Nick Cave om Morrissey

Vi har flere gange her diskuteret Morrissey’s musik kontra hans nylige, for mange helt spiselige politiske synspunkter. På sin glimrende Red Hand Files-blog tager Nick Cave adspurgt nu også det emne op, og kommer med et tankevækkende nuanceret svar…

I was lucky enough to be at your recent London show and you played Cosmic Dancer by T Rex. It reminded me how Morrissey also covered and released this. In turn it reminded me of my current struggle reconciling his recent unsavoury far right support to how I used to put him on a pedestal.
Generally, is it possible to separate the latter-day artist from his earlier art? More specifically, what are your views on Morrissey, both early days and his newer more ugly persona?
MARK, REDHILL, UK
Dear Mark,I understand it is very difficult when an artist you admire reveals something about themselves which you feel casts an unhappy shadow across their work – and this is by no means exclusive to Morrissey. It happens all the time and I have talked a little about this in a previous issue of The Red Hand Files.
 
I think perhaps it would be helpful to you if you saw the proprietorship of a song in a different way. Personally, when I write a song and release it to the public, I feel it stops being my song. It has been offered up to my audience and they, if they care to, take possession of that song and become its custodian. The integrity of the song now rests not with the artist, but with the listener. 

When I listen to a beloved song – Neil Young’s ‘On the Beach’, for instance – I feel, at my very core, that that song is speaking to me and to me alone, that I have taken possession of that song exclusively. I feel, beyond all rationality, that the song has been written with me in mind and, as it weaves itself into the fabric of my life, I become its steward, understanding it better than anybody else ever could. I think we all can relate to this feeling of owning a song. This is the singular beauty of music.

Perhaps it doesn’t matter what Neil Young’s personal conduct may be like therefore, or Morrissey’s, as they have handed over ownership of the songs to their audience. Their views and behaviour are separate issues – Morrissey’s political opinion becomes irrelevant. Whatever inanities he may postulate, we cannot overlook the fact that he has written a vast and extraordinary catalogue, which has enhanced the lives of his many fans beyond recognition. This is no small thing. He has created original and distinctive works of unparalleled beauty, that will long outlast his offending political alliances.

At my recent ‘In Conversation’ event in Nottingham a gentleman put forward an excellent challenge to my views on free speech – he pointed out the perceived racism of Morrissey’s political stance and told how personally wounded he felt by Morrissey’s views on immigration. As I sat in my dressing room after the show, I wished I had done a better job of answering his question – I felt I had made a poorly constructed, over-earnest and possibly insensitive defence of Morrissey’s right to his opinions, no matter what they are.

I very much appreciate people challenging my views. The ‘In Conversation’ events are fluid in form and very much a work in progress, and they are intended at times to prompt debate. Sometimes certain uncomfortable issues are raised, but a different point of view is always welcome. Often it can serve as a kind of corrective – even an education – and can be extremely helpful to me next time that same subject is broached. 

Open debate and conversation are the very structure of civilisation, and in Nottingham it was a privilege to be challenged by this very thoughtful young man. However, even though I was unsatisfied by my own response, I still believe that despite how upsetting Morrissey’s views may be to the marginalised and dispossessed members of society, or anyone else for that matter, he still should have the freedom to express his views, just as others should have the freedom to challenge them – even if just to know in what guise their enemy may appear. The charge that defending a person’s right to their opinions somehow aligns one with their views makes no sense at all and strikes at the heart of the problem itself – that of conflating the concept of free speech with bigotry. This is very dangerous territory indeed.

As a songwriter and someone who believes songs possess extraordinary healing power, I am saddened by the thought that songs by arguably the greatest lyricist of his generation – songs like ‘This Charming Man’, ‘Reel Around the Fountain’ and ‘Last Night I Dreamed Somebody Loved Me’ – are consigned to the moral dustbin by those who feel they have been tainted by his current political posturing. I respect and understand why people respond in this way, but can’t help but feel it is of significant personal loss to them. 

