Eric Clapton stands by Enoch Powell

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You can read his comments in the current Uncut.

For the majority of posters who can't be arsed to plough through the current Uncut - and who, frankly, could blame you? - they can be briefly summarised thus:

Clapton's taking the faux-liberal viewpoint. He admits to being pissed when he made the original "vote for Enoch" comments in '76 but stands by them fully for the reason that he feels immigration is out of control and that immigrants are being conned to come here by false promises, then shuttled into crap jobs and crap housing. He feels this "con" needs to stop and says that only Enoch had the "foresight" and "vision" to see what was going to happen and stand up and say so.

Racist? Never...why, there's BB King, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray - you know, some of his best friends are black! And just like in '76 - great timing, Eric!

Comments...

Marcello Carlin, Monday, 26 April 2004 12:51 (10 years ago) Permalink

was this by nigel williamson? he wrote something very similar in the times eye this weekend, eric skated over the issue and didn't apologise whatsoever - nigel excused this as more stubborness than an enduring agreement with Enoch, disappointingly.

stevie (stevie), Monday, 26 April 2004 12:55 (10 years ago) Permalink

Waiting for Elvis Costello to stand by his "blind ignorant nigger" description of Ray Charles

Dadaismus (Dada), Monday, 26 April 2004 12:58 (10 years ago) Permalink

also .. The rotters club by Johnathan Coe has this whole episode recurring through the story .. weird as this is my pre-sleep read at the moment and now iots back in the news !? weirdsville.

mark e (mark e), Monday, 26 April 2004 12:59 (10 years ago) Permalink

Mr. Clapton, meet Ms. Willcox. Or is it Mrs. Fripp? ...

And as I understand it, Clapton doesn't even live in the UK, preferring as he does to spend the majority of his time in sunny California.

Frankly, America could get along quite well without racist bores like Clapton releasing an album of ... Robert Johnson covers.

And someone should tell Mr. Clapton that there were plenty of (white)people voicing similar "concerns" in the 1930s on the subject of southern (black) people - like, oh, I dunno, Robert Johnson - being "conned" into moving up north to Sweet Home Chicago.

kjoerup, Monday, 26 April 2004 13:01 (10 years ago) Permalink

He won't even be able to use the "I was pissed" argument in future.

Dadaismus (Dada), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:03 (10 years ago) Permalink

'For the majority of posters who can't be arsed to plough through the current Uncut - and who, frankly, could blame you?'

So you burning your bridges Marcello?

I thought it was utterly indefensible. He also says:

'..obviously there's no way I could be a racist. It just wouldn't make any sense. But I do have funny feelings about the double standards that have always gone on. And he [Powell] was one man who recognized that and took a real risk in saying something about it.
Years later, when I played with Dire Straits at the Mandela concert, one of the promoters came up to me and said 'You know this is your chance formally to apologise for what you said'. And I thought' You must be fucking joking.' And I wouldn't do it. I was so insulted.'

de, Monday, 26 April 2004 13:07 (10 years ago) Permalink

Wot a cunt

Dadaismus (Dada), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:08 (10 years ago) Permalink

The "promoter" in question was Jerry Dammers.

Marcello Carlin, Monday, 26 April 2004 13:09 (10 years ago) Permalink

Dammers should've nutted him

Dadaismus (Dada), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:10 (10 years ago) Permalink

costello has apologized for his remark btw

amateur!st (amateurist), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:12 (10 years ago) Permalink

I think he's still pissed at his Puerto Rican maid for leaving the window open.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:13 (10 years ago) Permalink

But has Costello apologised for that terrible last album of his?

Marcello Carlin, Monday, 26 April 2004 13:14 (10 years ago) Permalink

Jerry Dammers asked him to and he refused

Dadaismus (Dada), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:15 (10 years ago) Permalink

next: Clapton covers John Cale's "Graham Greene" w/ bottleneck solo.

eddie hurt (ddduncan), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:15 (10 years ago) Permalink

He could release an album of apologies. As read by Henry Rollins.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:16 (10 years ago) Permalink

"oh honey babe i'm gonna temper my remarks one of these days"

"eatin crow blues"

"if i had possession over my senses"

amateur!st (amateurist), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:19 (10 years ago) Permalink

"Last Night the Bottle Gave Me an Excuse to Be a Racist Arsehole"

Dadaismus (Dada), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:21 (10 years ago) Permalink

the big question is why the fuck is a music magazine even botyhering to write about this guy. he never apologised for it before, so why would he now. the mainstream press should have boycotted the cunt years ago. that doesn't make the comments about puerto rican maids and his dead son any less repellent, though.

