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Rules and Laws

Rules and Laws

Hells Bells, there is a bit going on isn’t there?

We have an election campaign in full swing with all the insane behaviour, lies, exaggerations and crap that goes with it. There are of course lots of rules and guidelines around elections. Who can stand for parliament, when elections can be called, what never to do on the campaign trail, what might ruin your chances e.g. leering and groping strippers on video and what doesn’t e.g. cosying up to the USA’s gun lobby.


Now I get teased a bit at home for being very law abiding and I don’t care. Laws and rules and guidelines help society hang together. While anarchy might look like fun in a post apocalyptic TV series I don’t personally want to be there. Too exhausting, dirty and well, lawless. Rules and taxes are the price we pay to live together in mostly prosperous nice world. So I don’t get hung up on either.



That said we all break rules and guidelines and laws sometimes. Some of us, not many thankfully, seem to have real problems with the laws against robbery, assault, rape and murder. Others just can’t get their heads around parking restrictions or dogs on leash rules. It does to seem come down to what each individual can live with on their conscious versus their self-interest.


Plus there are some differences between laws, rules and guidelines. Laws are for the whole community, have broad approval and clearly defined punishments if broken.

Rules seem to be more localised and used in situations like at schools or on a basketball court. They are not universal but need context to be applied and to be effective.

Guidelines, well they are what they say they are. For example the five second rule regarding the picking up and consumption of tasty food after being dropped on the floor. In some houses it is ten seconds, from observation in Blaze’s house it seems to be  twenty minutes.


Even though guidelines may seem to be less important both to society and in respect of any repercussions, many of them are common sense and pretty fucking valuable at a personal level. Break these “rules” at your peril.


Don’t try to take a bone off an eating dog.

If it is 3.00am, go home, things will not get better.

If it looks or sounds too good to be true, it is.

Never drive away from good surf or cheap petrol.

Don’t leave your drink unattended.


 We all have personal rules too. These rules are individual and are the result of some personally and painfully learned lessons or strongly held values. These rules can be broken in exceptional circumstances. Next week I am breaking one of my unwritten rules; tribute bands are dumb and not worth my time or money.


I have never seen a tribute band and have had no interest in the concept regardless of whom they are paying homage to. I mean it seems pointless and strangely counterproductive to me. If the band no longer exists anymore it no longer exists. By all means mourn but move on. But all that said next week I am going to see A Bowie Celebration, which is a tribute band but one with a difference that I think makes my personal rule breaking acceptable.


This is a band of musicians all of whom played on multiple records and tours with Bowie, brought together by Mike Garson, keyboardist and arranger and Bowie’s longest serving collaborator. The great man of course can’t handle vocals but the guest singers all have chops. So to me a tribute to one of the most influential rock performers ever, featuring members of his band, adds up to more than a tribute band and for that matter, more than just a celebration of Bowie’s music.


On the same night and only a few hundred metres away pop’s biggest new talent visits Brisbane. Billie Eilish is the first artist born in the 2000s to have a US number 1 hit record. She is the next big thing. Her sound is cool and minimal, in contrast to the divas of the last decade like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift. There is a slacker, slightly Goth look and feel and most importantly she sounds like no one else.


This of course is Law 1 of the Blaze Four Laws of Guaranteed Music Industry Success. For those who are writing this down Law 2 states that talent needs to be involved as well. Sounding like no one else is not enough if the sound is not really yours.

Law 3 states the resulting success will be proportional to how well that personal unique sound appeals to the audience. For example Queen had a unique sound thanks not just to Freddie Mercury but also the contribution of the entire band to the sound. Fortunately for them their sound had enough appeal that they became superstars.


However on one level there is no difference between Queen and say, The Smiths. The Smiths had a unique sound too plus musical chops and they had fans but just not enough to turn them into the next Queen, REM, and U2 etc. Which brings us to Law 4 which states that even if the above three rules are in force you still need luck and the timing to be just right for you to go Mega. Basically obeying one law might get you one hit, two of the four will get you a fair way, three further still. But if you nail all four immortality awaits you.


Well at least according to Blaze. I have been testing his theory, which is of course how science works and to be honest I am yet to find a problem with it. Beatles to Bee Gees, Madonna to Midnight Oil, Velvet Underground to The Verve, The Go Betweens to Go West, Beyoncé to Billie Eilish the theory seems to hold. Go on and try it out on any music performer you can think of, it works.


Yes, there are bad laws, dumb laws and politicians like to make too many of them but in the end, laws tell us how the universe works and laws and rules and guidelines are what makes society and communities exist and get along.


Six great Songs about Laws. Not surprisingly its frickin hard to find a good song about obeying the rules.


I Fought The Law  – The Clash version

Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears For Fears

Law of Nature – Juliana Hatfield

The Law- Leonard Cohen

Anarchy in the UK – Sex Pistols

Breaking All the Rules – Ozzy Osbourne

Supporting the Supporting

Supporting the Supporting

Everything is Political These Days

Everything is Political These Days