musicThe Emperor decrees

The Emperor decrees that band members must smile in their promo pictures

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I have been declared Emperor of the World. Let us not waste time explaining why or how; let’s all simply accept the fact that we are better off, as a result; hence, my next decree:

Emperor’s Decree No. 3-G/222:  The “band face.” What does it actually say? – this forward-chinned, full view of the nasal passages? – this…sour look…that bands have had in their promo shots since some time in the late sixties? What does it say? Maybe it is some anemic statement: “We are arteests! We will take this picture because “the suits” say we have to, but we will not smile! – so there!” Is it a threat? “If you buy our record, we will  beat you up.” Maybe it is just another sophomoric attempt, on the part of musicians, to put on the “troubled soul” cloak of the phony bohemian. (If that were the case, though, their purpose would be better served by simply sulking in a chair for every shot.) Whatever it is, it is getting silly. Because it is silly, it is now an impotent gesture. It will stop.

The Punishment: Any band member who does not smile in a promo picture will be facially decorated by the Imperial Artist. Offenders will have a big smile drawn onto their face with multi-colored Sharpies. They will wear this smile during the entire promotion and touring process for whatever album they next release.

The Emperor will grace the world with a new decree each Tuesday morning.

Chris Matarazzo is a writer, composer, musician and teacher of literature and writing on the college and high school levels. His music can be heard on his recent release, Hats and Rabbits, which is currently available. Chris is also the composer of the score to the off-beat independent film Surrender Dorothy and he performs in the Philadelphia area with the King Richard Band. He's also a relatively prolific novelist, even if no one seems to care yet. His blog, also called Hats and Rabbits, is nice, too, if you get a chance...
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2 Responses to “The Emperor decrees that band members must smile in their promo pictures”

  1. I instantly thought of The Doors when I saw this and thought of their encounter with the irrepressible Ed Sullivan. When they did Sullivan in ’67, he met them backstage before their famous “higher” appearance. He told the group to smile and not look so sullen. Morrison pipes up, “Well, we’re kind of a sullen group Ed.”

    I concur with the sucked cheeks and pouty lips and nasocranial overexposures. Quit looking so peeved you wankers! In ten minutes you will be multi-millionaires and in 10 days you will be unceremoniously dumped on the trash heap of has-been, had-to-go-to-rehab, slapped-my-fiancee, and dropped-trou-on-NickTeenAwardsShow.

  2. Well said. Though, I do like Morrison’s response to old Ed…

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