Rock and roll, lifestyle and the working class



Rock and roll, lifestyle and the working class

Postby wolfgangguhl » Sat Aug 17, 2013 11:57 am

PeterC wrote:
thrund wrote:I gave my vote for Linda Gail of course.... who else ;-)


I'm shocked! :wink:

I actually voted for our old friend Tony... A left-wing openly gay rock & roll fan isn't exactly a common thing today, but back in the 60s and 70s it was definitely ground-breaking! 8)

If I was voting more seriously, I'd vote for Brenda Lee as far as 50s / early 60s rock & roll goes. Of course, she is probably just as well-known for her fine ballads, but then again the same could be said about Elvis Presley. If we're talking about rock & roll in the broader sense though, then it's Suzi Quatro all the way! Not only was she the (loan) female voice during the glam rock era, but she was also a major influence on later musicians such as Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders), Tina Weymouth (Talking Heads) and Joan Jett (The Runaways). The woman is a goddess!

AS for Linda Gail, she is a moderately successful country-pop singer who reinvented herself as a female Jerry Lee Lewis tribute act. Entertaining and talented yes, a queen of rock & roll no.


Why was being a left-wing rock & roll fan in the 60s and 70s ground-breaking? Do you mean that rock & roll fans were usually right-wing?
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Re: Who is the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll?

Postby PeterC » Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:03 pm

wolfgangguhl wrote:Why was being a left-wing rock & roll fan in the 60s and 70s ground-breaking? Do you mean that rock & roll fans were usually right-wing?


I think so, to a degree anyway. Most Teds were traditionally working-class, and (by default in those days) often bigoted...

As for (homo)sexuality, it's somehow easier to imagine a member of The Kinks being openly bisexual than it is a member of Crazy Cavan and The Rhythm Rockers!
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Re: Who is the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll?

Postby Piet » Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:14 pm

Same here in Holland, the rockers were the working class while the artistic minded people mostly loved the long haired musicians.
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Re: Who is the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll?

Postby Richard Harvey » Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:44 pm

PeterC wrote:
wolfgangguhl wrote:Why was being a left-wing rock & roll fan in the 60s and 70s ground-breaking? Do you mean that rock & roll fans were usually right-wing?


I think so, to a degree anyway. Most Teds were traditionally working-class, and (by default in those days) often bigoted...

As for (homo)sexuality, it's somehow easier to imagine a member of The Kinks being openly bisexual than it is a member of Crazy Cavan and The Rhythm Rockers!



I agree. I remember a review in Now Dig This of a relatively recent Little Richard show where they urged him to 'lose the faggot dancers'. There's always been an undercurrent of homophobia and 'lad' mentality in the rock & roll scene. Even now I'd say the young rockabilly crowd with their chains and leathers are more prone to this type of intolerance than your average hippy. Over the years, I've met some right dickheads in the rock & roll scene to be honest.

Jerry Lee fans though have been great. I can't think of a single unpleasant Jerry Lee fan I've met over the years.
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Re: Who is the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll?

Postby Tony Papard » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:52 am

Now Dig This refused an advert for 'Gay Rockin' Tonite', an experiment at putting on a 1950's style rock'n'roll, rockabilly and traditional Country record hop in a well-known London gay pub. Southern and Rockin' published the advert, but all it received was a load of homophobic abuse along the lines: 'you can't like rock'n'roll and be gay. Rock'n'roll is all about pickin' up a bird on Saturday night and giving her one innit?'

Threats were made to find the venue and use physical violence against those putting on the record hop. In the event it proceeded without incident, but packed up after a few weeks due to lack of support. The main problem was reaching the target audience who by and large probably don't read the gay press.

All this was some time ago, but things have only improved marginally. The 'Rhythm Riot!' seems to be the most easy-going of the rock'n'roll weekenders, but even there homophobia has been a factor (a note in the Gents about a guy who always attends in full drag, though many drag up on the last day).

