OPEN ARMS on Ten songs that killed Arena Rock

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OPEN ARMS on Ten songs that killed Arena Rock

Postby Abitaman » Sun Jul 10, 2005 9:12 am

Classic Rock Revisited presents


Ten Songs That Killed Arena Rock

By Jeb Wright

Arena Rock was a phenomenon born out of the failed Peace & Love moment of the 1960’s. Rock music from that era tended to be fueled by politically motivated lyrics and a desire to rebel. The Man was the enemy and The System corrupt! The younger generation turned to music to solve their problems. In the end, arrogance, greed, lust and drugs took the hippie generation from the peace and love of Woodstock to the horror of Altamont. The idealistic dream faded quickly as war in Vietnam ended and Nixon stepped down from the Whitehouse.

The next generation of rock fans were not interested in saving the world; they just wanted to rock. Arena Rock in the 1970’s introduced the faceless bands of the decade. No longer were there featured stars such as Bob Dylan or Jimi Hendrix. Album covers no longer featured group photos. Bands were born who were identified as only Journey, Kansas, Boston, Kiss, Blue Oyster Cult, REO Speedwagon and Styx. Many had symbols associated with their name that were instantly more recognizable to the public than any particular band member. Instead of sitting in groups and just listening to music, the new generation danced in the isles, drank beer and smoked weed in the parking lot and waved their fist in the air. Song lyrics morphed from the surreal to just having a good time and the phrase, Sex Drugs & Rock n’ Roll was born.

All seemed well for a few years as promoters discovered you didn’t need to line up twenty bands to sell out a football stadium. You could package three or four together and sell out. In many cases, one band alone could push twenty thousand tickets! There was an innocent connection between the advancement of musical technology, the evolution of the electric guitar playing, the music industries need to make money and the fans need to leave the heavy shit to their parents and have a good time. The result was an era of music still celebrated on classic rock radio around the world.

What, then, happened to bring about the end of Arena Rock? The simple answer is a shift to punk rock and then skinny tie new wave bands. Another explanation is that with the end of Disco there was not a counter balance needed and people simply moved on. Upon further reflection, however, it can be said the bands themselves imploded with greed and actually brought about the end of the era. By doing so, they actually have brought on critical ridicule that still persists to the current day. Syrupy ballads replaced rock epics and weak attempts at pop stardom failed miserably. Many bands went for the elusive brass ring of Pop Superstar and the ridiculous amounts of money and fame that go with it. While history shows, on paper, that this move was successful, those of us that were there know different. Just because a band is riding the # 1 spot on the singles chart does not mean they are a creative musical force. Many bands dumbed down and sacrificed their musical integrity for fleeting moments of pop stardom. What started out a new form of rock music ended up a confused and often laughable embarrassment.

Below are the Top 10 Songs That Killed Arena Rock.

10. Beth – Kiss
Kiss was the most dangerous band in the land. Parents worried that junior would join forces with Satan himself if they even accidentally heard their music. “Beth” sowed the seeds of the puke-filled power ballads of the 80’s. This song showed that a hard rock band could sound like Barry Manilow and appeal to teenage girls thus making record companies wet their pants with greed. While Kiss have always been about da money, “Beth” opened the door for others to abandon hard rock and instead go for the teeny-bopper bucks.

09. Open Arms – Journey
Journey began as a progressive rock experiment led by ex-Santana members Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie. By the time the 80’s showed up, Rolie had enough and moved on. Journey went from making classic tracks like “Wheel in the Sky” and “Lights” to making crap pop drivel. Jonathan Cain, from The Baby’s, came onboard and “Open Arms” took the world by storm. The song sounded worse than a Vegas lounge act but fans ate it up. Teenage girls began touching themselves and the rest is history. Journey, in a short time, went from prog rock to pussy rock. Eventually, Steve Perry thought he was Perry Como and left the band to be a solo crooner and Journey was gone forever.

08. Babe - Styx
Styx was on top of their game in the 1970’s. They were the leaders in Arena Rock and their album Grand Illusion seemed to be the crème de la crème of the genre. Only a couple of years later, Dennis DeYoung wrote the skating rink classic “Babe” and the band soared to # 1 on the charts. Styx, nor their legions of hard rock fans, would ever be the same.

07. Keep the Fire Burning’ REO Speedwagon
REO is best remembered as the band that released High Infidelity and took Arena Rock to new heights. However, for ten years before that release, the band were considered Midwest America’s hardest rocking live act with songs like “Riding the Storm Out” and “Golden Country.” While one could argue that the song “Keep on Loving You” should be on this list, it was the next years release “Keep the Fire Burring” that proved just how bad a good band could become. Like DeYoung, REO front man Kevin Cronin decided to cut his hair and wear really bad clothing. When hardcore fans had to sit through this song being sung twice in the same concert on the ensuing tour, they began heading for the exit in droves.

