Saturday, 6 January 2018

About A Girl

There are only three things in the world that I hate, and one of them is Bono.

The tax-dodging crooner recently commented that music has become too "girly", proving once again that no amount of philanthropy can offset being a cunt.

Not only does this comment seem strange coming from a man whose own music is so bland, I also think Bono is harking back to a time that never really existed. I'm going to use words like "girly" and "manly" not because I think they mean anything but in order to address this topic using Bono's terminology. Or Bonology.

As long as there's been rock music, there's been "girly" rock music. And that's pretty much what's made it good. The Rolling Stones were one of the first great rock bands, but were they particularly "manly"? Mick Jagger was a slinky dancer with maracas. Keith Richards was wearing his girlfriends' clothes. I'm not saying this undermines their masculinity in any way, I'm saying the idea that rock music was ever macho is a myth. They were popular because they appealed to everybody.

Maybe he means hard rock. But Kiss wear ridiculous make-up and Led Zeppelin songs are all about Lord of the Rings. After racking my brains for a manly rock band all I can come up with is Steppenwolf, and that's just because I only know the one song and it's about motorbikes.

The band Bono uses to illustrate his point is Pearl Jam, as though long hair, plaid shirts and singing about emotions is the height of testosterone. If you can't see the femininity in grunge then you might consider removing your fucking sunglasses.

Kurt Cobain was a poetry-writing kid who became seriously depressed when his music gained popularity among the kind of jocks who used to beat him up because he didn't meat their standards of masculinity.

I think this is why I find Bono's comment so offensive. It's indicative of a small-minded attitude, a kind of dogma that seems antithetical to a genre that I love for its inclusiveness. But I'm not sure Bono understands rock music. Which explains why he's so shit at it.