Monday, September 7, 2009

Behind The Music: More Than Mere Entertainment But A Public Service

The television show Behind The Music returns to VH1 on Thursday, September 10 and no one could be more happier than me. I always found that this show was more than idol worship of popular musicians. It went beyond mere entertainment. BTM was a public service. For example, BTM gave free financial advice as it did with the episode on the group TLC in which the late Lisa Left-Eye Lopes revealed how it was possible to sell millions of records and "still be broke." Every episode was a cautionary tale that consisted of the following formula: (Sing along if you know the words) 1)Childhood buddies/friends around the way decide to form Band X 2) Band X cuts demo. 3) Band X gets a record deal. 4) Band X hits the big time complete with #1 songs and gold and platnium albums. 5) Band X overindulges in sex, drugs, booze 6) Band X breaks up due to aforementioned excesses 7) Band X reunites and releases new album that sucks. But no matter how formulaic and predictable the shows got toward the end of its first run Behind the Music still was able to grab my attention. Behind The Music was required viewing for music fans as well as for those who want to break into the music business. More importantly, BTM captures the human drama of the rags to riches (and back to rags in some cases) phenomena and brilliantly illustrates that all that glitters is not gold.

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