Geldof: God gave rock’n’roll to EU


Blackleaf
#1
Brexit is ‘serious madness’ that will sound the death knell for the UK’s booming music industry, Sir Bob Geldof and dozens of pop celebrities warn in an open letter to prime minister Theresa May.

Once upon a time we were led to believe, in the words of British band Argent’s 1973 anthem, that ‘God Gave Rock’n’Roll to You’. Now Geldof and Co would have us believe that, actually, God gave rock’n’roll to the EU, and He will take it away again if we dare to leave. And they reckon Leavers are the mad ones…

Geldof: God gave rock’n’roll to EU


And the rock Remainers claim Leave voters are the mad ones.

Mick Hume
Editor-at-large

10th October 2018
Spiked


Bob Geldof and other Remainers verbally abusing fishermen on the Thames campaigning for a Leave vote during the EU referendum campaign

Brexit is ‘serious madness’ that will sound the death knell for the UK’s booming music industry, Sir Bob Geldof and dozens of pop celebrities warn in an open letter to prime minister Theresa May.

Once upon a time we were led to believe, in the words of British band Argent’s 1973 anthem, that ‘God Gave Rock’n’Roll to You’. Now Geldof and Co would have us believe that, actually, God gave rock’n’roll to the EU, and He will take it away again if we dare to leave. And they reckon Leavers are the mad ones…

Sir Bob’s rant, published in the Observer and shared across the Remainstream media, proclaims music as the ‘one area Britain still rules the waves’. But now it warns, ‘Brexit threatens, as it does so much else, this vast voice’. The ‘serious madness’ of leaving the European Union will apparently sentence the UK music industry to silence in a ‘self-built cultural jail’.

Blimey. We have become used to Remainiacs boring on about how Brexit will destroy everything from women’s to workers’ rights, as if the British people had never fought for or won these liberties before they were somehow handed down to us by benevolent Eurocrats. Now they tell us that Brexit will also switch off Brits’ right to rock the world.

The implication is that the UK could never have a successful music industry outside of the EU. It’s perhaps a good job that nobody mentioned this to the likes of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Who, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, David Bowie and all the other British artists who, if memory serves, seemed to do all right before the British people ever voted to be part of what was then the European Economic Community in the 1975 referendum.

Not to mention those who somehow struggled to the top in the later Seventies and Eighties – from the Sex Pistols to Wham!, the Smiths to the Jam, and the likes of the Stones and Bowie again – before the European Union even came into existence in 1993.

Indeed, it might seem easier to argue that, with rare exceptions — early Oasis, Amy Winehouse — British pop music has never really been the same since we did sign up to the EU. But maybe that’s just my age talking.


Wham!

The list of signatories certainly doesn’t read like an advert for the energy and creativity of Remainer rock’n’roll. Geldof says that everybody he sent it to – revealingly, under the subject heading ‘Towards a Second Vote’ – agreed to sign. Hardly surprising that a list which the Guardian describes as ‘a roll-call of Britain’s rock and classical establishment’ should have backed the political establishment’s campaign to overturn the democratic vote for Brexit.

Signatories who caught the headline writers’ attention include such musical dullards and semi-derelicts as Rita Ora, Brian Eno, Neil Tennant, Roger Taylor, the conductor Simon Rattle, and bloody Sting. One stand-out signatory was Ed Sheeran, flagged up as ‘the world’s best-selling pop star’. In which case, pop music must surely have become as staid and conformist as the politics behind Remain.

The reported appearance of Paul Simon among the signatories caused some initial kerfuffle, since the singer-songwriter’s British credentials appeared even thinner than Geldof’s. Closer inspection revealed the real name on the letter to be Paul Simonon. That seemed even worse, since Simonon was once Joe Strummer’s sneering bassist in the Clash (he was the nearest thing early punk had to a teen pin-up), before becoming an artist and joining the cultural elite’s Remainer choir. What was that Clash line from ‘Complete Control’ (co-written by Simonon 40-odd years ago)? ‘They’re all fat and old / Queuing for the House of Lords…’

The spectral spirit of punk seems rather better represented by Johnny ‘Rotten’ Lydon. He might be getting fat and old like the rest of us but, having initially backed Remain from his Los Angeles home, Lydon came out for Brexit on a post-referendum visit to his native London, because: ‘The working class has spoke, and I am with them.’

Meanwhile, Brexit has caused a similar split in the Smiths, with guitarist Johnny Marr consolidating his place in the Guardian’s heart by signing Geldof’s letter while Morrissey is treated as a pop pariah for daring to call the Leave vote ‘magnificent’.


Former Smiths frontman Morrissey called Brexit "magnificent"

Inevitably the open letter tries to depict the top popsters as victims of Brexit, whining that it will hamper them making more money through everything from ‘touring, sales, copyright legislation, to royalty collation’. They must be working in a different Europe to the industry body PRS for Music, which recently confirmed that ‘we’re not expecting any significant disruption in the flow of performing rights and royalties as a result of Brexit, deal or no deal’, since these things are ‘governed by voluntary agreements between collecting societies’ that have ‘no direct relationship to the UK’s membership of the EU or any trade deals’. But why let a bit of fake news get in the way of some heartfelt Brexit-bashing?

In his bizarre conclusion, Geldof calls on the Tory government to reject Brexit – as backed by the largest popular vote in UK political history – because that’s apparently not what we Brits do: ‘When Europe is in a mess, the Brits get stuck in.’ So instead of leaving the anti-democratic EU, we must fight to make it ‘a different one. An exciting one. A rock’n’roll one.’

