It’s been a busy few weeks for petitions, between the 125,000 who took to change.org to register their anger at Kanye’s Glastonbury booking to the similarly sizeable chunk of the British petrol-head public who apparently think it’s perfectly reasonable for Jeremy Clarkson to thump a co-worker in the head unprovoked. The anti-Yeezy campaign isn’t the only petition to hit the music world over the last couple of years, though. Here’s some of the weirdest and most memorable, from LCD Soundsystem’s attempt to musicalise New York metro turnstiles to a campaign to honour the horse that kicked N-Dubz’ Dappy in the head…
‘Don’t let Nickel back’, a campaign to stop Nickelback playing in London: In 2014, music fan Craig Mandell set up a Kickstarter for fellow Londoners hoping they could pay the Canadian band to stay away from the capital. 60 people threw their weight behind the effort, donating £228. “I hope the money goes to charity, not in the guy’s pocket,” said Chad Kroeger, describing it as “hilarious.”
Erect statues of Lemmy and Slash in Stoke-on-Trent: Gravel-throated Motorhead bassist Lemmy was born in Burslem, not far from where Guns N’ Roses axeman Slash, it might surprise you to learn, grew up. This was all the reason Staffordshire University graduate Nile Plumb needed to demand statues be erected. His petition drew over 5000 supporters but was ultimately denied.
Get Bono to ‘retire from public life’: This petition was set up on the campaign site thepoint.com back in 2008. The aim was simple: stop the “self-righteous” U2 man from “leading misguided counter-productive philanthropy efforts” by forcing him into early retirement. As anyone who’s checked their iPod recently will tell you, the Irishman did not heed the call of the thousands who signed.
Make New York’s subway turnstiles musical:
At a loose end since disbanding the mighty LCD Soundsystem, James Murphy launched a petition last year after NYC transport officials turned his proposal to do away with the boring bleeps of the city’s subway system and replace with electronic sounds that form to create melodies. Cool, right?
Deport Justin Bieber and revoke his green card: “We would like to see the dangerous, reckless, destructive and drug abusing, Justin Bieber deported and his green card revoked,” read a proposal on the White House website from disgruntled citizens fed up with the Canadian’s bratty behaviour. 273,968 signatures later, the Obama administration are still refusing to comment on the petition.
Get Jimmy Page to perform with Run the Jewels:
Organisers of the Field Day festival have started a petition this month to unite hip-hop pair El-P and Killer Mike and Jimmy Page on stage after they met at this year’s NME awards. We’re hoping for a crazy mash-up of Led Zeppelins ‘Black Dog’ and Run the Jewels ‘Oh My Darling (Don’t Cry)’. Petition signatures: 440
Offer Weezer $10million to split up:
James Burns must really hate Weezer. The petition he started in 2010 hoped to reach $10million donations to allow the LA rock band to pack up their instruments and disappear for good. Burns wrote “I beg you, Weezer, take our money and disappear.” “If they can make it to 20m, we’ll do the breakup” said drummer Patrick Wilson. Money raised: $350 dollars.
Make R Kelly’s ‘Ignition’ the USA national anthem:
This campaign was launched in 2013 on the White House petitions sub-site and managed to get 12,295 signatures. It asked that the “Obama administration recognise the need for a new national anthem, one that even a decade after its creation, is still hot and fresh out the kitchen.”
Petition signatures: 12,395
Reward horse that kicked Dappy with an ‘Outstanding Contribution To Music’ gong at the Brit Awards:
Dappy was left hospitalised after a horse kicked him in the face in 2013, and 9,121 supporters of the petition believed the animal deserved an award for its efforts. They said the horse “had performed a public service and should be recognised.”
Get Beyonce and Jay Z to comb their daughter Blue Ivy’s hair:
The ‘comb her hair’ petition launched on change.org by Jasmine Toliver was supposed to be a joke, but then 5,758 members of the hair police got involved and things got serious. The campaign says “it’s disturbing to watch a child suffering from a lack of hair moisture.” Hmm.
Have Weird Al Yankovic headline the Super Bowl halftime show:
Ed Ball started an online campaign in 2014 to get Weird Al the halftime headline slot at the Superbowl, “I drunkenly submitted (hence the bad grammar, no proofreading) this petition,” said Ball in a comment on change.org. The petition has near to 130,000 signatures, proof that drunken ideas are always the best ideas.
Ban Metallica from playing Glastonbury festival:
A petition to remove an artist’s headline slot? Sounds familiar. In 2014 Richard Fraser set up the Facebook page ‘remove Metallica from Glastonbury Festival for their support of Bear Hunting.’ 25K people who supported the campaign on 38degrees.org were angry because of frontman James Hetfield’s association with the killing of brown bears.