Dave Stelfox (Dave Stelfox), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:31 (10 years ago) Permalink

also eric clapton is without doubt the proof that heroin makes you boring.

Robbie Lumsden (Wallace Stevens HQ), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:32 (10 years ago) Permalink

and are you burning your bridges marcello? is this on purpose or are you drunk and likely to end up with a headache, regretting it tomorrow morning?

Dave Stelfox (Dave Stelfox), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:33 (10 years ago) Permalink

also eric clapton is without doubt the proof that heroin makes you boring.

yeah that would probably have something to do with one of his biggest songs being titled "cocaine" *smashes head against monitor*

Dave Stelfox (Dave Stelfox), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:34 (10 years ago) Permalink

that doesn't make the comments about puerto rican maids and his dead son any less repellent, though.

I'm glad someone said that...

mark grout (mark grout), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:35 (10 years ago) Permalink

aye but he was Junkie too, non? and wasn't Cocaine a cover?

ok maybe it was the coke made him boring. maybe he was just boring to start with, he just had natty threads...

Robbie Lumsden (Wallace Stevens HQ), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:37 (10 years ago) Permalink

1. He was boring to start with
2. He was a junkie
3. JJ Cale wrote "Cocaine"

Dadaismus (Dada), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:40 (10 years ago) Permalink

Clapton had a big heron habit.

NickB (NickB), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:42 (10 years ago) Permalink

That didn't come out right now, did it?

NickB (NickB), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:43 (10 years ago) Permalink

I swear I haven't been puffin on a pipe myself.

NickB (NickB), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:44 (10 years ago) Permalink

well, i thought it was fairly common knowledge...

Robbie Lumsden (Wallace Stevens HQ), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:44 (10 years ago) Permalink

no but it was hilarious

xpost

amateur!st (amateurist), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:44 (10 years ago) Permalink

xpost xpost

amateur!st (amateurist), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:44 (10 years ago) Permalink

that would fuck anyone up
ec all is forgiven

de, Monday, 26 April 2004 13:46 (10 years ago) Permalink

No it isn't

Dadaismus (Dada), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:48 (10 years ago) Permalink

oops, meant to qualify that cocaine observation with the fact that it was one of his biggest and *dullest* songs. in any case, he's had a dabble at everything he got of smack quite early on. it was when he stopped it and went on the piss and chaz for a couple of decades that he got *really* bad, actually.

JJ Cale wrote "Cocaine"

i see you and raise you this one:

eric clapton did not write, i shot the sherrif.

Dave Stelfox (Dave Stelfox), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:49 (10 years ago) Permalink

the cocaine thing bears up my theory, my CORRECT theory, might i add that gheroin bands are better than cocaine bands

Dave Stelfox (Dave Stelfox), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:50 (10 years ago) Permalink

I like the way that reads like a statement, followed by a confession

DJ Mencap (DJ Mencap), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:50 (10 years ago) Permalink

Allow me to clarify Eric's comments: as long as black people are rich and playing the blues, then they're OK by him.
Everyone else should stay put in their own country.
Hopefully that clarifies things for y'all.

Barry Bruner (Barry Bruner), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:50 (10 years ago) Permalink

I thought Eric Clapton wrote "I Shot Up the Sheriff"?

Dadaismus (Dada), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:51 (10 years ago) Permalink

"I shot up with the sheriff"?

NickB (NickB), Monday, 26 April 2004 13:53 (10 years ago) Permalink

TS: Heron bands vs. Crow bands. Let the feathers fly!

briania, Monday, 26 April 2004 14:05 (10 years ago) Permalink

Mike Heron (Incredible String Band) = Classic

Dadaismus (Dada), Monday, 26 April 2004 14:07 (10 years ago) Permalink

Whereas Counting Crows = Dud.

briania, Monday, 26 April 2004 14:08 (10 years ago) Permalink

x-post!

And Counting Crows = tedious crap. Game over!

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Monday, 26 April 2004 14:09 (10 years ago) Permalink

and are you burning your bridges marcello? is this on purpose or are you drunk and likely to end up with a headache, regretting it tomorrow morning?
-- Dave Stelfox (destelfo...), April 26th, 2004.

