Ex-TNT/Skid Row Vocalist Tony Harnell Launches Blog 2019
Tony Harnell: “Hey friends check out my new blog! Second installment just posted. Just some short writings from my heart along the journey back to me?”
A Rebel Reduced to Hair
The genre of music that I’ve been involved in for my entire career is an odd one. The days of rock and long hair being a rebellious force against injustice are long behind us, especially in this genre. In the 80’s, rock became pure entertainment and few acts delved into real issues. There were some exceptions of course, including my own band ie; Child’s Play, Desperate Night, Purple Mountains Majesty and Angel’s Ride to name a few, addressed some important topics. And no, we weren’t a huge band but that’s how I did my small part.
So when people tell artists to shut up and sing, it doesn’t even make sense. Since the beginning of time, art has been a reflection of its time. It’s always been a cultural influencer. All art. From Shakespeare to Munch, Mozart to Michelangelo. And that’s the fear, obviously, of those who make that statement and those who wish to silence artists.
Of course I am a big fan of love songs like anyone else and have written a lot of them, but I’m an even bigger fan of honesty in both life and art and anything that pushes us to think and to feel more. I want all the grit and the dark depth, as well as the beautiful light and all the shades in between. Art should make us talk. It should be a bridge where people listen together and meet inside the music. The lyrics can’t be and shouldn’t be ignored. It’s called a song because it’s music AND lyrics.
I put out a highly introspective album earlier this year that, for all of it’s shortcomings, was full of the honesty I felt during the process. But now I have a different honesty I want to connect to outside of the confinements of that genre and that label. Yes, that is a label which supports art as commerce and that has it’s place and keeps the sound of that time alive.
But for me, I’ve not continued to be true to myself in life or art. I’m aware that some might be saying to themselves, yep, he’s lost it! But no, actually I’ve finally found it. I just took a 6 year joyride to hell and am fighting my way back. It was an ugly vacation from myself. But I’m here and recovery takes time.