Monday, November 19, 2007

Bobby Gillespie is a fucking anorak

Bobby Gillespie, former Jesus and Mary Chain drummer, anorak devotee, erstwhile champion of the bowl-haircut, long-time stranger to shampoo and famous fan of Led Zeppelin, wrote of “Zep” in The Observer Music Magazine last week:

“It’s gone that swing and that swagger. The Stones had it and Zep had it. Indie-rock killed it off. All those fucking anoraks with their retarded girlfriends.”

I know Gillespie’s taken some drugs in his time – what else could explain his dancing style of an arrhythmic Mick Jagger fan with no sense of direction caught in a force-10 gale? – but to blame “those anoraks” for killing rock’s swagger is delusional.

Those anoraks are, according to Gillespie, male. The women involved are retards, apparently. Allow me to cast my mind back to August 1989: a small club in Birmingham where Primal Scream, who’ve just started their risible rock phase, are playing the opening night. I’m backstage (Bobby, you won’t remember me, but I was the young lad who asked, “Are you missing Jim Beattie?” and you snorted derisorily, “What do you think?”; I said I thought, in fact, that your songs were far better with Beattie’s contribution) and this couple turns up, him bedecked faithfully in the clothes and hairstyle you sported on the sleeve to Gentle Tuesday.

His retarded girlfriend – quite an attractive young lady, I remember – you took ‘somewhere private’ to be serviced. Very gallant of you rescuing her from that anorak, but sexual exploitation of what you call retards is a criminal offence. But we’ll leave the semantics for another time, perhaps.

The tour was part of the introduction of a new Primal Scream, a proper rock band, a band that wouldn’t be shamed by something like writing decent tunes, but would instead blanket everything with bluster and brawn. Your attempt then to inject that “swing and swagger” into your music was cackhanded at best and embarrassing for the most part. Donning some leather trousers and discarding basic hygiene wasn’t enough to convince anyone: if you were that rock, that dangerous, had any swing or swagger, why didn’t you show it? Because you’re a fraud. You threw fucking sweeties into the crowd that night because you’re a fucking anorak, pal.

Why, Bobby, when you were desperately trying to distance yourself from a few decent singles you’d made in the past, were you woefully reheating The Stooges (in 1989! Everyone had heard it all before, and better, and even then it wasn’t much good)? You failed completely to capture anything of the spirit and zest and manic mayhem of your idols because your music was just a cheap confidence trick.

Your first rock single, Ivy Ivy Ivy, borrowed its title from a song by chamber pop maestros The Left Banke, and its b-side, You’re Just Too Dark To Care, stole its title from a line in Neil Young’s finest effort with Buffalo Springfield, Flying On The Ground Is Wrong.

Not that rock, eh? In fact, pretty much the music that inspires those fucking anoraks you hate (and who hate “Zep”; and, naturally, your clownish self). The same music that used to inspire you but were pretending then, as now, to despise, in fact. Even at 16 I knew from where you’d stolen your source material. The problem was – and still is –that you have such disdain for your audience that you don’t ever think they’re on to you. Most of those fucking anoraks and their retarded girlfriends know that you’re a fucking anorak.

You’d have been on the scrap heap, probably working in Record and Tape Exchange since 1990, had it not been for Andrew Weatherall creating the one album that’s guaranteed you press coverage forevermore. You know that. That’s why all your pronouncements are based on bullying rhetoric rather than informed opinion. How was it you excused the use of the Confederate flag as cover art? Oh yes:
"People think the flag is a symbol for like slavery and racism. But that's not what the Civil War was about. It was about like freedom, you know.”

You told Select in 1994 your worries over Primal Scream’s legacy:
“The only thing I don't want is us to be nailed down as some motherfuckin' curators of some rock 'n' roll fuckin' museum. We love all sorts of music, and I'm glad to turn people on to sounds they've never heard - y'know, go and buy Superfly by Curtis Mayfield, or the Impressions' Greatest Hits, or Culture’s Two Sevens Clash.”

Do I have to point out the irony in that statement? You’re worried about being seen as curators, then immediately impose your rock curatorial bent: being rock curators is what justifies your existence. If you shout your off-the-peg didacticism loud enough from your media-sponsored position of privilege, then enough people will believe it to keep the Primal Scream Travelling Circus on the road.

Also, you patronising little shit, most people will have heard those records you recommend. By the way, Bobby, there are at least three Curtis Mayfield albums you should buy before Superfly; and don’t waste your pennies on an Impressions’ Greatest Hits: there are at least four albums by them that you should own.

