Monday, May 12, 2008

Working Class Heroes

When I first moved to England from my native Canada, *cough cough* years ago, I had been brought up in an environment where the only real musical arguments that ever ensued were over exactly HOW Canadian a given piece of music was, and whether it qualified under the content percentage laws.

When Bryan Adams released "Waking Up the Neighbours", substantially co-written by the Zambian-born, South African-raised Mutt Lange, for instance, a national debate erupted as to whether it was quite Canuck enough, although I suspect this was largely motivated by those of us who were trying to pass responsibility for Adams to ANY other country.

So I was ill-prepared to arrive in England in the middle of Round 5,734 of the Class War, with Oasis and Blur seemingly battling for ownership of the public's hearts and minds. In the working class corner, the Gallaghers and co. Representing smart-arsed middle class student-types, Damon, Graham, Alex and Dave.

Frankly, I didn't know where to look. (Happily, at the time, I preferred Pulp, which allowed me to abstain from a lot of heated pub discussions.)

Now, I am, by any definition, working class. I was the oldest of six children, we were comically poor - insert favourite we were SO poor that... joke here and I got through a lot of menial and underpaid jobs before I decided that if I was going to be broke and depressed, I might as well be a musician.

However, I take no pride in being working class. I take pride in having something approaching a work ethic. I take pride in not being afraid to get my hands dirty, but in all honesty, being poor mostly sucks. And it certainly isn't a guarantee of talent or authenticity, any more than an expensive education makes you interesting to be around.

In pure terms, though, I will almost always take any artist deemed, in that bizarre turn of phrase, "too clever for their own good" over someone who pens the immortal couplet "Get on the Bus and Cause No Fuss" any day of the week. Then again, that's just me.

It's not about class, it's about CLASS. And that's an individual thing, that's about the person, who they are and how they've drawn on where they come from, not just WHERE they happen to come from.

I'm thinking of downgrading to Economy Class anyway. You still get where you're going, but you're surrounded by fewer nuts.


Post a Comment

<< Home