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HBO series “Vinyl” brings the rock scene of the 70’s onto television

n February 14,2016 the first episode of Vinyl aired on HBO. The show revolves around the music industry in NYC around the 70s. The show displays the raw realty of the music industry during this time period. Photo attribution to Hannah Zeitner.
n February 14,2016 the first episode of Vinyl aired on HBO. The show revolves around the music industry in NYC around the 70s. The show displays the raw realty of the music industry during this time period. Photo attribution to Hannah Zeitner.

by Hannah Zeitner, junior entertainment editor

Vinyl, the new HBO original series, shows the seedy underbelly of the New York City music industry and rock scene of the 70’s for all to see. Created by Mick Jagger and Martin Scorsese, the show provides a first hand experience from that time period.

The plot of Vinyl revolves around the life of Richie Finestra, played by Bobby Cannavale, president of the record label “American Century,” which is currently not doing well. The show also focuses on his wife, Devon, played by Olivia Wilde, as well as the various bands and co-workers he interacts with inside the music industry.

The music scene in 1970’s New York was awash with sex and drugs, but rock music was giving way to an era of genres such as punk, disco, and hip-hop.  Finestra, who had an amazing passion for music, dwindled down and his label was on the verge of being sold. He then experienced a life changing event that rekindled his passion about music. He decided to revamp everything about his label although those decisions wreck havok on his personal life as well as the people he works with.

The show portrays how corrupt and seedy the music industry and that general time period in NYC was. Record labels would pay off radio stations, either with money, drugs, or both, to play songs from their labels, as well as closed deals with bands by giving an offering of drugs or other ‘favors.’ Vinyl also captures the cocaine and heroin epidemic at the time.

There’s some excess, scene and acting wise, in Vinyl; which makes sense for a show involving two icons of ’70s rock: Jagger and Scorsese. However, Richie’s search for the next idea, and all of the scenes involving other rising forms of music, as well as the scenes with the ‘Nasty Bits’ suggest that the show really just wants to get rid of tropes and glam and do something simple, raw, and powerful.

“Even though I haven’t watched the show, when I first heard that they were making this show, I was immediately interested because of the topic and that I felt it’s a show that would be right up my alley. I’m looking forward to see how it portrays the music industry during that time, especially since other shows portray music in a different way. I feel once I watch it, I’ll like it even more,” english teacher Ms. Sackstein said.

The first episode of the season aired on February 14th, and the show currently has five episodes. The show comes on every Sunday at 9pm on HBO.

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