New Year’s Resolutions 2023: Some Recommendations for Your Favorite Artists

Welcome to this year’s edition of Rock Music Menu’s “New Year’s Resolutions for Rockers Who Need Them,” where we assist musicians with setting goals for the coming 12 months. It’s not an easy job, but one that begrudgingly must be done.

Rockers, rollers and performers of all sorts are just like us: they make resolutions on December 31 and find themselves face down in the cookie jar by January 2. Sometimes though, they don’t have the time to sit down and figure out what areas they need to do better in in the coming year.

The past 12 months have felt about as close as we’re going to get to things feeling normal in the pandemic era, with artists back to making really bad decisions for all to see. Take a gander at the list below to see some of the guidance for our favorite musicians, some who still haven’t figured out how to navigate the spotlight and others who just need their eyes opened a bit.

WHO: KANYE WEST

RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: DISAPPEAR FOR A LONG TIME

Maybe it’s a mental health issue. Maybe he’s just intent on seeing how far he can push the envelope. Maybe he just doesn’t care about what anyone else thinks. Either way, Kanye West seems intent on destroying what was already an impressive legacy. Whether it was talking about his love of Nazis and Adolf Hitler specifically, wearing a “White Lives Matter” t-shirt or simply being branded “cancelled” by the public at large for what is perceived to be his antisemitic views, the rapper has spent 2022 on a fast track to the bottom of the barrel.

Forbes estimated his net worth dropped from $2 billion to approximately $400 million – nothing to scoff at – but it’s how little stock the persona of West is left that he should be worried about. It’s reached the moment where he needs to disappear from public view, get some serious help and realize that no matter how much money he has, there’s no value in spouting despicable virtues.

WHO: THE VAN HALEN CAMP

RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: GET IT TOGETHER

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins passed away in late spring this year. Come late summer, two star-studded tribute concerts – one in England and one in Los Angeles – took place. Guitar icon Eddie Van Halen died in the fall of 2020. Nothing remotely resembling a tribute organized by the surviving members of his namesake band has taken place to date.

Rumors swirled, some of them confirmed, that drummer Alex Van Halen and singer David Lee Roth had something in the works with guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani and who-knows-who on bass, but it never came to pass. Ex-singer Sammy Hagar and ex-bassist Michael Anthony were vocal about being game for whatever. Still, nothing is on the horizon, much to the consternation of fans. Eddie’s son – and Van Halen bass player – Wolfgang actually performed at the Hawkins’ tributes honoring both the Foo stickman and his dad by playing a selection of VH songs. He’s since distanced himself from the whole fiasco

WHO: GENESIS

RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: MAKE THIS THE END

Genesis have spent decades at this point trying to lure original frontman Peter Gabriel back to the fold. When that inevitability fails, it ends up being keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist Mike Rutherford and singer Phil Collins heading out onto the road, always teasing it being the final jaunt for the prog-rockers turned pop stars.

Their most recent outing, which came to Philadelphia last December and ended this past March, was cheekily dubbed “The Last Domino?,” with the question mark leaving the door open. Hopefully someone slams it shut, clicks the deadbolt and tosses the key.

Collins, whose back and nerve damage health problems have left him a shell of his former self when it comes to having a stage presence, was forced to sit in a chair each night as he sang. To be fair, he has insisted this was it for his performing days. Banks begrudgingly said in an interview he “thinks” it’s the end. At this juncture, even Gabriel’s return would come years too late. Time to let the lamb lie down for good.

WHO: MOTLEY CRUE

RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: DON’T RIP OFF THE FANS

It’s incredibly frustrating being a Motley Crue fan these days. When their long-delayed Stadium Tour co-headlining with Def Leppard and support coming from Poison and Joan Jett finally hit the road this year, reviews routinely pointed toward those last three as being the highlights of the show.

The Crue was plagued with issues from day one, be it drummer Tommy Lee unable to complete a number of shows due to a mysterious rib injury to singer Vince Neil doing a terrible job at singing in key or getting through full verses for that matter, it was a mess all around. Now it’s been announced that long-suffering guitarist Mick Mars has left the band due to his health issues with six string phenom John 5 taking his place for the live shows.

Come 2023, the Stadium Tour will have morphed into the World Tour as Motley Crue and Def Leppard are taking the show across the pond to Europe and down to South America. Fans of the former will be getting one third of the legendary sleaze rockers and, unless something changes drastically, a hackneyed performance from their frontman. If there’s any dignity left in the group’s camp, and if they’re aware of just how bad they looked in 2022, there should be a massive tune up before the first dates of the new year. Hopefully John 5 gives them a kick of inspiration so desperately needed.

WHO: FILMMAKERS

RECOMMENDED RESOLUTION: LET ELVIS LEAVE THE BUILDING

Renowned director Baz Luhrmann really took a chance in naming his latest film Elvis, which insinuated it was the be all/end all biopic on Elvis Presley. Fortunately, he wasn’t too far off. Not since the 1979 John Carpenter directed, Kurt Russell as the King effort – coincidentally also titled Elvis – has a movie on the favorite adopted son of Memphis succeeded on so many levels.

Truth be told, Luhrmann set the bar too high for anyone else to attempt to canonize Presley on celluloid anymore. It’s been done to death, with everyone from Michael Shannon to Jack White to Val Kilmer to Harvey Keitel taking a shot at portraying Elvis either dead seriously or with tongue firmly planted in cheek. No more please. The well has run dry. Make it so there are no more sightings of the King – at least on the big screen.

A version of this article appears in this week’s print and online editions of my syndicated Rock Music Menu column under the title “What should be New Year’s resolutions for some stars.”

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