No. Peschek read my ILM comments last week re. indignity of reviewing Bay City Rollers, rang me up and tried it. I told him not to. And as I'm now writing for Time Out, not writing for Uncut doesn't bother me at all.

Marcello Carlin, Monday, 26 April 2004 14:29 (10 years ago) Permalink

time out - ugh and double UGH! well, i guess you can raise standard of music crit there by 1000 percent by just going thru the motions.

Dave Stelfox (Dave Stelfox), Monday, 26 April 2004 14:36 (10 years ago) Permalink

Off-topic again, but wtf: a couple of years back I unavoidably had to sit through a show by ol' slowhand (comp tix, date-type scenario), at which the ONLY moment of remote interest was a solo turn by Billy Preston that got the oldies up dancin' to "Will It Go Round In Circles." Good thing BP and David Sancious were conned into accepting the gig.

briania, Monday, 26 April 2004 14:41 (10 years ago) Permalink

who do you write for stelfox?

NRQ (Enrique), Monday, 26 April 2004 14:48 (10 years ago) Permalink

I'm not making excuses for the guy (who, indeed, hasn't released anything interesting since quitting smack), but it's worth mentioning that terms like "nigger" were tossed around much more casually (by Lou Reed, Willie Nelson, Lester Bangs, etc.) in the pre-PC 1970s.

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Monday, 26 April 2004 14:50 (10 years ago) Permalink

It may have been a pre-PC era, but that sort of language was still seen as racist in the 70s: Lou and Lester were being 'edgy'. They were cockfarmers.

NRQ (Enrique), Monday, 26 April 2004 14:53 (10 years ago) Permalink

wherever will take me, nrq, apart from time out, mixmag and the omm. they're the ones i rule out. i've written for most places at one time or another. prob not the guardian any more, tho. mostly off these shores and quite a bit in german!

Dave Stelfox (Dave Stelfox), Monday, 26 April 2004 15:00 (10 years ago) Permalink

I think it went "urrr rrr doggies... umm black people... home... go.. DRINK! "

mark grout (mark grout), Thursday, 29 April 2004 12:04 (10 years ago) Permalink

I cried when they shot Medgar Evers
Tears ran down my spine
I cried when they shot Mr. Kennedy
As though I'd lost a father of mine
But Malcolm X got what was coming
He got what he asked for this time
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I go to civil rights rallies
And I put down the old D.A.R.
I love Harry and Sidney and Sammy
I hope every coloured boy becomes a star
But don't talk about revolution
That's going a little bit too far
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I cheered when Humphrey was chosen
My faith in the system restored
I'm glad the commies were thrown out
of the AFL-CIO board
I love Puerto Ricans and Negros
as long as they don't move next door
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

The people of old Mississippi
Should all hang their heads in shame
I can't understand how their minds work
What's the matter don't they watch Les Crain?
But if you ask me to bus my children
I hope the cops take down your name
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I read New Republic and Nation
I've learned to take every view
You know, I've memorized Lerner and Golden
I feel like I'm almost a Jew
But when it comes to times like Korea
There's no one more red, white and blue
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I vote for the Democratic Party.
They want the U.N. to be strong
I go to all the Pete Seeger concerts
He sure gets me singing those songs
I'll send all the money you ask for
But don't ask me to come on along
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

Once I was young and impulsive
I wore every conceivable pin
Even went to the socialist meetings
Learned all the old union hymns
But I've grown older and wiser
And that's why I'm turning you in
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

Sterling Clover (s_clover), Thursday, 29 April 2004 13:37 (10 years ago) Permalink

Heh, I remember Jello Biafra's version, wasn't it?

mark grout (mark grout), Thursday, 29 April 2004 13:45 (10 years ago) Permalink

"But more importantly he was keen on unemployment: a permanent labour reserve would keep down wages."

To be fair, in the context of the times, this was not such an extreme view. The conventional wisdom among economists at the time was that hard choices had to be made in the trade off between unemployment and inflation (or "stagflation"). Full employment was an inappropriate goal because the last x% of jobs were bought at too high a price for the economy as a whole. Even many left-wing economists accepted this as (regrettably) true.

