Author Topic: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?  (Read 2000 times)

Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« on: April 12, 2019, 10:23:05 AM »
Or is it mainly a (lower) middle class thing? In terms of the people making the music?

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2019, 11:01:40 AM »
Surely a lot of Rock N Roll is the product of Class that didn't want to work or couldn't work. Check out The Decline of Western Civilization for evidence on that.

Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2019, 11:07:01 AM »
Are we distinguishing between Rock and Roll and Rock?

Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2019, 11:20:33 AM »
Are we distinguishing between Rock and Roll and Rock?


I'm thinking about the white adoption of rock (and/or roll) from the late '50s onward. And up to the present day. Is rock - and its whimsical sibling pop - mainly created by middle class people? Is there or has there ever been a significant strain of working class rock/pop?

Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2019, 11:29:04 AM »
"Should traffic wardens be armed"

gilbertharding

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2019, 11:44:04 AM »
Let's go for the big ones:

Elvis was a truck driver and his dad was an odd job man. Paul McCartney's mum and dad seem to have been a nurse and a clerk. John Lennon's mum and dad were mainly absent - but his Dad was a merchant seaman. His Aunt Mimi seems to have been 'respectable'. Ray Davies' dad was a slaughterhouse worker. Keith Richards' dad worked in a factory, and his grandparents "more or less created the Walthamstow Labour Party". Freddie Garrity worked as a milkman.

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2019, 11:48:57 AM »
Eh, the early years of british rock n' roll was predominantly working class wasn't it, coming out of skiffle and all that. Offhand I couldn't name a band from that era that was noticeably middle class.

I don't think that class distinction was really evident until much later in the prog era, which, rightly or wrongly, is usually associated with privately educated toffs like Genesis.

gilbertharding

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2019, 11:55:06 AM »
Eh, the early years of british rock n' roll was predominantly working class wasn't it, coming out of skiffle and all that. Offhand I couldn't name a band from that era that was noticeably middle class.


Lots of them started in 'Art School' - which (I think) to us in 2019 seems as if it MUST be middle class. But Art Schools in the 50s and 60s were completely different things: factories for producing commerical artists, draughtsmen, etc. which industry needed in those days.

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2019, 12:26:36 PM »
Tony Iommi worked (and sliced off two of his fingertips) in a factory.

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2019, 12:40:21 PM »
I couldn't name a band from that era that was noticeably middle class.

Post-skiffle/'Larry Parnes' glory era, but a significant chunk of The Zombies line-up comprised former public-school lads.

Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2019, 12:49:24 PM »
In Australia definitely. Listening to meat and potatoes rock is basically a badge of honour amongst working class men out there.

Sin Agog

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2019, 12:53:12 PM »
Was gonna say Garage Rock, but then I remembered that one of the crucial features was owning a garage.

Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2019, 02:23:25 PM »
I think so, definitely. Even before you get into the ins and outs of whether the band and the fan base should be working class, and even what constitutes working class culture, a band like Oasis immediately come to mind that made pretty straight ahead pub rock and attracted swathes of working class people. Even if you are to take the view that the loutish behaviour associated with Oasis is a fairly reductive view of the working class you can immediately look at a band like the Manics who have working class roots and celebrate them.

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2019, 03:47:26 PM »
Aren't the Manic Street Preachers an obvious one?

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2019, 03:52:02 PM »
Are we distinguishing between Rock and Roll and Rock?

Never heard of Roll and Rock.

White rock and roll groups = probably not working class
Black rock and rollers = maybe

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2019, 03:52:37 PM »
Aren't the Manic Street Preachers an obvious one?

Edit. Drummers already mentioned the manics

kngen

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2019, 03:56:38 PM »
Oi was definitely the authentic working-class version of punk rock. Which is why it was so widely derided, I can't help but feel (well, that and the bad racism ...)

Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2019, 04:49:59 PM »
Oi was definitely the authentic working-class version of punk rock. Which is why it was so widely derided, I can't help but feel (well, that and the bad racism ...)
And the shit music.

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2019, 04:53:03 PM »
Happy Mondays?

Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2019, 04:54:22 PM »
JAMC

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2019, 04:55:49 PM »
Was Cobain working class? There was a working class feel about a lot of those Seattle bands back in the 90s.

Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2019, 04:59:23 PM »
I think it was the fact they were making music that made punk sound overproduced.

Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2019, 04:59:33 PM »
JAMC
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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2019, 05:10:05 PM »
The Kooks.

Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2019, 05:19:16 PM »
I'v often heard it said that music generally has shifted towards middle class in recent years but how true is that? perhaps makes sense in some respects, less ability to spend time practicing on the dole, a music business less willing to invest very early meaning cashing cash for decent equipment and early recordings helps a lot.

That Indie documentary on the BBC a year or two ago did really seem to turn very Nathan Barley around the Strokes/Libertines era.

Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2019, 05:19:36 PM »
The Feelgoods seemed to be working class, but Wilko was a graduate working as a teacher and Brilleaux was a solicitor's clerk. Does that make them unauthentic? I think it's more to do with your audience and where you play, rather than where you're from.

Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2019, 05:45:48 PM »
I think it was Bill Drummond that hypothesised the reason (both in the UK and US) Black music is constantly evolving is because working class people are constantly making new genres which then become decimated by the suits in record companies, a bit like a dog chasing after a car. It's also why different generations of white people are fixated on different genres of black music most black people don't listen to any more.

Sin Agog

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #27 on: April 12, 2019, 05:47:43 PM »
The Troggs?

Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2019, 05:49:59 PM »

One of the guys in coldplay worked in Waitrose stacking shelves one summer before he started university.

Sin Agog

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #29 on: April 12, 2019, 05:57:30 PM »
That time I drunkenly wound up doing coke with British Sea Power in some country pile in the middle of nowhere, they all nose-hoovered it up using a ten-pound note, rather than anything bigger.