Saturday, July 12, 2008

FA Cup of British Rock - Round of 16 / Match #2

These are the ground rules: 16 teams, each represented by a musician or band who happens to be a supporter. You, our fair reader, vote on who advances. Use whatever criteria you wish: favorite team, favorite band, prettiest uniforms (looking at you Elton), etc. Ballot stuffing is not encouraged, but will be tolerated, because we’re just as corrupt as the real FA. Voting for the Round of 16 will close on Sunday, July 20.

Here’s our next match-up features two singers who rose to fame at the height of punk:

Punk godfather John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten), former rat exterminator and lifelong Arsenal supporter

- versus -

Essex boy and spasticus autisticus Ian Dury, the man who embodied West Ham United

With both the Sex Pistols and PiL, John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten) did what he could to tear down staid, English establishments: proving that anyone could form a band, releasing “God Save the Queen” (from her fascist regime) to commemorate the Queen’s jubilee, inspiring a million bands to form in his wake, falling out with Malcolm McLaren when it was clear that Lydon was merely being exploited, quitting punk to form the dub-based and influential post-punk groups Public Image Ltd. Whether you find Lydon either groundbreaking or tedious, at least the man has been completely consistent throughout his long career, which is more than most musicians can achieve. It’s just that England was such an easy target and provided such fertile ground for quasi-anarchist social commentary. But, there is just one institution that Lydon respects, and that is his beloved Arsenal. Here he was speaking on the subject last year.

For most Americans -- unless you spent the late ‘90s reading copies of Mojo and Select Magazine like yours truly -- there is a decent chance that you’ve never heard of Ian Dury. You could also maybe argue that there are much more famous West Ham supporters. But, for my money, no one embodies West Ham United more than the late, great Dury. Having developed polio as a child, he merely incorporated the disability into his persona as he crooned in his thick Essex boy accent. Dury rose to fame in the late ‘70s as part of Stiff Records, which would also produce Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, the Damned and Madness, although Dury’s style was totally unique and not totally wedded to punk -- more biting social commentary over pub rock / dancehall music. Sadly, Ian Dury passed away in 2000 from cancer, but he continues to have a small yet devoted following, even if Dury’s only impact on American shores was his hit “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll.” Some things just don’t quite translate across the Atlantic, just like the way that West Ham United’s working class history is somehow purely English. To prove the point, here is Dury and his backing band the Blockheads’ “Clever Trevor,” perhaps in tribute to West Ham legend Trevor Booking?

And now, you get to vote who advances to the next round...

You can still vote on the other match: Man U/Stone Roses v. Watford/Elton John


ΓΌ75 said...

If it were Iron Maiden, I may have had to change my vote. No dice here though.

Mike Georger said...

the second guy appears to be suffering from a nasty case of fetal alcohol syndrome

Andrew said...

No, he's just English.

Cesc's lil bird said...

I choose the Arsenal dude. Because I like Arsenal. Nay, I love Arsenal. Punk music? Yeah, I like that also and there's something about that guy that looks cool...