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Demon forum / COPYRIGHT, CONTRACTS, AND OTHER HUMAN ERRORS (A PRELUDE)
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Steve Watts 14
13 posts
Reg: 1/6-12
Posted: 2013-04-12 09:47   » Website
Hello - Steve Watts here...

Well - I'm sitting outside the "Staff Of Life" pub again. It's lunchtime; winters' still gripping the countryside; the early spring lambs are mewling, and Margaret Thatcher has just died.

I was going to write a long overdue blog entitled, "Copyright, Contracts, and Other Human Errors" but that will now have to wait until next month, Although I'll try to make this months blog, a prelude to that, it seems that Margaret Thatcher's death has taken president. Love her or loath her, you certainly can't ignore her, it's certainly interesting to listen to peoples speculations on her "enduring legacy".

Whilst detractors bemoan her almost pathological intent to deconstruct just about everything in sight, her supporters rally around her ashes and consider the small amount of approximation of Ten Million hard-earned pounds befitting for her "State" funeral: irony indeed for the "Iron Lady".

So what does this have to do with Demon?

Quite a lot actually, since the 1980's incarnations of the band all grew up, operated, and tried our best to survive as working Musicians throughout her legacy of Privatisation, dismantlement of the Trade Unions, the Miners strike, the Falklands War, brown-nosing Conservative America, ignoring the European Union, mass-unemployment, her absolute denial of Society, potential Nuclear War, industrial decommission, and of course, the birth of the "Yuppie" and the notion that all life should be managed and lived as an exercise in economics.

Even our children's education has become an exercise in target-driven, corporate economics due to her enduring "legacy" (more on that particular thorn in a later blog).

Clearly then - I'm not a fan... and although I wont be throwing any impromptu street parties in celebration of her demise, I don't think I'll be attending the parade to St.Paul's Cathedral either.

Back in 1982, as a seventeen year old budding Musician, I sat and watched the British task force set sail for the Falkland Islands on TV whilst Dave and Mal must have been plotting the concept for the third Demon album "The Plague" and of course, signing on the Dole.

I can't say I was particularly politically savvy back then. I watched our headlong charge against the Argentinean's with detached teenage ambivalence, and considered the full-colour spread of The Union Jack printed on the front page of "The Sun" with the headline

"SUPPORT OUR BOYS!"

(the paper encouraged everyone to cut this out and put on display in their front windows) with total bemusement.

I was more interested in Art; Music; mind-altering substances; and Linda Lucardi's ample chest displayed on Page 3 frankly.

Then things got worse. The rich got richer, the poor poorer.

Alan Bleasdale's "The Boy's From The Blackstuff" had earlier, brilliantly depicted the decline of the working classes from Labour's disastrous last few years towards the rise of Thatcherism. By 1982, we had over 3 Million unemployed, whilst the News depicted "The City" reveling in self-indulgence and the striking Miners and struggling Unions as embattled luddites.

Images of young children screaming "SCUM!" to those men brave or foolish enough to cross the picket-lines to keep their own children from starving, burned into the consciousness of the population.

Punk became the dominant voice in music whilst Heavy Metal morphed on the crest of a new wave. Progressive Rock, now considered self-indulgent egotism, mired itself in the narrow confines of AOR or buried itself in nostalgia.

Our hero's returned from the South Atlantic in triumph, with that small bastion of our remaining empire intact whilst Simon Western's dissolved face appeared everywhere as a timely reminder of heroism and sacrifice. Our special relationship with Ronald Reagan grew and grew ever stronger against an ever increasingly frightening threat (we were told) from the Russian Bears armed nuclear warheads.

Then "The Final Cut" came out.


"Oh Maggie...what have we done?"


Enduring images remain of this period. Apart from the ones already mentioned, one is of splitting up with my then girlfriend - now a celebrated Marine Biologist (I really don't need to mention that, I'm just proud of her) and drowning my sorrows in Pink Floyd's new album night after night.

