Martin Gore. 32 years into his career, officially sanctioned “weirdo”. Image via tumblr.
Do you remember those heady days when musicians were renowned for making ill advised, controversial and frequently stupid remarks? When the whole point of joining a band was to make music that would prompt teenagers to festoon themselves in crushed velvet and cover their walls with posters of androgynous young men with unacceptable haircuts and the kind of mutinous expressions usually worn by young offenders?
Those bands, when they weren’t having near death experiences or splitting up over musical differences would write lyrics that scared the shit out of middle-class suburban parents who would become convinced that their once delightful and cheery child was on the verge of suicide and hammer on the bedroom door at frequent intervals, just to check?
We, of course, never answered. We were too busy giving birth to our existential crises.
Cheap shot? Image via jamietuohy.com.
Today, existential crises have fallen out of favour. Teenagers no longer ponder the meaning of life in the their bedrooms but stare at photos of the prettiest boys and girls, dreaming one day that they will be plucked from obscurity and seduced by the puppet of their choice. The puppets, selected especially for their strong bone structures, good teeth and lustrous hairdos, are carefully trained to keep their mouths shut, their fans in a constant state of breathless anticipation and, most importantly, when exactly to step off a stool to maximise the impact of a key change.
I try not to advocate stupid, off the cuff remarks involving guns. Not even when they’re from Martin Gore, whose perfect soundscapes carried me through my darkest moments and hinted that if I was prepared to look for it, there was a whole other world out there for me to explore. Not even when they’re about Simon Cowell, who pretty much invented the shiny, polished, lip-synced world of pop, where everyone pretends to be so nice and loving and accessible even though quite clearly they’re just as shitty, pompous and disrespectful as they ever were.
But my god. If anyone deserves to be called out for their crimes against music it’s Simon Cowell, whose desire to homogenise all music into a generic, moneyspinning, non-threatening thrum, has enveloped him to the point where he is completely impervious to reason, logic, and the irony of his situation.
At least we can assume that’s the case. He probably thinks he’s the first person ever to call Gore a weirdo.