Outside the society… (Patti Smith)

I play in a coverband! I don’t say we are good at playing but we have fun and for some strange reason the local youngsters like it. Over time we have built a repertoire of sixties-, seventies- and even millennial songs. Being in a band with friends is great. It doesn’t matter what level of technicality you have or how virtuoso you are at your instrument. Most important is you can participate in a creative process with other people and experience the joy. Music connects people and playing in a band is great fun. It is why I stimulate young people to be musically creative in any style or at any level.

We now live in Youtube era and inevitable some of our gigs or part of them end up on the social network. Often shot with a phone camera and in crappy quality. I don’t mind. For me they are a library of memories, for some they are a pain in the ears. Our gig flicks rarely get views and thus more rare are the comments. But… I was surprised with one (only) comment. Not offended, not angry, …just surprised:

“Old white people singing a song with the N-word!” One of the songs on our playlist is Rock’n’Roll Nigger from the Patti Smith Group. A song from 1978. The female viewer was obviously “stunned” we had our go on a song with the repetition of a racial epithet. The vid did not even have 50 views and the first comment was an accusation of being an “old white man”? Well… that is how I understood as english is not my native tongue.

First of all you can’t say Patti Smith is an “old white”. I think (and certainly in 1978) she was more on the left side of the political spectrum, rebelling against the “old white (male)” dominance. If Patti Smith is a racist then I must be Big Bird from Sesame Street. Secondly, …didn’t she notice our singer is female and rather young (20)? Also one of the guitarists just turned 24, is that old nowadays? I got a feeling this commenting lady did not even see the clip. I am open for all critique: crappy movie, lousy song, poor quality, bad musicians,… all these things are fine by me. But posting your prejudice comment without knowledge is plain stupid. Probably Mrs K is just a grumpy old women, … my idea.

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