Google+ A Tangled Rope: 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A Rich Man In A Poor Man's Shirt

I wish I could quit The Grauniad’s CiF, but I can’t seem to. Here’s another one about bloody ‘authenticity’ in rock music, of all things:

My comment:

Ah, authenticity in rock music, it fair brings a tear to the old eye thinking back to when that mattered and the obscurity of your 'favourite' bluesman was worth several bonus points in the late night record collection investigations back at your mate's place.

Authenticity has always been one of the great myths of rock. In fact, it was one of the main traits that were thought to distinguish it from mere 'pop'.

So bands got successful for being 'authentic' and that success robbed them of their authenticity - 'Well I took a piss at fortune's sweet kiss/It's like eatin' caviare and dirt/It's a sad funny ending to find yourself pretending/A rich man in a poor man's shirt'* - then we could all sit around and smugly crow about how they had 'sold out'.

It was the 'selling out' of the 'dinosaur' bands that became the creation myth of punk - when it turned out most of those punk bands that created the scene were failed pub rock bands from the previous 'next big thing', trading in new (ripped) t-shirts and spiky haircuts - about as 'authentic' as any other 'natural' pre-packed processed consumer item in the supermarket.

*B. Springsteen - Better Days.