Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Randy Jackson (Not Michael’s Brother)

by Chris McGinty (According To Whim .com)

I feel that I missed a great opportunity last year as this daily blog goes. I had ready made material every Tuesday night after watching “American Idol.” Part of the fun of that show is playing critic to absolutely everything. Who was good. Who wasn’t good. Which judge was wearing earphones rather than actually paying attention to what was going on. Who should be the bottom three. Who you think should win. Why who you thought should win is different from last week. Why Toddrick really should have been in the Top 12 and Lacey shouldn’t have made it that far.

So lesson learned. There is a whole well of “American Idol” things to discuss, and I feel it’s time I disgust it… what misspelling?

The panel of judges is official now, folks. And it’s exactly what they refused to verify a month ago. Stephen Tyler of Aerosmith, Jennifer Lopez of J Lo, and Randy Jackson of… well it’s an interesting thing about Randy Jackson really. He’s definitely got the street cred in the industry, but I think American Idol has been his longest standing gig.

Let me start by clarifying that this is not the Randy Jackson from the Jackson 5, which according to allmusic.com had six members in its time. Maybe the 5 refers to the number of irrelevant members. There are those who claim that The Jacksons’ father, Joe Jackson, was overbearing, and pushed his children to fame because of his own failings as a musician, but as you can see here, he was actually quite good.



Ok, maybe that’s the wrong guy, which probably means that this isn’t Randy covering his father’s classic.



Nope. That’s apparently Joey Belladonna. I can see how I got confused. You can’t see how I got confused, but I can see how I got confused.

So Randy Jackson, the American Idol one, not Michael’s brother, after a number of other musical adventures, joined Journey, and that seems to be the easiest thing to point to when people ask why he’s important in the industry; he’s a producer, like Simon Cowell, and he was in Journey, unlike Simon Cowell.

Here’s what allmusic.com has to say about Jackson’s time with Journey:

“When the group got back together to make a new album, Valory and Smith were no longer in the lineup and Raised on Radio (1986) was made by Schon, Perry, and Cain, who added other musicians for a tour.”

Hmmm. That’s usually a very good site. As much as I hate to say it, AllMusic is staff writers, which causes an issue with flow of information with some bands. So we end up over at the evil Wikipedia, where they have some information for us.

Apparently, Jackson played on three albums with Jean Luc Ponty, who later commanded the starship Enterprize… what misspelling? He also played for a band called Taxxi. This was their biggest hit.



It seems I may have that wrong too. Ok, ok. Here they are. You can see Randy Jackson on bass in this video being totally cock blocked from the camera by the non-singing guitarist.



Then there was this… make of it what you will:



His tenure in Journey was short lived to be honest. According to AllMusic he was in there as a session musician from 1983 to 1986, Wikipedia claims 1986 to 1987. They both agree though that he was on the “Raised on Radio” album, and he’s in this video trying to stay as far away from Steve Perry’s ego as possible.



When the movie “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” was made, Keith Richards was tapped to do something, and this was the result of doing something. I must say that if I ever take a tour of great musical moments, I want to be part of the jam session that was going on while shooting this video. Maybe I could take Randy Jackson’s place, though, just for that experience, I want his haircut. And forget the whole thing if they were just listening to the recording, haircut or no haircut.



After that he did a whole lot of session work and album production, including The Divinyls of all bands, but while her cleavage is prominently displayed, Jackson isn’t in the video, so we won’t mess with posting it. He also played on Bruce Springsteen’s track “Human Touch,” which I’m pretty was because he realized people weren’t confusing him with Rick Springfield enough anymore. Jackson isn’t in that video either, but Springsteen is nice enough to show off his chest some too.

If you want the full list of things he’s done, go to Wikipedia. Ouch, that seemed harsh. I’m sorry, what I mean to say is that I’m concentrating on videos he appears in, and not so much rewriting the Wikihistory. I’m going to leave you with the weird culmination of years of American Idol, but first I want to give my thoughts on the judge situation.

I guess Nigel Lythgoe dropped out as producer before Season 8 of “American Idol,” and the show started taking some very weird directions. The first was adding Kara (and I liked her, but hated four judges). The second was getting into some sort of contract dispute with Paula. The third through whatever was just all the weird crap they’ve been doing. I guess they asked Lythgoe back, and he’s been pretty critical of the four judge idea, and who knows what else. He was in favour of just rebooting the whole judge panel. The truth is that I think they would have been better to have fought to maintain the judging panel as it was. I realize that our current society has attention span issues, but they do still like some status quo. “American Idol” has seemed like a drama pit to me the last couple of years, and not even with the contestants, but rather this weird flailing trying to maintain ratings. It’s odd because last season was the lowest rated season in its whole run. That seems pretty horrible, huh? Yet it was still the number one show. I think they’re just panicking where there doesn’t need to be panic. The show will simply last as long as it lasts. “Star Search” had one hell of a run, and it didn’t even have the same fandom surrounding it. I hope they’ve made the right decision, once again shaking things up on a show where things didn’t need to be shaken so badly. I guess the one saving grace of all this is that they didn’t give Randy the boot yet. And until they do…



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