Friday, 12 October 2007

Letter to The Times re Radiohead

From The Times
October 12, 2007

Fake plastic gesture

Radiohead seem oblivious to the bewilderment people feel when lectured on the evils of a capitalist marketplace


Although I am a Radiohead fan and respect them a great deal musically, their anti-capitalist, anti-consumerist posturing is nauseating (report , Oct 11). Of course they are all very talented and hard-working musicians, but it was the promotional, marketing and manufacturing might of a private company that, over the past decade, enabled this talent to reach a mass market, and so make the band huge sums of money.
I would take multimillionaires such as Radiohead, Chris Martin from Coldplay, Bono et al more seriously if they were to say they have already made enough money, and therefore will be releasing all future recordings completely free while encouraging fans to donate money to charity, rather than pay for a £40 deluxe box set which looks timed to fit in with the festival of consumerism that is Christmas.
Successful artists of all genres seem oblivious to the bewilderment that ordinary people feel when lectured on the evils of the capitalist, consumerist marketplace by people who have made huge sums in it.

John Slinger


  1. Where and when did this lecturing take place?

  2. Perhaps "lecturing" is a littler harsh. A common theme of much of their lyrics from The Bends onwards....Fake Plastic Trees. Street Spirit. Planet Telex. Paranoid Android. Let Down. Kid A....
    Basically the message is that the modern world is soulless, consumerism is bad, technology is threatening.
    All messages I have some sympathy with. It's just a little ironic, isn't it. The lyrics paint a dystopian vision, but it is one, nonethelss which has probably made them into multi-millionaires, increasingly via the evil web!
    They're one of my favourite bands, by the way. And I'm sure they're great chaps.


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