Black Sky Thinking: All Rock & Roll Is Tory
, May 1st, 2008 11:56
When David Cameron attempted to gain kudos by name-dropping The Smiths and other indie types in his golly-gosh-look-at-me Desert Island Discs selection you could hear the shocked gasps. There were dark mutterings. The lanky Eton toff and Tory boss was into rock, how weird!
But Cameron's selection merely underlined that the days when rock n’roll pretended to be rebellious are long gone.
And maybe that's for the best.
Once rock & roll talked about changing the world " but then decided to save up and buy it. All rock & roll is Tory. It's the natural state of affairs.
It's now just another three-chord corporation trading on being hip. In reality it's about as radical as the cigarette industry- selling rebel glamour to the people, albeit without the cancer.
It's a bit embarrassing now to remember how we fell for the counter culture spell in our lost youth. The sixties sold a dream and we bought it. A neat marketing ploy somehow confused long hair with changing the world. Rock & rollers were never revolutionaries - all it ever was a petulant hissy fit of rich youth pissed off because they had to get their hair cut.
In the sixties and seventies the working class heroes got rich and voted Tory because they didn't want to cough up any tax. As soon as the millions rolled in they all fucked off to their country piles and went fox hunting with local gentry. The ultimate rock star dream was to become a toff.
Of course, the records got worse, all those dinner parties poison the blues and they all got fat and ugly and sent their kids to private school. Each generation sniffed at such revolting crassness and then fell for it themselves. For every genuine punk rock revolutionary there were ten others saying that Margaret Thatcher was what the country needed.
The punk generation sneering at PC and those liberals may have been fun at first but it quickly became a way of life as middle age started to creep its insidious way in. How quickly the angry young men start to sound like crusty colonels writing tirades to the Daily Telegraph.
Music died the day it got tidied up and put into white clothes for the vile Live Aid. Of course its nice to feed the starving but when it's millionaires asking for your money then driving back to their five star hotels in four wheel drives then it's all wrong wrong wrong.
Where once voting Tory would have to have been hushed up by over-zealous PRs, no one cares any more. Talking the right wing talk is part and parcel of the rock & roll experience - the real rock & rollers are now the landed gentry, they hunt, shoot, fish and then reform for tax purposes. They own cheese farms and write deli columns for Sunday papers, they trade on their youth and pat their well-fed stomachs, but they know the truth.
And the truth is that all rock & roll is Conservative.
They know that from day one it was all about making money, ripping off the teenagers before shagging them backstage. It was about selling a lie, being greedy, manipulative, mean and stupid. It was about capitalism at its most extreme, and shameless. It obeyed all the rules of consumerism by inventing fads and fashions and selling them to the folk at the bottom of the hill. It was there purely to sell alcohol and cigs and crappy CDs to bamboozled youth who thought they were rebelling against their parents just because they had a record with the word "fuck" in it.
It was rubbish bands like KISS epitomising the American dream by celebrating the gross and the crass and boasting about money and fame and pointless sex like the last days of Rome couldn't come soon enough.
Rock & roll is the grand lie, the vile smokescreen, the high volume panzer division of capitalism. Rock & roll likes to puff out its little chest and claim to be a revolutionary art form but its the natural soundtrack to the Tories and pissed up royals dressed as Nazi officers at posh West End parties. It's become loud music made by Daily Mail readers for Tory politicians.
When Cameron smarms his way into Number Ten his favourite indie tunes will boom down the hallway.
Rock & roll, like football and everything else we once loved, will have been completely stolen by the Tories.
The question is: what the fuck are we going to do about it!