Monday, March 28, 2011

karaoke punk

always thought it funny how brazenly and transparently these guys based this--

on this (meaning the whole concept/movie/record)

c.f Rotten's early-on comment about wanting thousands of bands like the Sex Pistols (i.e. individualistic, angry, etc) and how it came true, in grim literalist fashion, with

1/ thousands of Xerox punx (albeit in the Rejects case more Sham 69 clones than Pistols clones), an afterbirth that extended deep into the 80s

2/ the Rotten-wannabes in the "Great Rock'n'Roll Swindle" song auditioning to be his replacement as new Pistols frontman

but that was McLaren's (self-serving/self-protecting, totally false) argument wasn't it: that anybody could have been Rotten, absolutely any kid off the street

when in fact the very mimesis that Rotten incited is proof of the power of Rotten's charisma, the sheer shock impact of his style... inflections and mannerisms and turns of phrases so original that they couldn't help but ventriloquise themselves through others

oddly in the back discographical bit of England's Dreaming the singer in 'the great rock'n'swindle' is given as Tenpole Tudor, when the whole point of the song is that virtually every line is sung by a different Rotten-casualty (Tenpole getting more than his fair share of course)

what was Tenpole's story then?

by this point Eddie was jumping on the Adam Ant panto-pop bandwagon.... perhaps he got the idea from hanging out at World's End when Malc and Viv were hatching the whole pirates/savage/swashbuckling/New Heroism look/concept

good tunes though

as is this

but going back to GRnRS

perhaps "Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle" -- the song, the album, the movie -- is a kind of answer record to "Public Image" (it doesn't matter which came first or whether either was written in knowledge of each other)

so the two songs, it's a dispute about ownership, about who was the author of punk rock

(with Lydon in some ways the more old fashioned figure than McClaren... seeing himself as a Seer-ious Artist type, in the Hammill progressive mold, an individual with a Unique Vision, a Unique Voice.... then again,McLaren also saw himself as the Artist, using the media as his canvas, controversy and shockhorror as his paint, and actual human persons as his brushes... so there was jostling over who was the indispensable figure, the one without whom punk would not have happened)

interesting, though, in that clip above from GRnRS, after the song's done and it's Malc in the bathtub... to hear McLaren use the exact same kind of rock-is-dead / rock should be killed off type rhetoric as Lydon was at the exact same time

Malc refers to "that necrophiliac, rock'n'roll"