Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Serj Tankian, Sparks and Al Yankovic

Right. You need to listen to your old man more. If you don't, you will miss brilliant and impressive insights such as this one.......

As you know, System of a Down's front man Serj Tankian (as Armenian a name as you're likely to hear this side of the Black Sea) has recently released a solo track, Empty Walls. The question is, on whom is his bearded persona in the video based? To refresh your memory, here is the said video.

The character in the video is, I'm sure you will agree, based on the enigmatic keyboard player Ron Mael, founder member of 70s electro pop group Sparks. Don't believe me? Watch and learn....

Interestingly, Ron Mael has also been copied in a recent video by the father of humor-rock, Al Yankovic. How else can you explain the appearance of the mustached keyboard player in the video of Al's marvelous Virus Alert?

Clearly, Serj Tankian (not to mention Al Yankovic) is one of the many serious musicians to owe an artistic debt to Sparks, who are also cited by Depeche Mode, New Order and, obviously, the Pet Shop Boys as having had a major influence on their own musical development. With Tankian and Yankovic, the influence appears to have extended beyond the music to the facial hair.

What do you think? Your thoughts welcome on the comments tab below.

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