Another is of sitting on a railway bridge in Stoke, after a night out with a friend, Lynn (she of the famous huge "pink painted penis" story! See my blog IT'S WHAT WE ALL WANT...IT'S WHAT WE'RE ALL AFTER... from April 2011 for further details), trying to console her after terrifying herself that we were all going to soon die in a nuclear holocaust. Yes - we actually thought it could happen. The then Thatcher government posted leaflets into our letterboxes to inform us all that should this potentially happen, we should prepare by painting our windows white and hiding in our make-shift shelters; make sure we have lots of tinned corned beef, and a litter tray in case we needed a poo.

The bleeding heart liberals suggested we all sit down and have a good chat about things instead. One of these (the Floyd's Roger Waters) also composed the soundtrack to the devastating animated film version Raymond Briggs' anti-war graphic novel "When the Wind Blows".

Arthur Dent's enduring phrase from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

- "Well this is it then...we're all going to Die!" summed up the helplessness...

Meanwhile, Dave and Mal tried their best to depict this perceived social dystopia in 1983's "The Plague" - likening its current state to that of The Black Death and also by then, we had all worked out nifty ways to sign on, claim Housing Benefit and work hard-slog jobs for peanuts whilst trying to carve a career in the Music Industry.

We did what we had to do to survive - we were extremely lucky in many respects:

1) We didn't actually end up getting vaporised.

2) We had a Social Security safety net.

3) We were bloody minded/egotistical/nihilistic enough to believe that what
we were doing was actually important.

4) Some of us have actually managed to carve a reasonable, albeit modest
career for ourselves, and survive a morally dysfunctional society and
certainly a morally corrupt music industry; and I use the words "morally
corrupt" because yes, I am one of those bleeding heart liberals that deep
down believe that underneath all the bullshit, we human beings
instinctively know the difference between right and wrong...regardless
of our inherited hypocrisies.


"In the bottom of our hearts we felt the final cut"


Anyway...rant over...and what the hell does this all have to do with Demon anyway?

Well - the music industry is a bit like a high-powered pressure cooker, microcosm of a once again, very Conservative society. A kind of highly dysfunctional family gathering on one of those endless Christmas Day's that you just wish would fucking end but you've consumed so much alcohol and pudding that you feel so deliriously numb that you really can't be arsed to do much about it.

By the time you've recovered; blearily re-discovered your very in the red bank balance, and had one of those enormous dumps that relieve you of your festive excesses...its all way too late!

Or is it?

You know...I've always wanted to end a blog on that old cliché

To be continued...

Steve Watts 11: 04: 13

Next Transmission: 11: 05: 13
[Edited 2013-04-12 12:32]

Steve Watts 14
13 posts
Reg: 1/6-12
Posted: 2013-04-12 12:33   » Website
Ps.

I thought it fitting that this months track of choice should be

"Through These Eyes"

It adequately depicts the times around which it was written and sums up this prelude rather well I think.

More on this song; deceptive Music Business practices, and the death of Margaret Thatcher next month.

Enjoy!

Space Dog
Barmstedt
195 posts
Age: 52 years
Reg: 3/5-06
Posted: 2013-04-12 23:46   » Email
Okay , it has been a long time i had been kept quiet to this ugly debate, but meanwhile i am terribly annoied by all these bloody posts got nothing to do with the band.
What has Miss Thather got to do with Demon? What has Steve Watts`comments have got to do with Demon? What has got North Corea got to do with Demon? Is this band responsible for every shit that happens on earth?
If you think so pay for that and we will have a new Demon record every month without a sheikh intervention.We´re not a football club, are`nt we?
So simply get on what you are doing and how you are doing it. Some of us would have expected some more, but at least we are happy you are esxisting.
MANNIN
ISLE OF MAN
19 posts
Reg: 10/11-12
Posted: 2013-04-13 00:23
steve your summing up of thather is good, she was a disgrace to britain . her view was im alright jack, unfortunately that persists toi this day.it is valid on this site as this band lived through her polices. Sad Sad Smile

Giles
Cheshire
746 posts
Reg: 5/5-06
Posted: 2013-04-15 09:06
I think Margaret Thatcher has EVERYTHING to do with Demon; it is/was her "philosophy" (hate to use that word where politics is concerned as politics is superficial and lacking wisdom in the grand scheme of what should really be human reform before political reform) that seemed to drive Dave Hill lyrically and indeed was behind, in my opinion, the ethos behind the band's actions that for, as far as I can tell, manifested in the band's almost deliberate abstention of what one would call the normal "rock band route".