Right-wing economic view are not necessarily racist. Right-wingers broadly believe that people should keep what they earn and that wealth should not be redistributed to the poor. If a disproportionate amount of the poor are from particular racial groups that may look like racism.

Of course as a generalisation people opposed to any redistribution of wealth to the less well off are more likely to be racist than people who approve of redistribution, but being opposed to redistribution is not necessarily racist in itself.

Hidayglo, Thursday, 29 April 2004 14:09 (10 years ago) Permalink

The conventional wisdom among economists at the time was that hard choices had to be made in the trade off between unemployment and inflation (or "stagflation")

Have we entered some kind of socialist dream without my noticing. That sounds more like the conventional trade-off now than the one perceived then. I don't thin k it was till New Labour that the goal of full employment was quietly dropped.

N. (nickdastoor), Thursday, 29 April 2004 14:18 (10 years ago) Permalink

I remember Neil Kinnock accepting as much when he was oppo.

mark grout (mark grout), Thursday, 29 April 2004 14:20 (10 years ago) Permalink

yes, as n says, at that time it was a contested trade-off between inflation and unemployment, whereas now its all about inflation, no one cares abuot unemployment, and is seen as a necessary by product of a 'good economy'. i suppose that you could say they were 'ard choices' then, but that now it is perceived as an 'easy choice'

gareth (gareth), Thursday, 29 April 2004 14:22 (10 years ago) Permalink

"Have we entered some kind of socialist dream without my noticing. That sounds more like the conventional trade-off now than the one perceived then."

Not so. Powell was an early monetarist. The monetarists were the first influential group of post-war economists to argue that higher levels of unemployment were necessary to counter inflation. Thatcher implemented their policies, hence 3M+ unemployed.

In modern terms Brown has been staggeringly successful at combining relatively low inflation with low unemployment. I don't think there's anything particularly socialist about it, but this would certaintly have seemed like a dream to most economists in the 80s.

Hidayglo, Thursday, 29 April 2004 15:11 (10 years ago) Permalink

I still think the monetarism is much closer to the conventional wisdom now than it was in Powell's time.

N. (nickdastoor), Thursday, 29 April 2004 15:14 (10 years ago) Permalink

In a limited sense. The main difference is that no-one now is arguing that historically very high levels of unemployment are necessary to keep inflation in check. Whereas at the time plenty of people who were not extreme right-wingers were starting to believe that. The post-war Keynsian consensus was breaking down and a version Powell's analysis was on its way to becoming the orthodoxy.

Hidayglo, Thursday, 29 April 2004 15:26 (10 years ago) Permalink

Fair enough.

N. (nickdastoor), Thursday, 29 April 2004 15:33 (10 years ago) Permalink

Phil Ochs was so consistently OTM it was unbelievable

Donna Brown (Donna Brown), Thursday, 29 April 2004 19:40 (10 years ago) Permalink

IIRC Keith Joseph was more often associated with monetarism than Powell. Does anyone know what Powell's record as Chancellor was in the 1950s/early 60s? That's if he was chancellor; he at least had some economics-related job in the Con. govt., I recall reading...

Wouldn't one think that Powell would have been protectionist, economically speaking (he got support from the dockers, didn't he?)? If only for whites, obviously...

Tom May (Tom May), Friday, 30 April 2004 00:02 (10 years ago) Permalink

i like that phil ochs song but i am also proud to call myself a liberal

amateur!st (amateurist), Friday, 30 April 2004 01:24 (10 years ago) Permalink

i don't know much about which positions Powell held in government, except that he refused to join Alec Douglas-Home's cabinet in October 1963 (as did Iain Macleod, the real intellectual giant of the one-nation Tories, whose death soon after the 1970 election was a massive blow to the Heath government before it had even started). i don't think he was ever chancellor, though.