I'm afraid even in this day of gay marriages homophobia persists in certain circles, including sport and the rockin' scene. :cry:
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Re: Who is the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll?

Postby Richard Harvey » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:42 am

Tony Papard wrote:Now Dig This refused an advert for 'Gay Rockin' Tonite', an experiment at putting on a 1950's style rock'n'roll, rockabilly and traditional Country record hop in a well-known London gay pub.


I'd be interested to know what reason they gave for refusing the advert Tony.

I think we're taking this thread off topic, but I do think it's an interesting subject. Perhaps the mods could split the topic and move it into the Off Topic section?
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Re: Who is the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll?

Postby Tony Papard » Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:57 am

Richard Harvey wrote:
Tony Papard wrote:Now Dig This refused an advert for 'Gay Rockin' Tonite', an experiment at putting on a 1950's style rock'n'roll, rockabilly and traditional Country record hop in a well-known London gay pub.


I'd be interested to know what reason they gave for refusing the advert Tony.

I think we're taking this thread off topic, but I do think it's an interesting subject. Perhaps the mods could split the topic and move it into the Off Topic section?



The reason given? 'Not suitable for this publication.'
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Re: Rock and roll, lifestyle choices and the working class

Postby Richard Harvey » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:57 am

I suppose it's up to them what they print. Perhaps they think they'll alienate their audience if they run gay adverts?
I do admire what the NDT team are doing with their two publications and I've contributed to both, but it certainly seems they're not as liberal in their editorial policy as I'd want then to be.

Thanks for splitting the topic Ian ... (though being gay is no more a 'lifestyle choice' than having red hair is) ;-)
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Re: Who is the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll?

Postby martin bates » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:09 pm

Tony Papard wrote:I'm afraid even in this day of gay marriages homophobia persists in certain circles, including sport and the rockin' scene. :cry:

it's human nature and can be found everywehere - no reason sport or rock n roll would be any different. Not just homophobia but all sorts of intollerance of different lifestyles. When Lee Lewis announced his girlfriend was expecting a baby, even you, Tony, made a comment to the effect that they should be married before having a child.

I'm curious in the other post - why they advertised the gig as 'Gay Rocin Tonite' - why not simply announce a rock n roll gig ?
If they're concerned a bunch of homophobic teds would find themselves in a gay pub - then don't have the gig there. Alternately, just advertsie it in house to your target audiance.

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Re: Who is the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll?

Postby Richard Harvey » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:23 pm

martin bates wrote:
Tony Papard wrote:I'm afraid even in this day of gay marriages homophobia persists in certain circles, including sport and the rockin' scene. :cry:

it's human nature and can be found everywehere - no reason sport or rock n roll would be any different. Not just homophobia but all sorts of intollerance of different lifestyles.


I think the point is Martin, there is more homophobia in the R&R scene than most other groups of music fans. Why that should be, I don't know. In the fifties R&R was seen as a cultural movement that bought together different races, yet it seems that spirit of tolerance hasn't counted for much when it comes to attitudes about people's sexuality.

Tony said how the Rhythm Riot was quite liberal - I think the reason for that is there are lots of Europeans and Scandinavians there. They're a little more enlightened in these matters I think.
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Re: Rock and roll, lifestyle choices and the working class

Postby Richard Harvey » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:32 pm

Also, and this might be a bit of a contentious point; but I don't think that many of the rock & roll crowd are actual music fans. They tend to like rock & roll and not much else. They buy into the image and fashion of it all. They'll come out with things like "the Beatles are fuckin' shit". When, even if you don't particularly enjoy the Beatles music, to dismiss them as "fuckin' shit" is ludicrous. It's that same intolerance. When a rockabilly star (I can't remember who), listed classical and swing music in their top ten favourite records in Now Dig This years ago there were letters saying 'such-and-such isn't a real rocker'. It's almost like you're not allowed to like anything other than rock & roll, the same way, if your a bloke, you're suppose to 'like birds'.
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Re: Rock and roll, lifestyle choices and the working class

Postby PeterC » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:44 pm

Richard Harvey wrote: They buy into the image and fashion of it all.


