Prince Bored Me Rigid

The weirdo recluse pop genius was a girls’ idea of what rock music ought to sound like – an act of debauched sexual communion.

Photo: Getty

I saw Prince play once. I was bored rigid but couldn’t mention this to the girls I’d gone with: as far as they were concerned, watching the purple sex dwarf (he was 5ft 2in) masturbating with and fellating his guitar and generally getting off on his sublime pixieness was like experiencing the second coming. Me, I could have done with a few more tunes.

I like ‘When Doves Cry’ a lot: the keyboard hook, the demonic guitar, the naggingly catchy tune, the otherworldly vocals that make him sound like some kind of lascivious reptile from Venus. Whenever I hear it, though, I’m reminded of my fundamental problem with Prince: he was a really great pop star who wouldn’t do pop. Instead, profligately talented multi-instrumentalist that he was (he played guitar better than any other guitarist, they said, and drummed better than any drummer), he was more interested in showing off and pushing boundaries than in writing catchy singles.

This is why chin-stroking critics worshipped him: in contrast to Michael Jackson, Prince was the weirdo recluse pop genius it was safe to like because he continually challenged you — or, as I’d prefer to think of it, took the piss (all those tiresome name changes) and tested your patience (pretentious orthography, as in ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’). But then, admittedly, I never got to go to one of his legendary secret aftershow gigs which were, apparently, like, totally amazing and went on for hours and no doubt made you feel part of the muso elect.

Read the rest at the Spectator.

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Eton Is a Four Letter Word. What ‘School’ Tells Us about Boris and Dave

“Eton is a four letter word.”

I can’t remember which massively successful Old Etonian actor said that – there are so many: Eddie Redmayne, Harry Lloyd, Tom Hiddleston, Hugh Laurie, Damian Lewis – but whichever of the gazillions it was you know what he was getting at. An Eton education is as much as stigma for some as it is a badge of honour for others.

Two perfect examples of this are Prime Minister David Cameron and Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

Both went to “School”, as Etonians will insist on calling it (the capital in the S is silent). But where David Cameron finds it an albatross round his neck, Boris Johnson exults in it. This tells us something about Eton; but much more about the characters of the two men.

What it tells you about Eton is that it can bring out the best and the worst in you. It is, by some margin, the world’s finest school – with the coolest uniform (white shirt and tailcoat), the most arcane traditions and terminology, the richest history, the largest number of famous old boys – and everyone who goes there is excruciatingly aware of this from the moment on day one where their Dame (like a cross between their honorary Mum and the house matron) shows them how to put on their starched, Edwardian-style collar and they head off towards a chapel built by the school’s founder Henry VI in 1440.

Surrounded by such magnificence, you have two basic options: to spend the rest of your life being quietly grateful at having had the very best education the world can offer; or to become a smug, arrogant wanker with the most massive sense of entitlement and a sly contempt for all those oiks beneath you who didn’t make the grade.

And guess which categories journalist’s son and scholarship boy Boris Johnson and rich stockbroker’s son David Cameron fit into…..

But it would be unfair to blame either Cameron or Johnson for the choices their parents made for them. Far more telling is the way they have chosen to respond to the experience.

Cameron, while surrounding himself in government with a cabal of fellow Old Etonians, has yet sought to distance himself from his educational background at every opportunity. He clearly sees it as a badge of shame that doesn’t play well with the public and doesn’t advance his mission to “modernise” the Conservative party.

Johnson, on the other hand, appears utterly unfazed by his Eton experience. He flaunts his rich vocabulary, his Latin and Greek, and his booming upper-crust accent (which, unlike Cameron, he has never sought to modify). The fact that he is lucky enough to have been educated at the world’s best school is clearly a source of great joy to him.

Since Johnson announced his return to Westminster politics this week by declaring his plans to stand as an MP, there has been much speculation as to whether he might be suited to the job of Prime Minister. Everyone has become instant expert on the subject – those who declare him a buffoon and a clown; those who think he’s as bad a faux-Tory as David Cameron and that his regime as London Mayor has been little more than Continuation Ken Livingstone; those who think he’s the great white hope of libertarian-ish right-wing politics who has come to save us all.

Read the thrilling conclusion at Breitbart London

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Good Pop Is about Sex or Authenticity: Jacko Had Neither

Michael Jackson nearly killed me once. It was a dark and stormy night and I was motorcycling back on the M4 to London having been sent to cover one of his excruciating “Heal the World” concerts in Cardiff, when all of a sudden I was blown by a gust of wind across the rainswept carriageway into the path of a mighty pantechnicon.

“Ohmygod!” I remember thinking to myself in those slow-motion seconds. “Is it really my fate to be killed in so cruel and random a way? Not after a concert by Radiohead or Led Zeppelin but by the pop star I loathe more than any in the world: Whacko bloody Jacko!”

Yes, I know it’s sad that that the poor, troubled man has gone so young. But do please let’s get a sense of perspective. Sure, he was nimble on his pins. Sure, that werewolf video was really quite scary for its time. Sure, he sold millions of records. But the fact still remains that the self- styled “King of Pop” was responsible for some of the most excruciatingly dreadful music in history.

And some of the worst lyrics too. “Sunshine. Moonshine. Good Times. Boogie”. Why on Earth would anyone ever have thought to have blamed such very odd things for anything? “I’m bad. I’m really, really bad.” No you’re not. You’re a wuss. “Heal the world. Make it a better place for you and for me.” No! Please!

The first time I encountered him I would have been about 10. That was when my mother bought a soppy single called One Day in Your Life.

(to read more, click here)

Note: Link permanently broken.

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