Powell was in many ways on the cusp of the whole contradiction underpinning Thatcherism; a fervent believer in capitalism, his belief in racial and national "purity" and affinity to shared cultural mythology can only be undermined by capitalist expansion. i think he was a classic example of those conservatives who championed the idea of free-market economics as a means of getting us out of what they saw as the entrapping, restrictive post-war corporate state, but weren't so keen on what those theories actually brought about culturally. certainly, despite having championed many New Right economic theories when they were still very marginal in the party, having been passionately anti-Heath, having been slavishly admired by Margaret Thatcher and having seen her vote against the Race Relations Act and almost all similar legislation, he still turned against her in the 1980s because he thought she was too servile to the USA and not sufficiently "independent British". and even though he considered Communism to be evil, he predicted that Britain would be on the Soviet side in a Third World War between the USA and the USSR (many predicted such a war at the time, but even those who believed the whole of continental Europe would go Communist were generally convinced that Britain would hold out), which suspects that his idea of the British people had plenty of room for Statism as an overall concept (such purist ideas have to; they cannot make sense otherwise).

robin carmody (robin carmody), Friday, 30 April 2004 01:28 (10 years ago) Permalink

robin and tom otm. keith joseph and powell were the big pre-70s monetarists in the uk. monetarism was there in ideological form (in hayek) from the very beginning of the post-war consensus (his book was pub'd in 1945, and he'd knocked around in the 30s), but it was only the multiple currency crises of the mid-late 60s that made it palatable for the public.
powell was publically disowned by the tory party, but roger scruton and other 80s new right ideologues reverred him. keith joseph's views are unlikely to have been much different to powell's.

enrique (Enrique), Friday, 30 April 2004 06:14 (10 years ago) Permalink

crucially, though, Powell died as he had lived, a profoundly bitter man - cf his rejection of Thatcher despite the fact that he'd held most of the economic views most closely associated with her when they were very marginal in the party, and that she'd brought his own racist politics into the mainstream with her "swamped by an alien culture" remarks in 1978 (indeed, that may have caused the bitterness - anger on his part that she was "allowed" to express such views while he hadn't been, and maybe a personal anger that he had turned his back on the Tories in 1974 rather than launch a bid for party leadership after Heath's election defeats). unlike many of the other hardcore monetarists (not Scruton, though - he is too much of a romantic) he did not believe at his death that Britain's "decline" had been reversed by Thatcherism - cultural factors were too important for him.

essentially Powell was an even balance of three distinct Right-wing tendencies - monetarist, romantic and straight-up racist. monetarism and breaking down the ideas placed in the mainstream by the Attlee government was very important to him for much of his life, it's true, but he held views on the superiority of the aristocracy to everyone else - going hunting as a young man so as to ape the landed classes, even insisting that Shakespeare's plays must have actually been written by some aristocrat because nobody from such relatively "humble" stock could create such great works - which led to a big gulf developing in the 80s between him and younger monetarists, many of whom were concerned almost above all else with breaking down the culture among the British middle classes of genuflecting towards pre-existing upper-class anti-commercial values (what i call "Wienerisation" after the man who had the biggest influence on it). i suspect that Powell's balance of monetarism, romanticism and racism seemed much much less contradictory when he was actually espousing it than it does now, the Right being so much less divided then.

robin carmody (robin carmody), Friday, 30 April 2004 12:30 (10 years ago) Permalink

Yes, very well put Robin. I presume it is the romanticism that set him apart from Joseph then... KJ has always sounded at least implicitly anti-culture, yet also very anti-working class, e.g. his comments about eugenics in the late 1960s, which are hardly as well known as Powell's big speech, but are just as outrageous and did kick up quite a stir at the time... Also proving a major factor in scuppering his leadership ambitions; as well as his lack of charisma.

Powell's insistence about Shakespeare's plays being written by some other aristocrat is truly barmy, and very suggestive of someone who wants to compartmentalise culture in a very rigid way. The man was supposed to be a scholar; did he have much evidence for these specific views on WS' plays' authorship...?

It is amazing to me that the Tories could hold themselves together as they did... the pursuit of power and the common objective to defeat Labour and to restrain 'socialism' are clearly the reason, but it's still strange that Heath, Maudling and MacLeod (whose views and policies are closer to today's left than to the right) could be of the same party as Joseph, Powell and Peter Griffiths (IIRC the name of the candidate who won a Birmingham seat against Labour's Patrick Gordon Walker, in the 1964 GE with an openly racist campaign)...

