I for one am not mourning the passing of “The Word” magazine. It might have gone out on a relatively high note with the August issue, and its appreciative – and revealing – piece on The Cure. But even here, it’s apparent, that this is a vile and pernicious right-wing magazine.
We should have expected nothing less from David Hepworth. Author of such Q magazine classics as the astoundingly ignorant “Up The Hill Backwards” piece on Genesis (August 1987 issue) and the equally absurd reviews of King Crimson and Public Image Ltd earlier that year.
One of the authors of the unforgivable mid ’80s “Rock on Compact Disc” tome. If you don’t remember it, it was a bit like this:-
“the Sex Pistols were worthless, and Chris Spedding played all their guitar because they couldn’t; the Velvet Underground were worthless, and shock! horror! their feedback was atonal and vocals less than on-pitch; Joy Division were worthless, and shock! horror! their singer was often off-pitch; Simon and Garfunkel’s 1966-8 albums were worthless, full of bad “sixth-form poetry” (whereas BOTW at least had “proper tunes”); early Roxy Music is worthless, all tuneless singing and chaotic noise, obviously they couldn’t play their instruments (whereas Avalon, that’s good, they’ve mastered their craft there) … Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, the Genesis of Invisible Touch (rather than Nursery Cryme) – that’s “proper sensible grown-up pop music””
That’s David Hepworth. And nothing’s changed. For “The Word” he penned equally atrocious editorials claiming, in (literally) so many words, that, amongst other things:
(a) `all consciously “serious” songwriting is in fact self-indulgent rubbish (the August 2012 issue) – we don’t want to hear about your problems, Kevin Rowland et al, we want to be entertained: that is your function.’
(b) `all musicians who are unwilling to play the “pop” game are being pretentious, and misanthropic, and ensuring that their music will never be heard by anyone other than those immature “students”. Be Matt Cradle, don’t be Biffy Clyro (“whoever heard of them before he covered their song”), appear on reality TV, talentshows and gameshows, keep your songs short and make sure they’re produced and arranged for Radio One, because anything else is elitist…’
(c) naturally he also has repeatedly damned, at length, Radiohead and everyone else who continues making music whilst having the decency to face up to the fact that they do not have the right to make a living from it. He cannot comprehend that the public have finally seen “copyrighting” and “intellectual property” as the insults and infringements of freedom-of-speech that they are, and are agitating against them, by filesharing, streaming and burning down the PIAS building.
I shouldn’t need to point out that the aforementioned opinions can only be small symptoms of Mr Hepworth’s right-wing disease.
What is he cursing? Music that’s good for the brain, music that makes you think. What is he advocating aesthetically? Music that anaesthetizes you, makes you passively accepting of any abuse the powermongers inflict on you (powermongers ranging from Westminster and Washington, to the UN and IMF, to Universal Music Group and Sony). Those who try to introduce some decency and morality into the creativity world – by giving their music away for free – he sees as plague-carriers.
And so he should – there is a cultural/philosophical war being waged against his sort, and about flippin’ time three!