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The Smiths (and listening to bands with members you now despise)


jparx
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So, for the first time in about 5 years, I’ve had The Smiths on all afternoon and it’s thrown up all sorts of emotions.

Firstly, they are still one of the greatest bands of all time. Their catalogue is absolutely staggering and can be put up against just about anyone else. But, despite all that, there remains this bitter after taste that’s hard to shake after Morrissey went full Farage. The Smiths were one of my favourite bands of all time, and always my number 1 wish list pick for a Glastonbury headliner, and after listening this afternoon it almost feels like reuniting with an ex, but you realise there’s absolutely no hope for a reconciliation.

I’m not interested in really discussing Morrissey or the politics behind it, this thread is more about how people feel listening to music after learning unsavoury things about the members? Especially in cases like The Smiths where the discomfort comes from personal views and not something like Lost Prophets, which crosses a whole other boundary. There’s been discussion in the Woodstock thread about Kid Rock and Limp Bizkit, music I admittedly enjoyed in the late 90s but feel really uncomfortable with now. Are people able to reconcile their personal animosity for the sake of the music, is it a case by case basis or a hard line that you won’t cross? Do I need to get over it and just enjoy the music? And where on earth does Glastonbury fit in to this? If, by some staggering set of circumstances, The Smiths reunited without Morrissey really showing any remorse, would Glastonbury entertain them at all?

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Pantera.

I loved Pantera, been listening to them since the mid-nineties, they've helped inspire so much great stuff, Dimebag is a much missed genius, Vulgar display of power is a magnificent album, but Phil Anselmo being such a fucking idiot has ruined them for forever for me. If he can just not be a ridiculous white supremacist prick, i can go back to loving em again. I cant in all honesty go and see the reunion even though Zakk Wylde on guitar is legit amazing, because of Phil. 

(admittedly, theyre not at all likely to rock up at glastonbury for a whole host of reasons!)

 

edit: i love a bit of norwegian black metal too, and its hard at times to find bands that don't hold ridiculous views in that genre . . . 

Edited by balti-pie
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Shockingly the Smiths headlined Glastonbury in 1984, massively standing out from all the other acts.

Personally I've always thought Morrissey was a wrong un (same with John Lydon) and never liked the Smiths.

Re: listening to acts after learning unsavoury things about the members, I've no problem in most cases and am able to separate the music from the person.

Fortunately the Smiths will never reunite, Johnny Marr won't have anything to do with that life long nutter he used to be in a band with.

Edited by Skip997
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3 minutes ago, balti-pie said:

Pantera.

I loved Pantera, been listening to them since the mid-nineties, they've helped inspire so much great stuff, Dimebag is a much missed genius, Vulgar display of power is a magnificent album, but Phil Anselmo being such a fucking idiot has ruined them for forever for me. If he can just not be a ridiculous white supremacist prick, i can go back to loving em again. I cant in all honesty go and see the reunion even though Zakk Wylde on guitar is legit amazing, because of Phil. 

(admittedly, theyre not at all likely to rock up at glastonbury for a whole host of reasons!)

 

edit: i love a bit of norwegian black metal too, and its hard at times to find bands that don't hold ridiculous views in that genre . . . 

Ah yes, Pantera is a great shout. Huge fan back in the day when I was blissfully ignorant and unaware of Phil Anselmo’s views and covered some of their tunes in bands over the years.

They’re a particularly challenging one now because it’s much easier to apply what we know about Phil’s views to the lyrics. It’s all very AR-15, confederate flag waving macho shite.

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1 minute ago, Skip997 said:

Shockingly the Smiths headlined Glastonbury in 1984, massively standing out from all the other acts.

Personally I've always thought Morrissey was a wrong un (same with John Lydon) and never liked the Smiths.

Re: listening to acts after learning unsavoury things about the members, I've no problem in most cases and am able to separate the music from the person.

Fortunately the Smiths will never reunite, Johnny Marr won't have anything to do with that life long nutter in used to be in a band with.

Yeah, watching some footage of that show was what prompted me to go back and listen. The show did look pretty great.

Johnny Marr is the saving grace really. He’s great live, and it goes off when he drops some of those classic Smiths tunes. It feels like the baggage behind those songs is being cleansed. Also have no problem listening to The Smyths. I guess it’s just Morrissey’s specific vocals that I’d rather avoid!

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How far do you take this?

A lyric from Stray Cat Blues by the Rolling Stones:

I can see that you're fifteen years old
No, I don't want your I.D
And I can see that you're so far from home but
That's no hanging matter
It's no capital crime

Musicians tend to write about their own experiences.

It was by no means just the Stones that were involved in such behavior, so should we stop listening to most if not all 60's/70's and probably 80's rock bands? 

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I'm 100% ok with listening to any band regardless of their political views, or their personalities. Obviously not those that are completely unacceptable to listen to like Lostprophets, but when its political I won't be too worried about it. 

