Insert Foot: Terrible things still not as horrible as more ‘We Are the World’


Rendering: Adam Pardee/STAFF.

I heard Lionel Richie was talking about redoing “We Are the World.”

Awesome, I immediately thought. The COVID has officially dried up the world’s supply of creativity (as I, ironically, desperately searched for a topic two hours before deadline). As you know, there are too many people with too much time on their hands, trying to musically collaborate with people they’ve never met to make sounds no one cares about, believe they’re offering comfort to the oppressed masses stuck at home, crippled from pursuing life, liberty and the pursuit of greasy appetizers and flat beer at Applebee’s.

Whew. I hope this special time of crisis has loosened government restrictions on nonsensical run-on sentences.

Anyway, back to Lionel Richie saving us all … again. That I can write about. Because I would rather drink a warm diet soda full of misplaced toenail clippings than ponder the pure awful of another “We Are the World.”

I bet I could write a whole column of terrible things still more palatable than another “We Are the World.”

Then I saw somebody wrote one. Damn.

See? The corona really has dried up the world’s creativity.

The good news is that I have a background in rock music, which is nothing if not a giant rip-off. Everyone steals from everyone and has since the dawn of rock and roll time, when Bob Dylan was still in the Beatles and always stole ideas from Mick Jagger. I didn’t even read that other one anyway. Sue me.

Speaking of stealing and suing —“Here we go,” a woman who used to act like my girlfriend sometimes when no one was looking would say—I was once in a band with a guy who was also in the metal parody band Green Jello, which had to change its name to Green Jelly because of incoming lawsuits.

I was around them before their first real record came out, while they were joking about stealing something from another more famous band–not brand, though I suppose they’re interchangeable–just to see if they’d get sued. They did. Which they understood was about as rock and roll as it gets.

So, in that spirit of intellectual and artistic theft, here are four more truly terrible things I’d still rather do than hear a new version of “We Are the World:”

  • Join a Facebook group in which prog rockers argue endlessly about which arpeggiated, 5/4 time, descending, ascending, rooted bass clef, fifth woofer, Stonehenged, partial time weasel was better between Yes and King Crimson at the 1973 English Proglodyte Fest.

Right. Take me off your list. I’m not joining your group. I play drums. I count to four over and over until someone tells me to stop.

  • Talk about what next awful thing is happening in 2020. Nothing could be worse than seeing more of these. Except for Lionel Richie redoing “We Are the World.” Godzilla coming to town would never count as a bad thing. Especially since we’re all bored.
  • Eat a squirrel. Someone should. My God … they’re everywhere. Were there always this many and I’m just now noticing?
  • Be a sportswriter during a pandemic.

Then again … those poor people. Some of my favorite people are sportswriters, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone right now. Talk about expanding your reach … they’re digging deeper than prog rockers on Facebook. Story meetings must be like the most awkward junior high school dance … ever.

Hang in there. Hopefully we’ll all have better things about which to write soon.

Follow music critic Tony Hicks at .

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