Rock and Roll vs. Politics

Brian Jones at the Monterey Pop Festival, 1967Bands catch a lot of flack these days for making half-baked, inarticulate political statements. It’s always fun to poke fun at dopey rock stars, I guess, but I just read a great quote in MOJO by Brian Jones from January, 1967:

“Our real followers have moved on with us, and they are questioning some of the basic immoralities which are tolerated in present-day society — the War in Vietnam, the persecution of homosexuals, the illegality of abortion and drug taking. All these things are immoral. We are making our own statement. Others are making more intellectual ones.”

We shouldn’t expect musicians to make air-tight political arguments. Leave that to the activists and intellectuals. But it’s great that they make their own statements, whether overtly political or not. There are many ways to subvert the system.

Kind of funny (and by funny I mean extremely disappointing) that 40 years after Brian Jones said that, we’re still basically fighting against those exact same immoralities…

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