06. Waiting for a Girl like You - Foreigner
Some call this the quintessential moment for the band Foreigner. I call it crap. The band abandoned all of its hard rock sensibility and went straight for the pop jugular. This song, along with the entire pop scented 4 album, took the world by storm and made stars out of the band. It also left behind songs like “Double Vision” and “Long Long Way from Home” and spawned pussified tunes such as “I Want to Know What Love Is” and “Urgent.” What should have been considered urgent was the fact that Foreigner was starting to suck.

05. New World Man – Rush
I can’t get the image from my mind from the moment his song was released to rock radio. I was sitting with friends eagerly anticipating another Rush hard rock classic. Our jaws dropped in unison as we heard music that sounded more like the Go-Go’s than Rush crackling over the airwaves. Moving Pictures had been one of the most brilliant albums ever released and Rush seemed to be taking their music to new and dizzying heights each year. Like the others on this list, Rush all got haircuts and forgot how to rock. Keyboards became the band's instrument of choice and “New World Man” became the template the band would work off of going forward. Alex Lifeson could have retired and no one would have noticed. I am not sure he has even played a guitar solo since 1982.

04. Velcro Fly – ZZ Top
History shows us that ZZ’s experiment of blending their Tejas roots with the modern sounds of the day paid off big with the release of the album Eliminator. Following up on that idea, however, proved to be dreadful. “Velcro Fly” was just plain stupid. It lacked the humor of “Pearl Necklace” and sent the die-hards racing for the exits. “Rough Boy” was another dreadful mistake by this otherwise brilliant band.

03. Another One Bites the Dust – Queen
Young, white, heterosexual male hard rock fans often show up extremely homophobic on psychological profiles. But they could more accept Queen front man Freddie Mercury as a foo-foo boy than they could accept this song. The band broke their own cardinal rule and began playing synthesizer on this song. Up until that moment, Queen had been adamant in making a point that they were not relying on such gimmicks. The band got the ritual pop icon haircuts and changed their look and set out to make money instead of music. It worked. However bad the song “Flash Gordon” is, it was this song that set the wheels in motion to change one of rocks mightiest bands into money grubbing little girls.

02. Amanda – Boston
Legal battles kept Boston from releasing any music for over half a decade. By the time Third Stage came around all of the above tunes had already damaged Arena Rock’s reputation. Boston could have come up with a song to bring the genre back to glory and prominence. Instead, they released the biggest pile of dung they had written to that point. Potheads everywhere gave up on music that fateful day. We would never again see anything as grand as the bands self-titled debut. Instead, we would hear only weak attempts of dying bands trying to stay on the radio and in the limelight.

01. Mr. Roboto – Styx
Dennis DeYoung proved he had been a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He masqueraded as a rock star throughout the 1970’s but with “Mr. Roboto” DeYoung proved he wanted to be a Broadway star all along. This song single-handedly destroyed the original line up of the band. He forced his band mates to humiliate themselves by acting onstage. DeYoung was convinced that “Mr. Roboto” would put him in the same light at Pete Townshend. Instead of seeing his dream reach the heights of classic rock operas like Tommy, “Mr. Roboto” became the butt of a lifetime of jokes. DeYoung still defends “Roboto.” He told this writer, “"Mr. Roboto" is now a vernacular of our culture. You can’t go anywhere without someone saying, Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto. I can’t even being to tell you how many television shows and movies that line has been in. From The Simpson’s to Howard Stern to King of Queens to Austin Powers to Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights to the Volkswagen commercial to Dodge ball, it is everywhere you look.” Hello? Dennis, time someone told you the truth…They are making fun of you!

Steve Perry Como a new name for the voice of Rock. :oops: Statement is true thou, good to have a new singer and direction for Journey-ERIC
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Postby Abitaman » Sun Jul 10, 2005 9:21 am

Don't agree with the Journey is over part, maybe for the big sells, but the group is alive again, and making great music, for the first in years.-ERIC
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Postby Rockindeano » Sun Jul 10, 2005 9:24 am

Hey, one question?

Who the Hell is this ass-clown?

It's one dicks opinion.

All I know is of all those songs, with the exception of "Beth" which may be the worst song ever recorded, save for "Christpher Robin" by our good friend Kenny Loggins, I have gotten laid to.........
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Postby mamos » Mon Jul 11, 2005 6:09 am

The guy is clearly a fool, with no taste.

