sullivan and said, “Just goes to show…hand anyone a guitar and they can be a star these days.”
For Justin Beiber the 100th Annual Grey Cup was a learning experience…for Gordon Lightfoot it was a fitting showcase for a true Canadian icon.