Author Topic: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?  (Read 2002 times)

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #60 on: April 15, 2019, 05:30:08 PM »
my question in reply to your question 'has it ever genuinely spoken for an entire class of people' is 'has anything?'
Can anything, for that matter? Class is one way of categorising people, but it doesn't turn them into an homogeneous mass.

Bingo Fury

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #61 on: April 16, 2019, 01:47:46 PM »
From what I've read of Robin Guthrie in the 4AD biography, it seemed he did (does?) identify as working class.

I used to know his brother, Brian, and yes, definitely.

buzby

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #62 on: April 16, 2019, 02:16:56 PM »
Who are the poshest most upper-class artists in rock/pop? I was going to suggest Bryan Ferry in a lazy knee jerk fashion so Googled him.

Blimey

Ferry was born in Washington, County Durham, into a working-class family (his father, Fred Ferry, was a farm labourer who also looked after pit ponies)
As exellently lampooned in Python 'Working Class Playwright' sketch style by Morton & Death in their Great Pop Things cartoon strip on Roxy Music.

Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #63 on: April 16, 2019, 02:35:36 PM »
Dido wins the least working class name award - Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O'Malley Armstrong - although she's not rock

Her brother is Rowland Constantine O'Malley Armstrong aka Rollo.

Their parents are a publisher and a poet respectively

icehaven

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #64 on: April 16, 2019, 03:34:57 PM »
"authentically" is rather a provocative qualifier, as if there's a proper way to be working-class rather than having parents who were manual workers. You can be socialist working class (Bragg) but you can also be a working-class Tory (Cilla Black). Paul Weller was both at various times. George Harrison was working-class but moaned about paying taxes and went to live in a mansion. Ringo had the most materially deprived Beatle childhood and experienced serious illness.

I also think you can identify with working class culture despite being born middle-class - see Joe Strummer. I wouldn't say he was fake or inauthentic. Lennon was middle-class given that he was raised by a middle-class aunt, but again I think he was sufficiently anti-establishment to be quite authentic, although "Working Class Hero" is bollocks as autobiography.

Nick Drake was definitely not working class but never pretended to be so, nor was he rock as such, but he has value just for being him.

Morrissey had a toe in the middle-class due to his mother being a librarian but his school experiences were working class, his dad was definitely working class, and Morrissey himself left school at 16 and did some very brief working class jobs before going on the dole.

I'm not sure where Scottish musicians fit in like Orange Juice and the Cocteau Twins.

Several of the examples above, and plenty more mentioned in the thread, are why it's a virtually impossible and probably redundant question. In the crudest terms at all there seems to sometimes be an insinuation that regardless of your parent's jobs or bank balance if you're arty or you read a bit and it shows in your material then you must be middle class, unless you make a point of making it known that you aren't (e.g. Mark E Smith, Billy Bragg). Even if your parents worked down a mine or didn't work at all, if you just happen to turn out bookish, stayed on for 6th form or went to the local Poly are you now middle class?

Quote
Morrissey had a toe in the middle-class due to his mother being a librarian

Got to take issue with this too, do you know how little we earn?!! Only kidding, I know what you mean but it's kind of what I was referring to above again, anything book related=must be middle class.

Twed

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #65 on: April 16, 2019, 03:42:56 PM »
My friend's mum was a librarian and he was on free school dinners. Case closed.

gilbertharding

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #66 on: April 17, 2019, 10:25:04 AM »
A person's standing in 'The Class Structure' isn't (only) defined by money in the bank, or income.

Carry on.

Cuellar

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #67 on: April 17, 2019, 10:26:38 AM »
My friend's mum was a librarian and he was on free school dinners. Case closed.

My friend's mum was a libertarian and he was on free school dinners.

Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #68 on: April 17, 2019, 11:36:25 AM »
A person's standing in 'The Class Structure' isn't (only) defined by money in the bank, or income.

Carry on.

It's almost as if the question was ludicrous and ill-defined, and posed purely to provoke ludicrous responses.

thenoise

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #69 on: April 17, 2019, 01:00:29 PM »
Who are the poshest most upper-class artists in rock/pop?

Penny Rimbaud of 'Crass'.

Jockice

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #70 on: April 18, 2019, 06:29:02 AM »
Happy Mondays?

Bez's dad was a pretty high-ranking policeman (who apparently had to arrest his son more than once) and his sister apparently went to Oxford and is now a successful lawyer. Their keyboardist Paul Davis's dad was a cop too. And the differences between the stories Shaun Ryder tells about his early life in his autobiography and what his brother Paul says in that Excess All Areas book about the band are quite marked.

