Today’s rockers are as rebellious as Caillou in a cookie factory.
Gone are the days of trashed hotel rooms, button-pushing rhetoric (bigger than Jesus!) and tunes meant to scare Grandma. Modern musicians are social media savvy, cranking out rock designed for easy streaming. If a rocker attempted a protest song today, it might be to praise Dr. Anthony Fauci, the king of medical flip flops.
Rock media is mostly the same, with outlets like Rolling Stone eager to support the status quo.
The Foo Fighters, one of the more respected rock outfits of the past 20 years, performed for President Joe Biden’s recent inauguration. In doing so they celebrated a leader who essentially spent his adult life in government and hasn’t said a peep about Big Tech censorship or recent freedom-snuffing threats.
Fight the power, indeed.
Select members of the old guard, apparently, have had enough of the new woke world. These aging rockers, still going strong despite decades on the road, see the threat to creativity posed by the woke revolution.
Roger Daltrey of The Who made it clear this week he’s no fan of the current climate. His band became famous for smashing guitars and hotel rooms alike. They weren’t role models, nor did they pretend they were. They just delivered decades of vital, ageless rock.
Daltrey shared his scathing thoughts on the woke mob via Zane Lowe’s Apple Music 1 showcase, in between plugs for the reissue of “The Who Sell Out.”
‘It’s just getting harder to disseminate the truth. It’s almost like, now we should turn the whole thing off. Go back to newsprint, go back to word of mouth and start to read books again. ‘I don’t know, we might get somewhere because it’s becoming so absurd now with AI, all the tricks it can do, and the woke generation.’
‘It’s terrifying, the miserable world they’re going to create for themselves. I mean, anyone who’s lived a life and you see what they’re doing, you just know that it’s a route to nowhere.
Daltrey is grateful to have lived during an age when people faced hardships far beyond “microaggressions.”
Elaborating on what he means to have been privileged during a certain time, he told how his generation had ‘came out of a war’, had came out of a ‘levelled society’, lived through socialist governments and added that he’d been to countries at the height of communism.
Daltrey is far from alone, though.
Johnny Rotten, better known today as John Lydon, similarly lashed out at the new woke bylaws. The former Sex Pistols front man, a right-leaning rocker who supported President Trump, critiqued the woke youth in his inimitable fashion.
“These people aren’t really genuinely disenfranchised at all,” said Lydon, 65. “They just view themselves as special. It’s selfishness and in that respect, it’s divisive and can only lead to trouble,” he said.
“I can’t believe that TV stations give some of these lunatics the space,” the “Anarchy In The UK” singer continued.
“Where is this ‘moral majority’ nonsense coming from when they’re basically the ones doing all the wrong for being so bloody judgmental and vicious against anybody that doesn’t go with the current popular opinion?” he asked. “It’s just horribly, horribly tempestuous spoilt children coming out of colleges and universities with s- -t for brains.”
Others with integral ties to punk rock are similarly aghast at the restrictive status quo. Take Don Letts, a musician and videographer for The Clash, who recently warned against the encroaching woke world.
“For artists, the protest song is an increasingly difficult proposition. In a world so woke you can’t make a joke, trying to navigate the minefield of fake news, conspiracy theories and information overload is made even trickier by the fear of being accused of cultural appropriation.”
“In my day, getting into music felt like a rebellious, anti-establishment thing,” he said. “Today, many see it as a way of becoming part of the establishment.”
Recalling how the band “would do things just to piss people off,” Danzig said the song has an attitude of “f*** everybody. F*** you, f*** you, f*** you, f*** the world.”
He then went on to say that he believes that songs of that ilk aren’t possible to create any more. “I don’t think people will ever see anything like it again,” he said. “There won’t be any new bands coming out like that. Now, they will immediately get canceled.
“People don’t understand, because everything’s so cancel-culture, woke bulls*** nowadays, but you could never have the punk explosion nowadays, because of cancel culture and woke bulls***,” he added.
“You could never have it. It would never have happened. We’re lucky it happened when it did, because it’ll never happen again. You won’t have any of those kinds of bands ever again. Everyone’s so uptight and P.C., it’s just like, ‘OK, whatever.’”
Van Morrison didn’t directly address the woke sentiment last year, but he did stand up to what he say as the draconian COVID-19 rules that separated musicians from their fans, among other disruptions. Morrison cranked out a trio of protest songs decrying the lockdowns and their “fascist” agendas. It’s pure punk sentiment that made progressive wokesters recoil.
Nick Cave has been trash talking the woke mindset long before Daltrey or Danzig. Last year, Cave called the woke movement the “unhappiest religion in the world,” one of several digs he’s made against that groupthink.
Not all aging rockers see it that way. Sixty-one year old Michael Stipe of R.E.M. fame recently moaned that social media should have stripped President Donald Trump of his voice long before the platforms did just that.
“It’s so upsetting to me that it took the end of the years of Trump as president for Twitter and Jack Dorsey to finally decide that Trump had said something that was offensive on Twitter, and [his account] needed to be suspended,” he says. “That platform allowed Trump a voice that put wind under his sails, and allowed for the type of disgusting behaviour that earmarks those years, and allowed a pandemic to run ravage across our country and across the world. It’s an embarrassing and horrifying chapter of our history. This stupid male idea of power, it’s so dumb … Americans, you know, we’re particularly good at showing our asses publicly. But when I say we, I mean all of us. We’re better than this.”
Stifling speech is Woke 101.