Exactly. Countless times I've heard 50s fans (I won't call them rock 'n' roll fans) dismiss things such as The Rolling Stones performing Chuck Berry songs as "unauthentic", yet (to them) "True Love Ways" by Buddy Holly is rock 'n' roll... I like them both, but I know which one I would call rock 'n' roll!



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Re: Rock and roll, lifestyle choices and the working class

Postby martin bates » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:43 pm

Richard Harvey wrote:Also, and this might be a bit of a contentious point; but I don't think that many of the rock & roll crowd are actual music fans. They tend to like rock & roll and not much else. They buy into the image and fashion of it all. They'll come out with things like "the Beatles are fuckin' shit". When, even if you don't particularly enjoy the Beatles music, to dismiss them as "fuckin' shit" is ludicrous. It's that same intolerance. When a rockabilly star (I can't remember who), listed classical and swing music in their top ten favourite records in Now Dig This years ago there were letters saying 'such-and-such isn't a real rocker'. It's almost like you're not allowed to like anything other than rock & roll, the same way, if your a bloke, you're suppose to 'like birds'.


I agree completely with that; I don't go to RnR clubs as a matter of routine -only if I'm going to see a particular act, but there must be many activities that attract a particular 'type'. Even so, for people actively homophobic , is it disproportionate on the scene than in the general population ? I don't know. Most people probably do think if you're a bloke you're supposed to like birds -as you put it - but respect other relationships as well. I do think where people react negatively is if it's 'in your face' ( oo, er missus!) ...like I said before , why does it have to be a 'Gay' event & not just a Rock n Roll night ?

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Re: Rock and roll, lifestyle choices and the working class

Postby Richard Harvey » Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:04 pm

martin bates wrote:I agree completely with that; I don't go to RnR clubs as a matter of routine -only if I'm going to see a particular act, but there must be many activities that attract a particular 'type'. Even so, for people actively homophobic , is it disproportionate on the scene than in the general population ? I don't know. Most people probably do think if you're a bloke you're supposed to like birds -as you put it - but respect other relationships as well. I do think where people react negatively is if it's 'in your face' ( oo, er missus!) ...like I said before , why does it have to be a 'Gay' event & not just a Rock n Roll night ?

Martin.


I cut the gay scene a hell of a lot of slack because it's only until relatively recently it's been legal. If they want to have parades and gay clubs and 'shove it in our faces' I think that's pretty much okay because it's a natural reaction to years of victimisation. As a heterosexual man, I don't care to see outwardly flamboyant gayness, but then that's my business to keep away from the parades and events. It's not my business to tell them they shouldn't be doing it because I don't care to see two blokes snogging.

I'd say the R&R scene attracts people who like to think a certain way. 'Old values' perhaps. A British Legion/Working Man's Club type of thing.
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Re: Rock and roll, lifestyle choices and the working class

Postby Richard Harvey » Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:14 pm

martin bates wrote: Even so, for people actively homophobic , is it disproportionate on the scene than in the general population ? I don't know.
Martin.


I was at a music festival last weekend, there were 20,000 there. I could just tell by the newspapers I saw them reading that the vast, vast majority were left wing. And I think people that are interested in the arts generally are. Music fans and certainly musicians, are often open minded sorts. So when I go to a rock & roll evening, (and I don't jive, I don't wear the gear, I only go to see the bands), I'm often struck by what a different crowd it is from other gigs I go to.
For instance, there's folk clubs in almost every large town or city in the UK, just like there are R&R clubs. I bet if you could take a poll, you'd find most people who go to Folk Clubs are left-wingers, and most that go to R&R clubs are right-wingers.

All you'd need to do is say "hands up who reads the Sun". That's usually a good barometer of someone's social conscience.
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