Open Arms, Amanda, Waiting for..., Babe etc all class songs.

Beth is shit though. So is Velcro Fly!!

Just my opinion
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Postby jrnyjetster » Wed Jul 13, 2005 2:47 am

I could never stand that Styx song Babe, a little too twinkle toes for my taste! Open Arms is definitely too sappy, but the chicks love it and Amanda was/is tolerable. New World Man from Rush is an OK song, not my favorite, though. I was never a big fan of Queen, but they did have some catchy tunes in their day.
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Postby NealIsGod » Wed Jul 13, 2005 4:22 am

What is the definition of "Arena Rock" anyway?
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Postby Guest » Fri Jul 22, 2005 4:48 pm

That guy hit it spot on. I even agree about the Journey part. They were better on Infinity than anything after that. I like certain songs from Escape a lot, but Journey as prog-rock was way better. They should have continued in that vein. They got way too sappy. I love Steve Perry's voice, but...the guy is right that those songs killed otherwise good bands. I mean, Rush was excellent, for chrissakes, and then they went all new wave. I liked new wave, mind you, but Rush did not need to be new wave. And Styx - they deserve the trashing. They had some truly excellent tunes but sold their soul for crap like Mr. Roboto and Babe.

I like Open Arms a lot, and most of Escape. But let's be honest here: Journey was better as prog-rock. Infinity is amazing. It's the last great Journey album. Escape is second-best. Everything else pales.
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Postby NealIsGod » Fri Jul 22, 2005 9:13 pm

Bloodflower wrote:That guy hit it spot on. I even agree about the Journey part. They were better on Infinity than anything after that. I like certain songs from Escape a lot, but Journey as prog-rock was way better. They should have continued in that vein. They got way too sappy. I love Steve Perry's voice, but...the guy is right that those songs killed otherwise good bands. I mean, Rush was excellent, for chrissakes, and then they went all new wave. I liked new wave, mind you, but Rush did not need to be new wave. And Styx - they deserve the trashing. They had some truly excellent tunes but sold their soul for crap like Mr. Roboto and Babe.

I like Open Arms a lot, and most of Escape. But let's be honest here: Journey was better as prog-rock. Infinity is amazing. It's the last great Journey album. Escape is second-best. Everything else pales.


If you say Journey should have stayed in the prog-rock vein, how come you say Infinity is best, and ESC4P3 is second best? Why not any of their first three prog-rock albums?
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Postby mamos » Fri Jul 22, 2005 10:51 pm

Neither Infinity or Escape could ever be classed as prog! Not in a million years..
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Postby NealIsGod » Sat Jul 23, 2005 12:05 am

mamos wrote:Neither Infinity or Escape could ever be classed as prog! Not in a million years..


That's why I will be interested in his/her answer.
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Postby jrnyman28 » Sat Jul 23, 2005 12:48 am

There were still elements of progressive music up through Departure. I think in general, the poster is saying that Escape brought the POP factor up. I agree that Open Arms killed Journey in some ways as well. That song shifted the control of the band to Perry and it shifted the direction of the band to more vocal oriented music in a POP or ballad vein. I HATE Open Arms.

I posted in a thread on another site about 80's music where I said Unskinny Bop (Poison) and Cherry Pie (Warrant) KILLED that genre of music. It was downhill from there. For good bands of that era to put out such crap opened the door for the rest of the crap that caused the era to implode. I feel Open Arms was the same thing...it opened the gates to all the songs that ended up bringing down the genre.
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Postby NealIsGod » Sat Jul 23, 2005 12:52 am

jrnyman28 wrote:There were still elements of progressive music up through Departure. I think in general, the poster is saying that Escape brought the POP factor up. I agree that Open Arms killed Journey in some ways as well. That song shifted the control of the band to Perry and it shifted the direction of the band to more vocal oriented music in a POP or ballad vein. I HATE Open Arms.

I posted in a thread on another site about 80's music where I said Unskinny Bop (Poison) and Cherry Pie (Warrant) KILLED that genre of music. It was downhill from there. For good bands of that era to put out such crap opened the door for the rest of the crap that caused the era to implode. I feel Open Arms was the same thing...it opened the gates to all the songs that ended up bringing down the genre.


Add The Final Countdown to that list of songs, Dave!
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Postby Guest » Sat Jul 23, 2005 12:55 am

Oh, I know Escape is not prog rock. I was saying that Escape is, simply, their second best album, behind Infinity. Escape is good schlock, quite simply. Don't Stop Believin' and Who's Cryin' now are classics. Really great stuff. Seriously - love those tunes, and some others on Escape.