The argument that you’re a fraud, a clown, a bully and a fucking anorak is unassailable. I feel, though, that I should introduce some more personal knowledge to the situation to compound your penance:

About 15 years ago you went to bed with a friend’s housemate. It was a shame that your conquest had her period, but she said that you – gallantly, again, I must say – told her to flip over and then proceeded to fuck her up the arse. Unused to such anal attentions, the young lady shat on you.

She later opined about reading an interview with you in which you were asked what the most embarrassing moment of your career was:
“I’m not telling you, but it’s got something to do with excrement.”

Of course, you were asked this some years before you made Country Girl.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

och, ye sassenachs will n'e'e'r ge'it.

Anonymous said...

I don't know who you are, and this is the first blog entry of yours I've ever read, but I already think you're my new hero. Outstandingly eloquent, and bang on!

julian said...

tell it like it is fire escape...can we have more of this please

harveyw said...

Highly entertaining post, Clance. I particularly liked the bit about Bob claiming how open he is to non-rock music, then lists the three most Mojo-friendly black records ever made. Uh, so broad- minded.

Oh & thanks for the Pale Fountains tip-off too.

Anonymous said...

#

I LIKE CUNTY GIRL

#

The Boy and the Cloud said...

thanks!
you just saved the lives many, many people.

x

chris

FireEscape said...

Readers, Chris is referring to something else entirely. He is what doctors would politely describe as "confused" or "overworked".
Chris, I'll see you tomorrow night.

Tim Footman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim Footman said...

Directed here by Alistair @ Unpopular. Magnificent stuff. Gillespie is a historical revisionist to rival Stalin, as witnessed by his ludicrous Greatest Hits package. Yes that's right, Bob, you sprang up from nowhere, fully-formed, with Screamadelica.

Maybe his greatest moment was drumming for the Reids.

ally. said...

i just like laughing at him as he staggers around sainsburys tring to fing the heroin aisle. oh and we he's complaining about the loud music from his local boozer.
wanker.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure there's a scientific formula proving that an increase in Gillespie results in a decrease in Primal Scream's listenability. JAMC are the exception that proves the rule. By the way, I've always been puzzled by the period Kevin Shields was in PS, especially live. Just what did he do when they were playing Rocks etc? And while I'm on it, I'm probably alone here in thinking Mani has now been the only good thing in two wildly overrated bands. Sorry about thar but I had to get it off my chest.

lostmusic said...

Spot on assessment of BobbyG. He was always a sad sack of shit. I too have stories from their MC5 tour of 1989. Mainly involving the rock'n'roll animal that is Bobby - whilst all his band mates partied hard, he was in the kitchen making cheese and tomato sandwiches for all. Rock on.

FireEscape said...

Yes, that was the period when they made a big thing of having foresaken alcohol; backstage they all very pointedly swigged tiny bottles of Britvic 55 orange juice as if - just imagine! - they had gained a reputation for wanton excess (the Sonic Flower Groove era isn't down in rock'n'roll folklore as a byword for excess, as far as I know)

Anonymous said...

You're an arshole, this must have taken you months to write & research this - tell the truth you read it over and over again to yourself & wank off!

Bet it was your girlfriend he shagged up the arse!!!!

Tosser!

Ps, notice that all comments slagging you are removed - what's the matter you can dish it but you canny take it - eh?

FireEscape said...

Fucking hell, who signed your release papers? "Months to write"? It was written in repsonse to an article published a few days before and took me about an hour to write.
I haven't removed any comments. Someone removed his own comment and then reposted.
"Canny"? Stop pretending to be Scottish: it's "cannae". And learn to spell, fuckwit.
No, it wasn't my girlfriend he buttfucked. It was your mum. Now fuck off.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you've been Bobsessed since 1989 - let it go you fucking anorak!

from what I understand you've been holding a grudge since the Birmingham gig 19 years ago because Bobby "didnae" want to talk to you & shagged the retard you fancied at the gig!!

Ps, didnae realise the word cannae aka canny was in the dictionary - and you're calling me a fuck wit!!!

You're the middle aged loser posting blogs about Bobby Gillespie

FireEscape said...