Tom May (Tom May), Friday, 30 April 2004 19:52 (10 years ago) Permalink

'even insisting that Shakespeare's plays must have actually been written by some aristocrat because nobody from such relatively "humble" stock could create such great works'

'Powell's insistence about Shakespeare's plays being written by some other aristocrat is truly barmy'

I'm afraid it isn't actually. He may have chosen to believe it for snobbish, classist reasons, indeed so have many others over the last few centuries (Shakespeare Conspiracy Theories do have a long pedigree). But they can't be dismissed that easily. Even Jonathan Bate and Stanley Wells, two of the most prominent Shakespeare scholars, had trouble providing a decent defence in the recent 'Much Ado About something' documentary (which explored the 'Marlowe was Shakespeare' theory). The oft cited' Shakespeare couldn't have written the plays because he wasn't educated enough' reason is contemptible, but also plausible. Not enough to change my mind, but still problematic. Even those candidates who weren't aristocrats, like Marlowe, (who went to Cambridge) had further education. Shakespeare's success in the dramatic/poetic world based on his origins is 'unusual', there's no denying it.

So disbelieving Shakespeare as the Folio author is not 'barmy'. Some barmy people have taken up the cause however.

de, Friday, 30 April 2004 21:00 (10 years ago) Permalink

Yes, but where is the specific *evidence* that an aristocrat was behind his plays?

From all I have experienced of the academic debate; it seems there's little doubt that some works were collaborative; i.e. say, some scenes of "Macbeth" were definitely of the mark of a different writer than the established Shakespeare. I remain to be convinced that there is strong enough evidence for people to assume that an aristocrat wrote WS' plays rather than assume the conventional wisdom.

Tom May (Tom May), Friday, 30 April 2004 21:09 (10 years ago) Permalink

Er, you'll find cases for and against ALL the candidates all over the web, I'm not going to do the linkies. Also just using the word 'aristocrat' misrepresents the qualities of some of these candidates, besides the fact that at least two, Marlowe and Bacon are not of noble birth. Replace the word 'aristocrat' with 'another author' in your last sentence and I agree with it, in any case. But personally I won't judge someone, whoever they are, on the fact that they have a problem with the accepted authorship of the Folios.
Political name-calling in this field doesn't get anyone anywhere.

de, Friday, 30 April 2004 21:34 (10 years ago) Permalink

In other words, condemn Powell for his racism, and his misguided 'views on the superiority of the aristocracy to everyone else', even if his opinion on Shakespeare factors into that. But it shouldn't in itself be something to judge him on. If it siuts us to see that as 'suggestive' of something in Powell then we must do the same to Mark Twain, Dickens, Emerson, Freud, Malcolm X, Orson Welles, Walt Whitman, Henry James, Disraeli, Joyce, and John Gielgud, Derek Jacobi, and Mark Rylance (chief player at The Globe), all distinguished Shakespearian actors.

de, Friday, 30 April 2004 21:54 (10 years ago) Permalink

All of those either disbelieved that Shakespeare wrote the Folios or had serious doubts.

de, Friday, 30 April 2004 21:56 (10 years ago) Permalink

I was gonna say, I woulda really liked to see Malcolm X as Othello...

Shakey Mo Collier, Friday, 30 April 2004 21:58 (10 years ago) Permalink

You're all making very persuasive points, but surely it is politically notable that Powell did make a point of insisting it was an aristocrat 'wot wrote it'. ;-)

I have never myself said I was sure of WS' full authorship of the Folio texts. It is not that fact itself, but more the way Powell seems to be taking the stand; i.e. making it a class issue.

Tom May (Tom May), Friday, 30 April 2004 22:09 (10 years ago) Permalink

Fair enough. Also because I'm very well acquainted with Robin's work and political leanings I just thought there needed to be a corrective on that very *specific* issue. As someone once said on here, Robin sees everyone as connected, and whilst that works to his credit in so many ways in his writing and thinking, occasionally something needs to be 'disentangled' from what he's put it in.

de, Friday, 30 April 2004 22:15 (10 years ago) Permalink

Gah, I meant to type 'Robin sees everyTHING as connected', not 'everyone'.

de, Friday, 30 April 2004 23:23 (10 years ago) Permalink

to everyone saying 'yeah but i dont get racist when i get drunk', well maybe you didnt hold those views to begin with. its not hard to figure out.

thesplooge (thesplooge), Saturday, 1 May 2004 11:36 (10 years ago) Permalink

We all have a duty to speak out against racism and to ask those who say things which might be preceived as racist to explain themselves.

I would advise everyone who has been defending Clapton's comments on the grounds that he was drunk to check out my thread over on ILE on the subject of drunken utterances:

It Must've Come from Somewhere!

I think I only like one thing by Clapton - Blind Faith "Can't Find My Way Home"...did he write that, or was it written by S. Winwood?