Infinity, on the other hand, seems to have prog rock elements. I dunno - I am not really a prog rock expert. I just know that Rush used to be prog, as did Genesis, and King Crimson is the King of the genre. Anyway, Infinity seems to be kind of a prog-pop album. Sort of a blend. If it's not, then sorry for making the error. But it's better than anything Journey did after that, IMO.

I forgot about the other albums before that. I was into Journey way back when. Refresh my memory. I know they did stuff pre-Perry of course, with Rollie on vocals.

What did Rollie end up doing, anyway?
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Postby jrnyman28 » Sat Jul 23, 2005 1:13 am

Bloodflower wrote:I forgot about the other albums before that. I was into Journey way back when. Refresh my memory. I know they did stuff pre-Perry of course, with Rollie on vocals.


Journey
Next
Look Into The Future

Neal did a vocal or two, but the main vocalist was Gregg. On Journey they had Neal and George Tickner onguitar and the majority of the album is instumental. As time went by, easch album became a little more vocal oriented. Even though there is a drastic change between Look Into The Future and Infinity, you can still here the evolution or progression of the band.

Bloodflower wrote:What did Rollie end up doing, anyway?


Gregg put out "Roots" a couple of years ago which was a return to his Latin influences...an amzing CD really. He still tours with the Gregg Rolie Band and he still hooks up with Kevin Chalfant for some Storm and early Journey material live.
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Postby NealIsGod » Sat Jul 23, 2005 1:14 am

Bloodflower wrote:Oh, I know Escape is not prog rock. I was saying that Escape is, simply, their second best album, behind Infinity. Escape is good schlock, quite simply. Don't Stop Believin' and Who's Cryin' now are classics. Really great stuff. Seriously - love those tunes, and some others on Escape.

Infinity, on the other hand, seems to have prog rock elements. I dunno - I am not really a prog rock expert. I just know that Rush used to be prog, as did Genesis, and King Crimson is the King of the genre. Anyway, Infinity seems to be kind of a prog-pop album. Sort of a blend. If it's not, then sorry for making the error. But it's better than anything Journey did after that, IMO.

I forgot about the other albums before that. I was into Journey way back when. Refresh my memory. I know they did stuff pre-Perry of course, with Rollie on vocals.

What did Rollie end up doing, anyway?


First you say Journey should have stayed with the prog-rock, then you claim to not know much about prog-rock. I don't understand your point. You say ESC4P3 is Journey's second best album, then call it "schlock". I can tell you are a Perryloon (our affectionate term for fans only of Perry's Journey), but you don't seem to like any albums other than Infinity and ESC4P3. You're a tough nut to crack...
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Postby Red13JoePa » Sat Jul 23, 2005 1:26 am

NealIsGod continues to smoke the true indentity out of this person's inner bunker....you WILL manifest the real you, bloodflower. NealisGod's powers of psychoanalysis are irresistable. Just admit it, you;re a total head.
"I love almost everybody."---Rocky Balboa 1990
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"I looked at Neal, and I just saw a guy who really wants his band back"-JCain 2/01
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Postby NealIsGod » Sat Jul 23, 2005 1:31 am

Red13JoePa wrote:NealIsGod continues to smoke the true indentity out of this person's inner bunker....you WILL manifest the real you, bloodflower. NealisGod's powers of psychoanalysis are irresistable. Just admit it, you;re a total head.


It may or may not be a new poster, but I always have my guard up and bloodhound instincts working, Red. I even had my suspicious "i on U" until you proved yourself. 8)
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Postby Rockindeano » Sat Jul 23, 2005 2:17 am

NealIsGod wrote:
Red13JoePa wrote:NealIsGod continues to smoke the true indentity out of this person's inner bunker....you WILL manifest the real you, bloodflower. NealisGod's powers of psychoanalysis are irresistable. Just admit it, you;re a total head.


It may or may not be a new poster, but I always have my guard up and bloodhound instincts working, Red. I even had my suspicious "i on U" until you proved yourself. 8)


Oh I knew 13 was legit..I'd go to war with that guy anyday...
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Postby Red13JoePa » Sat Jul 23, 2005 2:41 am

There he is. What's up Deaner.
I miss the few hours when the army of Neals was prowling the board weilding loud axes....suspicious nealisgod watched me like BigBro for a while. And that's good cuz he likes the board with sincere rock talk.
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Postby Rockindeano » Sat Jul 23, 2005 2:54 am

Red13JoePa wrote:There he is. What's up Deaner.
I miss the few hours when the army of Neals was prowling the board weilding loud axes....suspicious nealisgod watched me like BigBro for a while. And that's good cuz he likes the board with sincere rock talk.