They weren't posh kids or anything but neither were they the authentic voice of the ghetto as some people seem to think.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 08:09:44 AM by Jockice »

Jockice

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #71 on: April 18, 2019, 06:35:09 AM »
Penny Rimbaud of 'Crass'.

Previously known as Jeremy Ratter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HS-mzQl2Ra0

I think he's a great bloke by the way. Was really helpful to me when I did my degree dissertation on the politics of punk.

Jockice

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #72 on: April 18, 2019, 06:47:05 AM »

Sabbath get a pass, though I'm not sure Iron Maiden would with a singer that fences and flies.

The Dickinsons used to live near my girlfriend's (come on, it's the first time I've mentioned her for yonks) family, who are very middle class. I think Bruce's lot were even better off as unlike the ****** kids, him and his sister were privately educated, and didn't have to mix with Hunters Bar rabble like me at school.

gilbertharding

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #73 on: April 18, 2019, 12:40:01 PM »
As exellently lampooned in Python 'Working Class Playwright' sketch style by Morton & Death in their Great Pop Things cartoon strip on Roxy Music.




"You will hev to wah flarred trizzers"

Mr_Simnock

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #74 on: April 18, 2019, 11:04:33 PM »
That cartoon is excellent

gib

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #75 on: April 18, 2019, 11:18:44 PM »
Penny Rimbaud of 'Crass'.

JJ Ratter would have made a much better punk name.

buzby

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #76 on: Yesterday at 12:25:54 AM »
"You will hev to wah flarred trizzers"
Thanks for putting those up! That's the exact phrase that immediately jumps into my mind whenever anyone mentions Bryan Ferry. The strip is also responsible for my use of the phrase 'acoustical guitars' and the acceptance that Newport, Gwent is in fact the centre of the musical universe.
That cartoon is excellent
The whole book is excellent (and can be had  for as little as 1p second-hand on Amazon). The strip was one of my favourite things in late-80s Record Mirror, and then in the NME after it moved there. It's a pity Morton and Death never published a second volume, as there were a load more classic strips that have never been reprinted.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #77 on: Yesterday at 01:05:47 AM »
Who are the poshest most upper-class artists in rock/pop? I was going to suggest Bryan Ferry in a lazy knee jerk fashion so Googled him.

Blimey

Ferry was born in Washington, County Durham, into a working-class family (his father, Fred Ferry, was a farm labourer who also looked after pit ponies)

Nick Drake was very posh.

Gram Parsons (born Ingram Cecil Connor III) came from a wealthy family.

Jim Morrison's dad was an admiral in the US navy.

This conclusively proves that pop/rock musicians with well-off backgrounds are doomed to die at a tragically young age.

Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #78 on: Yesterday at 01:15:00 AM »
yeah Gram Parsons is definitely the one who sticks out as the most obscenely wealthy there, totally pampered trust fund kid who could easily have done absolutely fuck all with his life but chose to make achingly beautiful music instead. king

Phil_A

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #79 on: Yesterday at 01:41:22 AM »
Nick Drake was very posh.

Gram Parsons (born Ingram Cecil Connor III) came from a wealthy family.

Jim Morrison's dad was an admiral in the US navy.

This conclusively proves that pop/rock musicians with well-off backgrounds are doomed to die at a tragically young age.

Sadly this does not apply to any member of Mumford & Sons, who are basically the fucking landed gentry,

Baron von Klaus

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #80 on: Yesterday at 03:23:39 AM »
Not rock music, but outside of classical music I don't think you'll find anyone posher than Basic Channel's Moritz von Oswald, who is a member of the House of Bismarck. Of course, you could never tell to look at him.



(Sorry, Moritz.)


Jockice

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #81 on: Yesterday at 09:45:47 AM »
JJ Ratter would have made a much better punk name.

I thought Penny Rimbaud was a woman for years and years and years.

Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #82 on: Yesterday at 10:11:14 AM »
Who are the poshest most upper-class artists in rock/pop?

Marianne Faithfull is pretty posh isn't she? Her dad was an intelligence officer in the army and her mum was a Baroness. From her Wiki page:

Quote
Faithfull was born in Hampstead, London. Her half-brother is artist Simon Faithfull. Her father, Major Robert Glynn Faithfull, was a British intelligence officer and professor of Italian Literature at Bedford College of London University. Robert Glynn Faithfull's family lived in Ormskirk, Lancashire, while he completed a doctorate at Liverpool University.

