I was watching Henry Rollins’s show on the Independent Film Channel last night. The interview was Gore Vidal and the music guest was Gogol Bordello, a gypsy punk band. To me it was a reminder of how much television has changed.
To have a show on one of the old three major broadcast networks was a big thing. What does it mean to have a show on one of 500 or 600 channels? And what does it mean now in the world of video podcasts? Which was more radical, The Ed Sullivan Show or The Henry Rollins Show? Ed introduced The Beatles to the country. Last night Rollins introduced Gogol Bordello to a small IFC cable audience. Although this is more similar to Sullivan introducing the little Italian mouse Topo Gigio to america. Mass media introduces the margins to the center.
I’m a sucker for gypsy music. I was very happy Henry Rollins made the introduction. Just as in Ed Sullivan’s day, media and technology is wonderful for introducing the new—which is not to be confused with the popular.