I think there's going to be a lot less tolerance of what is acceptable to be played out as the world and society gets more socially conscious. I can see why people who feel strongly against certain views feel like they can't listen to certain artists, but for me its not an issue. But then I'm not somebody who has huge amounts of social conscience so you could say that my view on this is part of the problem. 

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1 minute ago, efcfanwirral said:

 I think there's going to be a lot less tolerance of what is acceptable to be played out as the world and society gets more socially conscious.

We've got to be careful with this, it's a very slippery slope and could destroy stand up comedy.

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7 minutes ago, CaledonianGonzo said:

Don't worry - the Comedy Unleashed tour is flying the flag for the 'I'm just saying what we're all thinking' demographic.

That sounds horrible, I don't like the sound of the 'I'm just saying what we're all thinking' demographic.

But if I want to listen to Doug Stanhope, Bill Hicks, George Catlin, Lenny Bruce etc, then maybe I'm going to have to accept comedians with views I don't like.

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I’m not interested in the slightest about a debate around “cancel culture”, I was more curious about people’s personal relationship with music and how that’s affected by personal disagreements with their views, but the Pantera tour shows that no one is “cancelled” - those acts can still tour. Society is just less accepting of those views now, and people not wanting to see you/give you money isn’t being “cancelled”, frankly it’s supply and demand…

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1 minute ago, jparx said:

I’m not interested in the slightest about a debate around “cancel culture”, I was more curious about people’s personal relationship with music and how that’s affected by personal disagreements with their views

Moz is perfectly entitled to his views. Doesnt make any difference to me. 

Lyrically, this is one of my favourite verses mainly because its not like anything Ive ever felt or experienced. Its also funny.

There's a club if you'd like to go
You could meet somebody who really loves you
So you go and you stand on your own
And you leave on your own
And you go home and you cry
And you want to die

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36 minutes ago, CaledonianGonzo said:

Don't worry - the Comedy Unleashed tour is flying the flag for the 'I'm just saying what we're all thinking' demographic.

In an amazing coincidence, I've just this very moment walked by freeze peach enthusiast Andrew Doyle on my way up to the Pleasance Courtyard.

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10 minutes ago, Neville Street said:

I love that autocorrect “freeze peach”, or did you mean to type that? 😂

Deliberate. Seems to be becoming accepted slang for those who - inadvertently or otherwise - seem to have a raging throbber for ensuring that the fash get an equal hearing in the 'marketplace of ideas'.

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12 minutes ago, The Nal said:

Moz is perfectly entitled to his views. Doesnt make any difference to me. 

Lyrically, this is one of my favourite verses mainly because its not like anything Ive ever felt or experienced. Its also funny.

There's a club if you'd like to go
You could meet somebody who really loves you
So you go and you stand on your own
And you leave on your own
And you go home and you cry
And you want to die

Haha no doubt some absolute zingers in there. Lyrically he’s one of the greatest of all time and he had that amazing talent for so perfectly articulating what so many are/were feeling. Arguably their music is more relevant now than ever. I need to work on separating the douche bag from the art.

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I am OK with people in bands having different political views to mine. So Smiths are still a great band. I have friends with views I don't agree with but happy hang out with so bands is easier.

If those views are prominent in the music then I will not listen. Screwdriver etc

Someone like Michael Jackson I will not switch off the radio if his song comes on

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Have to run with Gary Glitter on this subject. Rock n Roll 1 & 2, Hello Hello I'm Back Again, Do You Wanna Touch Me are all incredible but the latters lyrics make you want to roll in bleach afterwards

The Glitter Band were equally great but the stains are so stubborn you can't get the Leader out

 

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9 minutes ago, fred quimby said:

I am OK with people in bands having different political views to mine. So Smiths are still a great band. I have friends with views I don't agree with but happy hang out with so bands is easier.

If those views are prominent in the music then I will not listen. Screwdriver etc

Someone like Michael Jackson I will not switch off the radio if his song comes on

Yeah I guess that’s a good diving line. That’s why I find Pantera a bit more troublesome. Those lyrics now hit a bit different. The Smiths are interesting because I don’t really find any Moz’s views in those lyrics, indeed you’d probably come away thinking he had the opposite views. The anti capitalist sentiment resonates even more so now.

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2 hours ago, Skip997 said:

Shockingly the Smiths headlined Glastonbury in 1984, massively standing out from all the other acts.

Personally I've always thought Morrissey was a wrong un (same with John Lydon) and never liked the Smiths.

Re: listening to acts after learning unsavoury things about the members, I've no problem in most cases and am able to separate the music from the person.

Fortunately the Smiths will never reunite, Johnny Marr won't have anything to do with that life long nutter he used to be in a band with.

Interested in the shockingly bit. Is that a good or bad shockingly 

In the 50th film Michael says that he choose them to move the festival on, something like that anyway. Kept it relevant. A shroud move, as he has done many times

I only saw part of their set, which my older self shakes his head at, and really only have hazy memories of

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