Bryan Ferry: Art Lover

It is always a shock to find your idol has feet of clay – or, in this case, fascist toes in a pool of slime. Not that Ferry was ever a real favourite of mine but he first came to notice when I was in my early twenties and he was from the same place as me, at a time when rock and roll was synonymous with anti-establishment mores. And he managed one or two creditable tracks in that cool talking – not singing – way of his. Next he spawned an idle-rich kill-the-beast fox hunting son. Now, he outs himself (apart from that ‘style-period’ of moustache and Stormtrooper gear) as a Nazi sympathiser. Well, he says, that’s not being fascist, he is merely recognising the quality of the art produced by that period of incalculable obscenity against Jews, the disabled, Gypsies and virtually anyone non-Aryan.

I suppose I can call Ferry, legitimately, a Geordie twat, since I grew up in the Blaydon of races fame, rather as Lenny Bruce could castigate fellow Jews without ever being called an anti-Semite.

There appears to be a gruesome cycle for us war babies. We more or less bred a constant stream of explosive and self-imploding rock stars who lived out for us the worst excesses of our fantasies; idols who seemed anti-establishment, young, couldn’t-care-a-fuck and were definitely like us. Now, many of them take gongs from the Queen, spout right-wing vacuities, and defecate on those once-shared dreams.

The ones who have mostly survived this grotesquely lickspittle u-turning are, ironically, the ones who died mid-rock-coitus.

Yet, even their graves are desecrated and pillaged by baby-faced admen and women who use their anthems of ecstasy and despair to sell anything from sleek cars to banking services.

Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty be warned. Your society needs you. For good and ill.

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