I’m catching up on my Twitter feed and I come across this, from Jim Fusilli, the "Wall Street Journal" music critic:

"I’ll play along: Make the case for any Faces track."

The problem with the Faces is just like their lead singer, Rod Stewart, their albums got worse as their career progressed. But in the case of the Faces, it was even worse than that, because since Rod the Mod kept all the good songs for himself, the Faces albums were so mediocre as to have one listenable track at best.  The band ended with a whimper, when Ron Wood left to join the Stones, but they were done eons before, probably with their second Rod/Wood album, "Long Player". Which, although uneven, had a remarkable cover of "Maybe I’m Amazed", which was even more amazing in concert.

Remember when you went to the show, your jaw dropped and when it was over you couldn’t stop talking about it?  It oftentimes took years for your friends to catch up, until the band finally had a hit and broke through and you said I TOLD YOU SO!

That’s how I felt seeing the Faces in the spring of ’71 at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, just moments before "Every Picture Tells A Story" was released and "Maggie May" hit and Rod Stewart became a superstar.

Scrolling down my Twitter feed, because you read in reverse, I saw what started the hubbub.

Fusilli said:

"Just deleted the only Rod Stewart track in my 12,000-song iTunes library. I feel very good about this."

How could someone be so wrong and so proud at the same time?

And people were recommending "Bad ‘n’ Ruin", which is barely better than adequate, and "I’m Losing You", which is great, but a cover, and then someone mentioned "Handbags and Gladrags", which is fantastic, but no one mentioned the very first album by the reincarnated group, with the excellent cover of Dylan’s "Wicked Messenger" and…


So I go to YouTube to find the track, to tweet to Mr. Fusilli, but all I can find is a live cut from Paris.  And the sound is breaking up and I’ve got to find the studio cut, where the guitar stings, but as the music from Paris continues to play in the background the technological glitches dissipate and I go back to the video and there he is…

The star.

There are singers.  Performers.

And then there are stars.

Who knew Rod Stewart was so confident and charismatic until you saw him?

This was not only in the days before YouTube, but plastic surgery.  You just brought yourself on stage, your personality and chops had to fill the entire hall, convince the audience.  Could you do it?

Most couldn’t.

That’s why all those "American Idol" winners tank.  They’re vessels, they’re not the drink itself.

And I’m not saying you’re gonna be closed if you were not a fan, this music is not slick, the performance is not perfect, but it’s got an energy that can’t be denied.

And when Rod Stewart looks up to the heavens and sings…you think there’s something up there, you want to look too, he’s got access you don’t, but if you join the rock and roll circus and follow along, just maybe you can gain entrance too.

You had to go to know.

It was like the Homebrew Computer Club where Wozniak and Jobs introduced the Apple 1.  If you were there, you got it, if you weren’t, you weren’t unimpressed, you were completely ignorant!

We were music crazy.  We were enraptured by the sound, the emotion, unlike Facebook, it was life itself.

And ever since video, what was once there is now gone.

But with the death of music on MTV, we’ve got another bite at the apple.

What if you were just that good, just that charismatic, and you didn’t whore yourself out, didn’t sell yourself, didn’t hype, just let the music and the performance do the talking.

That’s the way out.  A refusal to market.  Confidence that the music is enough.

To the point where the public finds you and follows along.

There’s just something in this clip.

It’s not about perfection.  It’s got nothing to do with technology.

It’s got to do with life.

You can watch your bank account grow as the stock market climbs, but it’ll never compete with the feeling you get, the tingling from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, when you feel, see and hear great music.

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