Worthy Icons Still Kicking Ass

The Hall of Fame
Worthy Icons Still Kicking Ass

3/ 9/2007, 12:00 AM

Try this: Go to a bar, find the jukebox, and pick any one of the seemingly endless string of hits that have come from the Pretenders. Look around and you will notice that everyone in the bar — the drunks, the frat boys, the working girls, even the bartenders who have heard the tune a million times — will nod in agreement. Such ubiquitous appeal is not earned easily, and the Pretenders have certainly put in thirty years of elbow grease. They’ve survived breakups, overdoses, a few different lineups, and the rise and fall of rock ‘n’ roll on MTV. Yet they are still here, with singer Chrissie Hynde’s sly wit and sexuality still as potent as ever. Dare we say indomitable.

Chrissie Hynde accepts the Esky: “In accepting our Mr. Esky, I am reminded of something Henry David Thoreau said: ‘When I hear music, I fear no danger, I am invulnerable, I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times and to the latest.’ Thanks for remembering us.”

If Neil Diamond’s recent collaboration with producer Rick Rubin proved anything, it’s that visionaries require inspired talent to do their best work. And Diamond’s recent album, 12 Songs, was nothing if not inspired. The songs are heartbreaking but never the sound of someone getting old. Diamond’s pleas for love and reflections on mercy are absolutely lethal. So lethal in fact that it suddenly becomes easy to remember a time decades ago, before the 120 million records sold and sequined suits, when Neil Diamond: Songwriter had yet to give way to Neil Diamond: Showman. That we’ve come to love both equally is a tribute to the man’s pure talent.

Neil Diamond accepts the Esky: “I am pleased that Esquire has recognized my work. Many thanks.”

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]