Elton’s Tip Sheet has become a pretty regular part of Interview magazine.
In his latest column, inside of the August 2007 issue, he addresses new musical movements.
He says, ”Hip-hop is really the only thing over the last couple of decades that could possible be called a new thing that had an impact. But like everything, it leavened and became part of the mainstream.”
The vocalist admits he doesn’t know what’s around the corner.
However, he feels one of the best aspects of the business is that one never knows what will transpire.
”I remember being at school and somebody giving me a Beatles single and saying, ‘:Listen to this.’ It was Love Me Do. I listened to it, and it did sound incredible. But I had no idea of the sort of impact it would have on my life.”
Elton says that although it’s unknown what talent ”is lurking out there,” it is unlikely that a phenomenon like the Beatles would happen again. That’s because fans would get their music through records and radio. There weren’t so many different sources like today.
”It was an event,” he proclaims, when the Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. And there were just three channels, not hundreds, ”not to mention all the video channels and on-demand services and satellite networks.”
Another problem nowadays, Elton feels, is that people don’t leave enough to the imagination anymore, ”and imagination is what allows artists to do original work.”
He also points out that there is now far more information out there to process, due to the Internet and other sources of technology. So people are ”constantly being bombarded from every angle.”
He adds, ”I think you need to be able to be alone in order to be imaginative and to do that today, you really have to work to cut yourself off from everything. You cannot possible create something new by channeling all that is available to you, because you’re going to be subconsciously influenced by what you see in a million different ways. Plus, I’m a firm believer that if you see rubbish, you’re going to make rubbish.”
Elton concedes that there are still folks doing great work, but it’s ”just harder now to avoid the mediocre stuff. For example, in the early ’70s, there were at least 10 albums released eveyr week that were fantastic. Now you’re lucky to find ten a year of that quality–and there are exponentially more albums released each week now than there were back then.”
He refers to the way he wrote songs, pointing out that people used to use their minds collectively to create things, and that he studied records and sounds.
”There was an incredible amount of quality material to draw upon,” Elton notes.
He then returns to the theme of technology, suggesting it has hampered people from communicating or creating, and adds with a laugh that those who blog ”should be shot.”