Hated Cream, hated his solo career, hated his boring guitar playing style, hated the way he's been bankrolled by his cover versions whilst all the time somehow taking the credit- Marley, Dylan, Greg Philinganes (sp.)....

Losing a child is always tragic; cashing in on the fact that you've lost one through a record is unforgiveable. It doesn't help that the song is totally dire, of course, but Clapton prolly doesn't care - he's laughing all the way to the bank, people are buying the record because of their sympathy, their empathy. Ker-ching!

MarkH (MarkH), Saturday, 1 May 2004 11:52 (10 years ago) Permalink

err, everyone saying "but I don't say that kinda stuff when I'm drunk" was basically using that as proof that drunken behaviour only lets already existing racism come to the fore, so pointing the exact same thing out to them seems rather odd to me. And no one's used drunkeness as a mitigating factor for Clapton, since he stands by those comments, which is why this thread exists!

(thanks fer the link tho, MarkH, will check it out)

Daniel_Rf (Daniel_Rf), Saturday, 1 May 2004 22:28 (10 years ago) Permalink

Winwood wrote that. The best and only great song Clapton ever wrote was "Badge"...and George Harrison wrote that.

Hey, for the non-anglophile, could someone give me a hint as to what Enoch Powell stood for/did in the 70s and what Clapton said to align himself with him? While Marcello summed up the Uncut comments, no one's really said what he did in the first place. Was it just a dumb, disingenuous "the blacks will be better off if they don't come here at all" comment?

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Sunday, 2 May 2004 04:20 (10 years ago) Permalink

"Losing a child is always tragic; cashing in on the fact that you've lost one through a record is unforgiveable. It doesn't help that the song is totally dire, of course, but Clapton prolly doesn't care - he's laughing all the way to the bank, people are buying the record because of their sympathy, their empathy. Ker-ching!"

There was an episode of "Mr. Show" where they made fun of this. It was great.

latebloomer (latebloomer), Sunday, 2 May 2004 06:23 (10 years ago) Permalink

I think it's a public school classic, the exam question: 'were the plays of shakespeare written by shakespeare or another man of that name?' so i'm told.

ENRQ (Enrique), Thursday, 6 May 2004 05:42 (10 years ago) Permalink

They were written by a black man

Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 6 May 2004 09:01 (10 years ago) Permalink

Hey, he lost a child in very tragic circumstances. He can do whatever he likes if it helps him with it.

Everything else OTM.

mark grout (mark grout), Thursday, 6 May 2004 09:05 (10 years ago) Permalink

He lost a child because he was dumb enough to entrust its supervision to an equally dumb Puerto Rican cleaning lady. Does he expect a medal or something?

Marcello Carlin, Thursday, 6 May 2004 09:16 (10 years ago) Permalink

A Grammy at least

Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 6 May 2004 09:17 (10 years ago) Permalink

I would like Derek Bailey to do a Clapton tribute album. His version of "Tears From Heaven" would be something else. Literally.

Marcello Carlin, Thursday, 6 May 2004 09:20 (10 years ago) Permalink

What about Clapton appearing on a Derek Bailey tribute album - the old buffer's surely due one

Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 6 May 2004 09:23 (10 years ago) Permalink

Seeing as Clapton evidently didn't even know who Jerry Dammers was, he probably thinks Derek Bailey is the guy who used to present Mr & Mrs.

Marcello Carlin, Thursday, 6 May 2004 09:25 (10 years ago) Permalink

... or that photographer geezer

Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 6 May 2004 09:27 (10 years ago) Permalink

Ah yes, David Bellamy.

Marcello Carlin, Thursday, 6 May 2004 09:30 (10 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...
It's a shame that Enoch's views weren't given a wide platform during Clapton's mother's youth. Had they been then maybe she would have steered clear of the foreigner who knocked her up, and then abandoned her.

Paul O. Wright, Monday, 2 January 2006 15:39 (8 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...
Someone above said:
"He lost a child because he was dumb enough to entrust its supervision to an equally dumb Puerto Rican cleaning lady."

I know this is a thread about Eric Clapton and what kind of racist he might be, but what was the purpose of qualifying 'cleaning lady' with 'Puerto Rican' in that statement? Does it mean that the fact that she is Puerto Rican contributes to her being dumb?

