Unit 5 Music Have you ever wanted to be part of a band as a famous singer or musician? Have you ever dreamed of playing in front of thousands of people at a concert, at which everyone is clap
ping and appreciating your music? Do you sing karaoke and pretend you are a famous singer like Song Zuying or Liu Huan? To be honest, a lot of people attach great importance to becoming rich and famous. But just how do people form a band? Many musicians meet and form a band because they like to write and play their own music. They may start as a group of high-school students, for whom practising their music in someone’s house is the first step to fame. Sometimes they may play to passers-by in the street or subway so that they can earn some extra money for themselves or to pay for their instruments. Later they may give performances in pubs or clubs, for which they are paid in cash. Of course they hope to make records in a studio and sell millions of copies to become millionaires! However, there was one band that started in a different way. It was called the Monkees and began as a TV show. The musicians were to play jokes on each other as well as play music, most of which was based loosely on the Beatles. The TV organizers had planned to find four musicians who could act as well as sing. They put an advertisement in a newspaper looking for rock musicians, but they could only find one who was good enough. They had to use actors for the other three members of the band. As some of these actors could not sing well enough, they had to rely on other musicians to help them. So during the broadcasts they just pretended to sing. Anyhow their performances were humorous enough to be copied by other groups. They were so popular that their fans formed clubs in order to get more familiar with them. Each week on TV, the Monkees would play and sing songs written by other musicians. However, after a year or so in which they became more serious about their work, the Monkees started to play and sing their own songs like a real band. Then they produced their own records and started touring and playing their own music. In the USA they became even more popular than the Beatles and sold even more records. The band broke up about 1970, but happily they reunited in the mid-1980s. They produced a new record in 1996, with which they celebrated their former time as a real band. FREDDY THE FROG(II) Not long after Freddy and the band became famous, they visited Britain on a brief tour. Fans showed their devotion by waiting for hours to get tickets for their concerts. Freddy was now quite confident when he went into a concert hall. He enjoyed singing and all the congratulations afterwards! His most exciting invitation was to perform on a TV programme called “Top of the Pops.” He had to go to London, wear an expensive suit and give a performance to a TV camera. It felt very strange. But as soon as the programme was over, the telephones which were in the same room started ringing. Everybody was asking when they could see Freddy and his band again. They were truly stars. Then things went wrong. Freddy and his band could not go out anywhere without being followed. Even when they wore sunglasses or beards people recognized them. Fans found them even when they went into the toilet. They tried to hide in the reading rooms of libraries, but it was useless. Someone was always there! Their personal life was regularly discussed by people who did not know them but talked as if they were close friends. At last feeling very upset and sensitive, Freddy and his band realized that they must leave the country before it became too painful for them. So they left Britain, to which they were never to return, and went back to the lake.