Yeah NIG is cool..so is 28 and NC(when he is not playing English 201 instructor) :wink:

I wish we could have true dissenters, rather than people who have this agenda.

I would love to know what Perry would think about them. He IMO, wouldn't at all be flattered..rather embarrassed. That's ok, they(loons, Heads, troll), embarrass themselves quite nicely.
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Postby NealIsGod » Sat Jul 23, 2005 2:56 am

Red13JoePa wrote:There he is. What's up Deaner.
I miss the few hours when the army of Neals was prowling the board weilding loud axes....suspicious nealisgod watched me like BigBro for a while. And that's good cuz he likes the board with sincere rock talk.


Yeah, no room for phoniness here. That's why I love Deano -- he is all passion and sincerity. The heart and soul of the board, IMO.
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Postby Guest » Sat Jul 23, 2005 6:32 am

NealIsGod wrote:[quote="Bloodflower"



First you say Journey should have stayed with the prog-rock, then you claim to not know much about prog-rock. I don't understand your point. You say ESC4P3 is Journey's second best album, then call it "schlock". I can tell you are a Perryloon (our affectionate term for fans only of Perry's Journey), but you don't seem to like any albums other than Infinity and ESC4P3. You're a tough nut to crack...



Well, Escape IS schlock. But it's damn good schlock. So is Frontiers. IN fact, I may have erred in saying Escape was better. Frontiers had the excellent Edge of the Blade. On the other hand, it had the pseudo-punk Back Talk, and that blew. So it's a toss-up between those two.

See, there is good schlock and bad schlock. Boy bands, in general, and Ashlee Simpson and crap like that are bad schlock. Old Journey, I would say, is good schlock. New Journey - at least what I've heard from Arrival, is bad schlock. I would say ROR and TBF is bad schlock.

And I really don't know that much about prog-rock. That's my brother's domain. But what I do know is that early Rush, Genesis, and King Crimson past and present are prog-rock. I have heard those bands, and can hear the difference between their sound and regular rock. Wasn't Yes also prog-rock?

And all nuts is tough to crack - that's what makes us nuts!
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Postby Guest » Sat Jul 23, 2005 6:37 am

And as far as my identity: I have never posted here before last nite. I am not a old "Perryloon" disguised as a newbie. I am simply someone who admires Perry's vocal talent, and thinks the new Journey line-up is sad. I grew up listening to Journey, and while I later expanded my horizons, as they were, to encompass more styles of music other than schlock-rock, I guess I have retained a special place in my heart for Perry-era Journey.

Listening to Frontiers right now. Separate Ways used to be my favorite Journey video - and it's a great song!
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Postby mamos » Sat Jul 23, 2005 10:32 am

Let's clear this up.

I absolutely love Journey and have doen for years. But, how can anyone say Seperate Ways used to be my favourite video.

It could well be the worst video of all time.

Have you ever sen it????
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Postby NealIsGod » Sat Jul 23, 2005 10:09 pm

Bloodflower wrote:And as far as my identity: I have never posted here before last nite. I am not a old "Perryloon" disguised as a newbie. I am simply someone who admires Perry's vocal talent, and thinks the new Journey line-up is sad.


HOTS should be banned just for this fabrication.
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Postby NealIsGod » Sat Jul 23, 2005 10:10 pm

mamos wrote:Let's clear this up.

I absolutely love Journey and have doen for years. But, how can anyone say Seperate Ways used to be my favourite video.

It could well be the worst video of all time.

Have you ever seen it????


That's b/c HOTS loves Perry, who is featured prominently in it.
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Postby heardonthestreet » Sat Jul 23, 2005 11:06 pm

If you will take time to notice, Perry is the only redeeming quality in any Journey video, imo.
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Postby NealIsGod » Sat Jul 23, 2005 11:54 pm

heardonthestreet wrote:If you will take time to notice, Perry is the only redeeming quality in any Journey video, imo.


Yeah, that's why he was such a sex symbol! What God gave him in talent He shorted him in beauty, that's for sure.
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Postby The_Noble_Cause » Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:15 am

heardonthestreet wrote:If you will take time to notice, Perry is the only redeeming quality in any Journey video, imo.


I totally know how she feels.
Sometimes "a person" is the ONLY redeeming quality in a music video - this makes total sense.
In fact, I don't know about you guys, but when I put on my Journey 2001 or the GH dvd, I actually turn the volume off.
I really only bought them to stare at the people contained in them.
:roll:

Now who's the one on here purposely taking the piss? :lol:
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Postby Rockindeano » Sun Jul 24, 2005 1:26 am

Why "she" is still on this board is downright wrong..
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