Faithfull's mother, Eva, was the daughter of an Austro-Hungarian nobleman, Artur Wolfgang, Ritter von Sacher-Masoch (1875–1953). Eva chose to style herself as Eva von Sacher-Masoch, Baroness Erisso

Faithfull's mother had been born in Budapest and moved to Vienna in 1918. The family of Sacher-Masoch had secretly opposed the Nazi regime in Vienna. Faithfull's father's intelligence work for the British Army brought him into contact with the family, and he thus met Eva, his future wife Faithfull's maternal grandfather had aristocratic roots in the Habsburg Dynasty, while Faithfull's maternal grandmother was Jewish. Eva had been a ballerina for the Max Reinhardt Company during her early years, and danced in productions of works by the German theatrical duo Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill.

Faithfull's maternal great great uncle was Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, whose erotic novel, Venus in Furs, spawned the word "masochism." In regard to her roots in the Austrian nobility, Faithfull discovered on the British television series Who Do You Think You Are? that the title was Ritter von Sacher-Masoch, the relative corresponding English title being that of Baronet, an inherited knighthood.

Baron von Klaus

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Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #83 on: Yesterday at 01:52:44 PM »
Sadly this does not apply to any member of Mumford & Sons, who are basically the fucking landed gentry,

Quite literally in the case of Laura Marling.

Quote
Marling was born in Berkshire, England, the youngest of three daughters. Her mother is a music teacher; her father, Sir Charles William Somerset Marling, the 5th Marling Baronet, ran a recording studio, introduced her to folk music and shaped her musical taste, an experience that Marling later described as, "a bit of a blessing and a bit of a curse. ... [because] I couldn't slot myself into the age-appropriate genre". She learned guitar at an early age.

Marling attended Waverley Primary School in Finchampstead, Berkshire and received a scholarship to attend Leighton Park School, a private Quaker school in Reading, Berkshire. During her secondary school years she felt uneasy around other people and was afraid of death.

After completing her GCSEs at 16, she joined her older sisters and settled in the outskirts of London. She soon joined a cluster of intertwined bands that were drawn to acoustic instruments and tradition-tinged melodies—the group formed a musical movement that was labelled "nu-folk" by the British press. Marling joined the original line-up of indie folk band Noah and the Whale and appears as a background vocalist on their debut album Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down; however, she left the group before the album's 2008 release due to a dissolved relationship with the band's lead singer, Charlie Fink. Marling appeared on The Rakes track "Suspicious Eyes", from the band's 2007 album Ten New Messages, credited as 'Laura Marlin'. Marling would later collaborate with Mystery Jets and contributed guest vocals to the 2008 single "Young Love". Early in her music career, Marling's band included members of the band Mumford & Sons; Ted Dwane, Marcus Mumford and Winston Marshall.

Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #84 on: Yesterday at 01:59:01 PM »
I saw Ray Davies at the Hop farm festival back in 2010, when he shared a bill with Mumford and Sons, Laura Marling and Johnny Flynn. Ray was in a lousy mood that day for one reason or another, and mid-set made a crack about how "I didn't grow up in a sheltered environment, unlike some of the other people on this bill".

Re: Has rock music ever been authentically working class?
« Reply #85 on: Yesterday at 10:49:49 PM »
"authentically" is rather a provocative qualifier, as if there's a proper way to be working-class rather than having parents who were manual workers. You can be socialist working class (Bragg) but you can also be a working-class Tory (Cilla Black). Paul Weller was both at various times. George Harrison was working-class but moaned about paying taxes and went to live in a mansion. Ringo had the most materially deprived Beatle childhood and experienced serious illness.

I also think you can identify with working class culture despite being born middle-class - see Joe Strummer. I wouldn't say he was fake or inauthentic. Lennon was middle-class given that he was raised by a middle-class aunt, but again I think he was sufficiently anti-establishment to be quite authentic, although "Working Class Hero" is bollocks as autobiography.

Nick Drake was definitely not working class but never pretended to be so, nor was he rock as such, but he has value just for being him.

Morrissey had a toe in the middle-class due to his mother being a librarian but his school experiences were working class, his dad was definitely working class, and Morrissey himself left school at 16 and did some very brief working class jobs before going on the dole.

I'm not sure where Scottish musicians fit in like Orange Juice and the Cocteau Twins.

Love George Harrison and own a lot of his solo work, but I could never reconcile the fact he moaned about taxes yet was so spiritual to the point of rejecting materialism.

And Orange Juice are very much middle class - Bearsden, where Edwin Collins is from, is one of the more wealthy areas of Greater Glasgow.