NME: "Does Rock 'N' Roll Kill Braincells?!" - Billy Bragg (October 21, 2021); Smiths / Morrissey mentions

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In Does Rock ‘N’ Roll Kill Braincells?!, we quiz an artist on their own career to see how much they can remember – and find out if the booze, loud music and/or tour sweeties has knocked the knowledge out of them.


Talking about Boris Johnson...

“He wanted to include Kirsty’s cover of it. Here’s the thing: I listened to his Desert Island Discs and, as he was playing The Smiths, I was thinking: ‘He’s going to play ‘A New England’ – he’s going to play one of my songs and kill my reputation! This is going to be awful! But he didn’t – phew! (Laughs) You put out these songs and never know who’s going to hook onto them. I bumped into [austerity architect] George Osborne when he was Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer and he exclaimed: ‘Billy Bragg!’ at me, before singing: I was 21 years when I wrote this song/I’m 22 now…’ You can’t choose your fans!”

In 1987, NME readers voted you the second Most Wonderful Human Being. Who beat you?


“I wonder how those readers feel now about making Morrissey the Most Wonderful Human Being.”
CORRECT.
“I got used to coming second to Morrissey and The Smiths. That was par for the course in those days. That was cool. Their standard was so high that getting anywhere near them was good.”
You wrote a statement in 2019 condemning Morrissey for spreading far-right ideas. Can you separate the man from his art?
“As someone who writes political songs, there are plenty of people out there who are Tories who like my love songs, so clearly you can do that. I struggle. I’m OK listening to The Smiths, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to listen to his solo albums anymore – although I wasn’t much of a fan of those anyway.”

 
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Nerak

Reverse Ferret
Thing is, you aren't actually concerned about Billy Bragg acknowledging "homophobia in the music industry, the press and society at large", are you? You're just having a tantrum only about him because he didn't rush to Steven's aid when people said all the mean things about him. Only you do that, Karen. And that's because you're special: the Chosen One.

Yes - I am concerned that he was campaigning on an issue at the time that he either didn't fully understand or didn't care about.
 
N

No 27

Guest
Yes - I am concerned that he was campaigning on an issue at the time that he either didn't fully understand or didn't care about.
...and you draw this conclusion solely on the basis that he didn't jump in and save poor Steven from the big meanies. Billy Bragg's not as good as you, Karen. You're the best.
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
...and you draw this conclusion solely on the basis that he didn't jump in and save poor Steven from the big meanies. Billy Bragg's not as good as you, Karen. You're the best.

No - I draw this conclusion because he didn't talk about the homophobia in the crowd, in the music press, in the industry and in society when he had a opportunity to do so.
 
P

Paul Andrews

Guest
I didn’t know he’d made it onto TOTPs with that. It is brilliant.

I guess my issue with Billy Bragg is (as with so many on the left) he hates many more of the working classes than he likes. Morrissey is just one of millions he wants on his Procrustean Bed. And when you become idealistic, to the extent you largely hate the reality, then the cause becomes more religious than political—at least in any democratic sense.

But when it comes to lyrics, poetry and wordplay, he’s a match for Morrissey I feel.
100 per cent. Bragg is a smug entitled Metro elitist, but he's too self satisfied to realize it. Some of his comments about Brexit voters reveal who he really is. Tosser.
 

Verso

Well-Known Member
Morrissey was the target of the homophobia - not the straight man singing a political song about homophobia while ignoring it within his own industry.
How do you know he was ignoring it within his own industry? Because he failed to fulfill the hyper-specific criteria you decided to set for him today because of something you read online that upset you?
 

Nerak

Reverse Ferret
How do you know he was ignoring it within his own industry? Because he failed to fulfill the hyper-specific criteria you decided to set for him today because of something you read online that upset you?

It was a homophobic incident and homophobic reporting in his industry at a time he was campaigning against homophobia. It's something he should have mentioned. But didn't. If he was doing anything behind the scenes - there's no evidence of it.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
It was a homophobic incident and homophobic reporting in his industry at a time he was campaigning against homophobia. It's something he should have mentioned. But didn't. If he was doing anything behind the scenes - there's no evidence of it.

Are you saying Morrissey is homosexual?
 

Verso

Well-Known Member
It was a homophobic incident and homophobic reporting in his industry at a time he was campaigning against homophobia. It's something he should have mentioned. But didn't. If he was doing anything behind the scenes - there's no evidence of it.
What you meant to write was: "Yes Verso, that's exactly what I'm saying."
 

The.Truth.

Every.Single.Time.
Who's being disingenuous now? You've given a supposed situation there, with no examples, and then said this particular chap did nothing. I mean, he does nothing about thousands of issues. So do I.

Pack it in, you straw-grasping creep
This is your subconsciousness trying to get your attention. Don't ignore it.
 

Skylarker

Pollyanna
f*** Billy Bragg. Weak-ass wanker. Of course he hates Morrissey's solo output...Morrissey farts lyrics that wouldn't occur to Bragg on DMT.

Typical leftwing communist anti-meritocracy f***head.
 

Verso

Well-Known Member
f*** Billy Bragg. Weak-ass wanker. Of course he hates Morrissey's solo output...Morrissey farts lyrics that wouldn't occur to Bragg on DMT.

Typical leftwing communist anti-meritocracy f***head.
Honestly, is there anything worse than a Gen X conservative?
 

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