‘Music Nazi’, that’s what they call me. I question their terminology but not the sentiment behind it.
I’m not a forthright man, unless I’m drunk. If I’m drunk I’ll be as forth and right as you like based on how many drinks I’m bought, dancing like the chimp I am to the foaming tankard waved to and fro.
I’ll change my mind about anything if you give me a convincing enough argument. Some of the best conversations I’ve had in my life involve me being wrong, because if you can’t admit you’re wrong how can you learn? I consider what I say before I say it, and I only say what I mean and believe. Taciturn I call it. Miserable cunt they call it.
But they’re wrong, and especially when they’re talking about music. And when I say they, I mean you.
Some of the music you love is fine. That vintage Motown you love, that’s great. Some bands that still get in the charts are good, like Elbow and Linkin Park. I appreciate Springsteen without owning any of his music. If you tell me the best singer ever is Michael Jackson or Elvis, I’ll disagree, but understand.
If you tell me to listen to the new Rhianna, or 5 Seconds of Summer, or Bruno Mars, I will tell you in no uncertain terms to fuck off away and out of it.
I know what I’m talking about, you see. I spent many years in a village so far from civilisation we had to share a tape player between 60 people and most of the time it played The Wurzels. I came to cherish real music and what it can do, which is mostly prevent me going on a rampage that would make Dunblane look like the forthcoming reboot of the Telebubbies with a little added vim.
Nobody who meets me for the first time could ever tell, but music matters to me comfortably more than anything else on Earth. Friends, family and the last landlord who used the words ‘on the house’ to me – I’d mourn them all, but if music was somehow ended I’d kill everything like one of those hidden bombs left by aliens millennia ago that will one day send the planet whirling out of its orbit like a toddler who shouldn’t have let go of the merry-go-round.
I don’t like things because they’re cool or unknown. I like the Delta blues because the first time I heard Charley Patton the world seemed to make a little more sense. Hearing the riff from Ziggy Stardust for the first time, in a history lesson with the earphone going up my sleeve so I didn’t have to listen to Mrs Turner banging on about the fucking Industrial Revolution, changed me forever. When I heard Johnny Rotten snarling through God Save The Queen I wanted to both kiss and headbutt whoever was nearest, though unfortunately that was also Mrs Turner and that day didn’t end well for anyone.
When I was 17 I heard Caught By The Fuzz and that song alone made the whole late summer worthwhile. The Kinks should all be knighted, if you’re of a mind to give a shit about the Queen and her sword. And the best album I’ve ever heard is by the Boo Radleys and if you think that’s somehow related to a diabolical song about waking up on a beautiful morning you’re either a lunatic or a cunt.
I spend half my life hunting for new music rather than listening to the same old bollocks like everyone else seems to. I haven’t heard the first Stone Roses LP in years because the next time I do I want it to be a happy surprise rather than the second time that week. In the last few days I’ve listened to albums by Samoans, SPC ECO, Real Friends, Colt 45 and Late Bloomer, and a pat on the back to anyone who has heard of any of them. Whether or not they’re any good isn’t the point – they might be, that’s the point. I live by Peelism, even if it killed my god.
You’re entitled to your opinion but I’m entitled to tell you to stop saying it out loud when it plainly makes you look as sane as Harold Camping. When you start banging on about the fucking Beatles, just understand that while they were fine, in their time, there was better music before and there has been better music since. When you decide it’s time someone showed me that I’m wrong about Queen, that they’re actually seriously impressive musicians and not just a prototype of the fucking Darkness, please understand that I will shout over you until you stop, much like Freddie Mercury would have had he not done the decent thing and shut the fuck up permanently.
When you claim I’m closed-minded because I won’t countenance some heinous jazz record, find a subject you actually know something about and leave me to explain to the world why jazz must be stopped. Take your AC/DC, your REM, your Red Hot fucking Chili Peppers, and leave quickly before I start chipping bits off CDs to slice you up.
And before you trot out the predictable ‘Nazi’ line, please understand that I’m the least prejudiced man alive and I want Mumford and Sons just as dead as Beyoncé. I am right, your music taste is incorrect if incompatible with mine, and if you can’t see what’s wrong with Rod Stewart you’re fucking way beyond redemption and edging towards dementia.