Sorry Johnny Marr, You Can’t Choose Who Likes The Smiths

It seems Johnny Marr doesn’t want fans who aren’t in complete agreement with his political views. Now, I should probably make it clear: I love The Smiths, and I’m no Tory. But this? This is pathetic:

Oh, you forbid him Johnny? You forbid him? I had forgotten that incident when we elected you emperor of the music industry. Thank God you took to Twitter to remind us because obviously members of the Conservative Party should be banned from listening to popular music as they’ll get their dirty footprints all over it.

There’s a long history of this tosspottery by musos. They want the cash and the right to choose who buys their records and comes to gigs. It’s a kind of reverse classism. Paul Weller moaning on that he doesn’t want diddy David Cameron to misunderstand ‘The Eton Rifles’ was a recent example.

Then there’s the bands who get all uppity when they get mainstream success. It’s fine when the hipsters are lightly tickling their balls but when the Tesco CD buyers jump on board bands get self-righteous.

Kurt Cobain devoted almost the entire ‘Incesticide’ liner notes to decrying the idiots who’d picked up on the band when ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ catapulted them into the big leagues.

At least Kurt had a more specific point to make than Johnny Marr. His problem was with bigots liking his music. He expressed that point pretty clearly: “At this point I have a request for our fans. If any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of different colour, or women, please do this one favour for us, leave us the fuck alone! Don’t come to our shows and don’t buy our records.”

But the trouble with your little strop Johnny, is that it is petty. It’s about party political point scoring. I’m sure Ill get hammered by people for defending Tories (it’s like saying you’re a big fan of Hitler’s paintings), but when you make a song and put it out into the world, you don’t get to choose who likes it.

Even if one of those fans is David Cameron, a political potato with a face scrawled on it.