A rock’n’roll EU! The closest they are likely to get to that is Jean-Claude Juncker’s May-mocking shimmy on to a Brussels stage the other day. The 1957 Treaty of Rome might have been signed in the same year as Elvis recorded ‘All Shook Up’ and Jerry Lee Lewis had a ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’, but there any similarity ends. The prospect of the bureaucratic, life-sapping EU becoming more rock’n’roll is about as likely as Robert Geldof, Knight of the British Empire, becoming a rebel against the Euro-establishment rather than its frontman.

The open letter ends with the cry ‘Let’s save our voice’. Translation: let’s silence the voices of the 17.4million who voted to Leave. There has always been an elitist streak in music, despite its ‘popular’ pretensions. The multi-millionaire Geldof nailed his colours to the mast in the referendum campaign, sailing a boat full of professional Remainers up the Thames to tell a flotilla of Leave-backing British fishermen to **** off. In the words of Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker (one of the more disappointing signatories), you’ll never do what ‘common people’ do.

It might be tempting to echo rock guru Noel Gallagher who, while no Brexiteer, has told Remainers to ‘****in’ get over it’. But no, let Geldof and Co keep ranting away, converting about as many people as he sells records these days. Nothing they do or say can alter the reality that the democratic Brexit revolt is the most rock’n’roll, punk thing to happen to UK politics in a lifetime. As letter signatory and choral music composer Howard Goodall told the Observer in horror, ‘Everything is going to change’. We live in hope.

Mick Hume is spiked’s editor-at-large. Mick is speaking on the panel ‘How free is the media?‘ at the Battle of Ideas in London on Sunday 14th October. Book your tickets here.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2018/1...cknroll-to-eu/
 
Blackleaf
#2
TONY PARSONS Why do the ‘rebels’ of rock feel the need to cosy up to the EU? British music was never inspired by mysterious rhythms coming from Brussels

The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin all somehow managed to make great music without Brussels.

Comment
By Tony Parsons
14th October 2018
The Sun

“EUROPE is a thought that needs to become a *feeling,” U2’s Bono declared in the EU parliament. “And I am, as an artist, in service of that.”

Fine, highfalutin words, Bono.

The EU is not a beautiful thing, Bono. It is the establishment at its most unaccountable, undemocratic, incompetent and corrupt

But try telling them to the millions of young people who are unemployed in Italy, Spain and Greece, the economies of those proud countries dragged down by the dead weight of the euro. And try out the windbag oratory on the 17.4million decent British democrats who voted to leave the European Union, and who have been told ever since that they are racist, ignorant *bigots who should never be allowed near a polling booth.

I like Bono. In person, he is a decent, thoughtful man. His band are not bad. But why do the former rebels of rock music always tug their forelocks to the European Union? Why does everyone in leather trousers act like the EU is an unalloyed good thing? Why does rock music have a blind spot when it comes to Brussels?

How can Bono, right, possibly mistake Jean-Claude Juncker for Joe Strummer? The EU is the ESTABLISHMENT, man! And the EU is the establishment at its most unaccountable, undemocratic, incompetent and corrupt.

The EU is not a beautiful thing, Bono. It is a crumbling expansionist empire, rotten to the core, merciless in its opposition to democracy.

The EU is a gravy train, Bono, a trough for puffed-up political piggies, a sclerotic body of privileged old men in suits with MEPs who do not have to provide receipts for their £4,000-a-month expenses. The EU really stinks, Bono.

Bob Geldof sent a letter to Theresa May warning her that Brexit will be the day the music dies

And the music that you and I grew up with — the music we loved, the music U2 and I were inspired by, the music we placed at the centre of our worlds — was meant to be against this kind of thing. Bono bent the knee to the bullies of Brussels in the same week that Bob Geldof sent a letter to Theresa May warning her that Brexit will be the day the music dies.

“Imagine Britain without its music,” thundered Geldof’s letter, co-signed by musicians including Sting, Ed Sheeran, Jarvis Cocker and Damon Albarn. “If it’s hard for us, then it’s impossible for the rest of the world. Britain does rule the waves. The airwaves. But Brexit threatens, as it does so much else, this vast voice.”

But it is simply not true that our country owes its musical genius to the European Union. The golden years of British music were before we joined the EU — when it was still being touted to us as a common market — back in 1973.

The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin all somehow managed to make great music without Brussels. Now Geldof and his co-signatories seriously suggest that British music can’t survive outside the European Union.

The Beatles somehow managed to make great music without Brussels

No doubt the Brexit-loathing Boomtown Rat believes this rubbish but everyone else who signed his Whinge Aid letter should have paused to think before signing. Because by claiming that Brexit will kill British music, Ed Sheeran, Sting and the rest just make themselves look like laughably out-of-touch luvvies. Not a good look for the wild boys of rock ’n’ roll.

Geldof is right about one thing — British music has been brilliant for 50 years because our little country embraced the world.But John Lennon, Jimmy Page, Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Ray Davies, Robert Plant, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend opened their ears and their hearts to the sounds coming out of America.

The glorious music that smashed down the walls between white music and black music was born in Chicago and Nashville and Detroit and Memphis. Its roots were in the backwoods of the Deep South and the *Mississippi Delta, and reached all the way back to Africa. Belgium never came into it, Bob.

The Rolling Stones never needed a grant from the EU. They just needed one glimpse of Buddy Holly, one listen to Muddy Waters, one nod from Elvis Presley. British bands changed the world and they sure as hell did it without the help of the European Union. Sorry, Bob. Sorry, Bono. But no British musician in history was ever inspired by the mysterious rhythms coming out of Brussels.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/748772...ius-to-the-eu/
 

Similar Threads

3
Rock and Roll
by Cliffy | Dec 26th, 2010
28
Rock & Roll And Religion
by Liberalman | Apr 30th, 2010
3