Giles
Cheshire
746 posts
Reg: 5/5-06
Posted: 2013-04-15 10:08
..having said that, fair play to Demon - they NEVER sold out.
Toirdealbach
Birmingham
32 posts
Reg: 2/2-09
Posted: 2013-04-15 12:10
Space Dog wrote:
Okay , it has been a long time i had been kept quiet to this ugly debate, but meanwhile i am terribly annoied by all these bloody posts got nothing to do with the band.
What has Miss Thather got to do with Demon? What has Steve Watts`comments have got to do with Demon? What has got North Corea got to do with Demon?

You forgot one! what has "another kind of success" got to do with Demon?

Giles
Cheshire
746 posts
Reg: 5/5-06
Posted: 2013-04-15 13:03
Now come one, you KNOW that "off topic" and "unrelated to Demon" are terms only reserved for Mr Steve Watts here! Razz

Topics such as 'Tescos', 'Black Sabbath questionnaire' and 'Best riding music' are perfectly Demon-related of course!!! Razz Wink

Nice blog Steve; informative, interesting, well written and Demon-relevant! Even if only I think so.
[Edited 2013-04-15 13:11]
NP: Everything is broken - Roger Taylor
Toirdealbach
Birmingham
32 posts
Reg: 2/2-09
Posted: 2013-04-15 19:13
Steve Watts Wrote: Margaret Thatcher's death has taken president
This could confuse a silly person! Interesting blog as always. Cannot believe aunty beeb wouldn't play "The Witch is Dead" but plays the pro Thatcher song. And then has the nerve to show an undercover programme about a dictatorship.

Space Dog
Barmstedt
195 posts
Age: 52 years
Reg: 3/5-06
Posted: 2013-04-16 08:32   » Email
Toirdealbach:

Sorry, you are right. I´ve got to apologize Embarassed

Giles
Cheshire
746 posts
Reg: 5/5-06
Posted: 2013-04-16 10:37
Cannot believe aunty beeb wouldn't play "The Witch is Dead"


Maybe because it is sick?? There is never a reason to celebrate the death of a human being unless they are properly evil (like Hitler) - and before you start about her being evil - NO, Politics is human opinion, NOT wisdom, it is a divergent problem, and no political ideology can claim to have any monopoly on truth. Don't make your philosophy partisan and then spit venom on those that don't share your personal opinion and worldview. It's opinions. You don't like her, hate her even, you may even be glad she is no longer around but don't celebrate a death, that is disgusting.
[Edited 2013-04-16 10:44]

Giles
Cheshire
746 posts
Reg: 5/5-06
Posted: 2013-04-16 10:41
..and before anyone starts, I'm not getting into a political debate about the 'crimes' of Maggie - the death of anybody should be respected, let her rest in peace.
Toirdealbach
Birmingham
32 posts
Reg: 2/2-09
Posted: 2013-04-16 14:02
Giles

It was tongue-in-cheek, as was my reply to Space Dog. My point being: If they didn't want to play the song because of what it stands for, then why play the pro (rival) one? As it does the same thing: Brings the issue to the public. And, of course, the implication the Beeb are acting like a dictatorship while at the same time they report on one - N Korea, was also tongue-in-cheek. Still, for the record I, too, think it is distasteful.

In the past it has taken very little to get a song banned. The DJ Mike Read had the song Relax banned because it offended him! There were no complaints from the public at the time. But, even though the song was banned from general play it was still played during the official top 40 rundown.
[Edited 2013-04-16 15:43]

GOUDG
Kidsgrove Stoke On Trent Staffordshire England
339 posts
Age: 54 years
Reg: 8/5-06
Posted: 2013-05-11 06:31   » Email
Arent we forgetting something here or haven't some of us listened to the plague album it was written in the thatcher years and themed on that hence the title and the words in the title track. So yes in a way this is relevant to Demon for that reason
[Edited 2013-05-11 06:31]
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