1. I have never been obsessed with Gillespie.
2. He was quite happy to talk to me and other people who were there.
3. I do not hold a grudge against him. He is just one of many rock musicians I find ridiculous.
4. Cannae is not "aka canny". Cannae is Scots slang for cannot; canny means shrewd or astute.
5. Are all Primal Scream fans this fucking stupid?
6. Yes. Now fuck off, retard, you are stupid enough to have Gillespie to take you up the shitter.

Robert Tatler said...

Fucking wankers. Bobby Gillespie is about the only current rock n roll star Britain has at the moment.
Rock stars are supposed to sleep with obscene amounts of women and slag off other bands-Get over it, you indie pansies.

FireEscape said...

Fucking wanker. Gillespie is a charlatan, a bad joke bought only by the gullible and a crude facsimile of hackneyed notions of what a rock star should be. Now fuck off, you tasteless cunt.

Robert Tatler said...

Name me one decent indie tune of the last 5 years. In fact, make that one tune, in general. Rock n Roll may be crude, but it conveys more emotion and soul than this clever bollocks we have today. It's like prog all over again-musicians being too up themselves and trying to be too clever, when you only need three chords and some fucking emotion. And don't call me a c***, you disrespectful idiot.

FireEscape said...

I didn't say rock'n'roll was crude: I said Gillespie was a crude facsimile...What this comments thread has shown is that PS fans are thick. It's also shown that PS fans are gullible because they know so little about music. You illustrate your problem by thinking "indie" is that soulless stadium rock propagated by the majors. It's not and it never was. From the past 12 months, try The High Water Marks, Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring, The Strange Idols, Edwyn Collins, The Fischers, Pet Politics, The Bridge Gang, The Old House, The Loungs, Agent Simple, Arms, Eight Legs, Zoey Van Goey, Lacrosse, The Soundcarriers, I’m From Barcelona, Wake The President, Douglas Armour, Euros Childs and the Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, for example. There are many, many more. And don't call me an idiot, you thick cunt.

Robert Tatler said...

I don't think I shall waste any more of my time on you. If you use words like that, and have the cheek to call others thick, then you don't deserve it. Grow up, and get over yourself.

FireEscape said...

Excellent! The immature troll has gone. He was too thick to mount a decent argument. See ya!

Richard said...

I met Bobby Gillespie once at a Razorcuts rehearsal (I used to be in Razorcuts, for my sins: in fact, that was the actual reason I was in them)& he was nice as pie. Of course, it depends which pie you like. He was awestruck by the fact that I had a much cooler record collection than him. A harmless little bloke, I thought. But of course that doesn't mean his music's any cop. Just because someone does music you like (or likes the same music as you), does that mean you get on with them? And just because someone's a nice person, does that mean they do or like great music?

FireEscape said...

Richard - no, I don't think shared music taste is a guarantee of friendship, or that fans of the same music will all be similarly attuned in other ways.

One thing indiepop has done is to collapse the divide between artist and audience; while this has created a friendly, open-door system, it has also exposed the lie that shared music taste must equal compatible personalities. There are a lot of indiepop fans, many of whom don't even like the same two bands as their best mate. Which reminds me, the missus is going to buy the Vampire Weekend album this week...

If I only like people who like the same music as I do, it'd be a lonely old life. Er, a number of friends are in bands, with varying degrees of artistic success. They do like good music; they don't necessarily make good music.

dance said...

Clance, I think you should know Bobby is the 'official' speaker in PS but he's always spoken in the band's name. he hasn't got an ego actually, you should read more interviews especially from the past, not the only ones you chose to target and (wrongly) pointed fingers at. considering PS Bobby's creature is totally wrong as we all know he's the singer while Andrew's always been the brain behind the band, Bobby never claimed to be PS' source of music or whatever you believe.
and seriously, the dude may have said countless bullshits but he's always been totally honest. ridiculous maybe (for you and for others), but honest. and quoting some records you think come after others doesn't mean he is not aware of them.. or have you personally checked his collection? no offence but I think you should make up your mind and then come with a serious point instead of being so nasty.

neko s. said...

Mainly involving the rock'n'roll animal that is Bobby - whilst all his band mates partied hard, he was in the kitchen making cheese and tomato sandwiches for all.

Somebody's gotta do it, eh? He's just being a good friend and not letting his friends starve. Oh my, the nerve!

3. I do not hold a grudge against him. He is just one of many rock musicians I find ridiculous.

Y'know what? He'd find it ridiculous as well. (was trying to find the right quote but couldn't).

What did you all think of Beautiful Future?

me said...
This comment has been removed by the author.