Can't sing, can't dance. Looks great

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
OK, so you're ready to storm the charts with your head-melting new blend of Schoenbergian 12-tone, Dixieland jazz and Belgian techno. You're all set up to be the biggest thing since Michael Jackson's underwear bill, but there's a problem. Too much studio time and junk food has left you bleary-eyed and pimply and, frankly, your clothes suck. Man, you need image.

Tonight's episode of The Music Biz (9.40pm BBC2) is a salutary dip into the cosmetic side of the music industry. Jon Bon Jovi and his guitar-playing mate, Ritchie Sambora, get locked into a hotel room being photographed all day so's they can be on the front cover of Raw, and then they have the nerve to complain about it to camera.

These corporate stars are hardly victims of the image fascism that characterises pop; they're grateful collaborators. Bon Jovi tells the world that he just decided - on the spur of the moment, like - to go busking with Ritchie in Covent Garden. Queer then, if Jon's such a spontaneous guy, how someone managed to rustle up a heap of outdoor generators, a stage, and a broiling throng of paparazzi in time.

Aerosmith's Steven Tyler is happy to admit that he stuffs his videos full of foxy chicks to sell albums. And Billy Joel, frighteningly eschewing his sunglasses, is poignantly convincing when he voices his distaste for making videos: he's no Keanu Reeves, after all.