If so, isn't this whole thread a case of the pot calling the kettle... err... black?

Back on the Eric Clapton-racist issue, I'm a darkie and a fan of some of his music. He is a deeply flawed and stubborn person, which makes him a good bluesman.

I think some of the following facts are of interest when considering his Enoch Powell remarks:

1. In 1967 in an interview with Rolling Stone, he stated that he's uncomfortable with the idea that people concern themselves with his views on anything other than music as that is all he knows anything about.

2. He lives in Antigua in the Caribbean for most of the year (surrounded by darkies), where he founded and still runs the Crossroads drug & alcohol rehabilitation centre - and offers heavily subsidised treatment for local Antiguans.

3. One of his best friends was George Harrison, possibly the least racist person ever born.

4. He once made the following remark when asked about Hendrix in the late 60s: "everyone and his brother knows that spades have big dicks". Does that reveal some kind of insecurity not only about his playing (which was widely publicized) but in sexual matters too? His early goal as a guitarist, he has revealed on many occasions, was to sound like a black guitar player - and until Hendrix's arrival in London, Clapton did the best impersonation of one. Then with Hendrix on the scene, he though 'who needs an impersonation now that they have the real thing?'. The stupid thing about this was that Hendrix came to London specifically to meet Clapton, a hero of his. Clapton soon overcame his insecurity enough for the two of them to become great friends.

5. Clapton loves black music (obviously), and not just the blues, but rock n' roll, rhythm n' blues, soul, reggae and some jazz.

6. He's been out with black women, including Naomi Campbell - as people above have pointed out.

7. For the past 20 years, most of his band has been black.

8. When he first arrived in America, touring with Cream, he spent the entire trip speaking in a faux Southern cotton-picker accent.

9. He was a junkie.

10. He was an alcoholic.

11. He quit every band he was ever in as they were getting big or bigger (even Cream).

12. The best music he did was pre-heroin.

12. He was best friends with George Harrison but that didn't stop him from 'stealing' his wife.

13. He married George Harrison's mrs only when his manager informed him that was what he was doing as it would be good for his image at the time.

14. He treated Patti Boyd (Harrison's ex) like crap the whole time they were married, and only began to regret it after they were divorced.

15. I think the most interesting thing about his Enoch Powell comments is that he's done a complete turn-around to explain what he meant by his comments. I think that's better than an apology in a way because it shows how wrong he thinks 'the keep Britain white' mentality is.

Syd Knee, Friday, 10 February 2006 10:56 (8 years ago) Permalink

George Harrison, possibly the least racist person ever born.

you've never met ethan trife.

The Man Without Shadow (Enrique), Friday, 10 February 2006 11:00 (8 years ago) Permalink

3 months pass...
A wop bob a loo bop a wop bang boom

Richard Armstrong, Friday, 26 May 2006 22:01 (8 years ago) Permalink

6 years pass...

refers to this thread in the article.

pssstttt, Hey you (dog latin), Thursday, 11 April 2013 00:03 (1 year ago) Permalink

1 year passes...

were those quotes in that article reported at the time?

۩, Saturday, 3 May 2014 00:31 (6 months ago) Permalink

Looks that way, as Rock Against Racism was formed, at least in part, in response to them:

Originally conceived as a one-off concert with a message against racism, Rock Against Racism was founded in 1976 by Red Saunders, Roger Huddle and others. According to Huddle, "it remained just an idea until August 1976" when Eric Clapton made a drunken declaration of support for former Conservative minister Enoch Powell (known for his anti-immigration Rivers of Blood speech) at a concert in Birmingham.[2] Clapton told the crowd that England had "become overcrowded" and that they should vote for Powell to stop Britain from becoming "a black colony". He also told the audience that Britain should "get the foreigners out, get the wogs out, get the coons out", and then he repeatedly shouted the National Front slogan "Keep Britain White".[3][4]

Huddle, Saunders and two members of Kartoon Klowns responded by writing a letter to NME expressing their opposition to Clapton's comments, which they claimed were "all the more disgusting because he had his first hit with a cover of reggae star Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff" ... Come on Eric... Own up. Half your music is black. Who shot the Sheriff, Eric? It sure as hell wasn't you!". At the end of the letter, they called for people to help form a movement called Rock Against Racism, and they report that they received hundreds of replies.[2]

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 3 May 2014 00:44 (6 months ago) Permalink


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