Music Legend Slams Grunge; Clearly Doesn’t Understand Grunge
Desmond Child is one of the most famous and prolific songwriters and producers in rock music history.
He’s written and produced for Kiss, Meatloaf, Aerosmith, Ricky Martin, and Selena Gomez. But, it doesn’t sound like he’s much of a fan of “Grunge” bands. Specifically, he doesn’t seem impressed with the talent of grunge guitarists.
In an interview with Songfacts, “They weren’t really guitarists and couldn’t really play. They could play three or four chords and had trouble with that”.
That’s…probably very true in a lot of cases. But, I think, it misses the point of what grunge was all about.
Before I go on, let me say how much I appreciate fans of Punk. There is no more loyal fan group than Punks. Let’s say, as a community, punk fans are very protective of their scene. When a die-hard punk fan sees someone wearing a Misfits T-shirt that they bought from Hot Topic, there’s a very good chance they may challenge the faux-fan to “Name 3 Misfits songs”.
With that having been said, grunge is an off-shoot of punk. And, God Bless ‘em all, musicianship and technical proficiency have NEVER been a big deal in the punk scene.
Punk, and by extension, grunge are much more about an ethos. A rejection of the “slick” mainstream rock was (and is) central to that ethos. Punk is much more about 1.) the attitude and 2.) the lyrics. Famously, the Sex Pistols weren’t musicians at all. But, they are punk royalty.
Punk fans, I apologize. I know you’re probably on the verge of puking because I have connected grunge to punk. I’m not as hardcore, but I love the Ramones as much as anybody who grew up in that era. Social Distortion is one of my top tens to this day. But, if I’m being perfectly honest, I may not know my Buzzcocks from my Husker Dus. But I respect how passionate you are about this very loud, very cacophonous art form.
As for Desmond Child, he’s written and produced some legit bangers like “I Hate Myself for Loving You” and “Living on a Prayer”. But he also wrote most of Aerosmith’s worst non-Diane Warren songs, so take it with a grain of salt.