Perhaps it is better to simply let Morrissey have his views, challenge them when and wherever possible, but allow his music to live on, bearing in mind we are all conflicted individuals – messy, flawed and prone to lunacies. We should thank God that there are some among us that create works of beauty beyond anything most of us can barely imagine, even as some of those same people fall prey to regressive and dangerous belief systems. 

Love, Nick 

9 tanker om “Nick Cave om Morrissey”

  1. Jeg kan slet ikke følge Morrissey’s gentagelser af hans provokerende, og efterhånden ligegyldige udtalelser om hvem han støtter politisk. Men jeg er slet ikke i tvivl om at han på sin egen bizarre facon, nyder den gigantiske modvind han er ude i lige nu. Uanset om det er Morrissey’s eller Love Shop’s musik og udtalelser som bliver debatteret her, synes jeg trods alt der er grund til at glæde sig over at begge efter mange år stadig er her, og stadig vækker vores nysgerrighed og interesse.

  2. Virkelig interessant skrevet af Nick Cave. Jeg er helt enig. Nuanceret og afbalanceret. Og jeg tror personligt den beskriver den følelse mange Morrissey fans har i denne tid.

  3. Men, Pastor, det er jo netop ikke uspiseligheden af Morrissey’s politiske holdninger, Nick Cave skriver om.

  4. Jeg tvivler ikke på, at Morrisseys politiske holdninger er spiselige for mange, men det er de ikke for mig.

  5. Jeg holder, ALDRIG, op med, at lytte til The Smiths og Morrissey – men med hensyn til sidstnævnte så er de nyere udgivelser svære at sluge. Faktisk i en sådan grad, at jeg ikke ejer noget efter “WPINOYB” (som for øvrigt også var sløj!). Det bitre livssyn og de ubehagelige politiske undertoner har sneget sig ind i sangene ligeledes. Jeg behøver ingen lovprisninger af Israel, uanset hvor smuk en stemme der så end må stå bag. Jeg er enig med Nick Cave, at vi skal adskille kunsten fra kunstneren…men nogle gange er det godt nok i prøvelse som jeg ikke evner at håndtere og se i gennem tonerne med….

  6. Wow, vildt at du/nogen tilnærmelsesvis kan sidestille LS’s observation (!) af Thorning/Corydon’s teknokratiske højredrejning af Soc-demokratiet (fortsat siden med en S-optagelse af Støjberg/DF’s udlændinge-politik, samt da ikke mindst – indtil denne uges radikale fornuftinput – en accept af den symbolpolitiske kz-lejr på Lindholm) og det døende danske velfærdssamfund, som Soc-demokratiet om nogen har været skaber af og tidligere garant for, med Morrissey’s aktive omfavnelse af et ekstremistisk, muslimfjendsk og nationalkonservativt parti fra den yderste britiske højrefløj…!

  7. Jeg havde samme ærgerlige følelse og skuffelse over Love Shops sidste udgivelse, hvor en gruppe med Jens Unmack i spidsen, hvis musik jeg har været totalt opslugt af og har hørt mest på i de sidste mange år – så skal springe ud og nedgøre Socialdemokraiet og synge om dets “kolde krop”.
    Det har desværre kølnet mit forhold og det ærgrer mig, for jeg synes jo stadig at Love Shop er fantastisk musik og jeg synes, at bogen Himmelflugt og Højdeskræk var en særdeles spændende fortælling.

  8. Sådan har jeg det heldigvis også med de ældre ting, ultimativt op til Years of Refusal fra vist 2009. Siden da bliver det umuligt her, ikke mindst da jeg bilder mig ind, en bitter og hadefuld bismag har taget fast bo i hans ellers så overlegent smukke sangstemme. Men dejligt at læse Cave her, der skiller værket fra afsenderen, og gør sangene til lytterens/ens egen det øjeblik den er udsendt.

  9. Smukt skrevet, Nick!

    Som stor Moz-fan har jeg da også haft mine mørke stunder, hvor jeg har spurgt mig selv, om jeg skulle holde op med at lytte til hans musik fordi jeg slet slet ikke kan forstå hans bizarre, racistiske holdninger… Jeg har, siden jeg var 12 år gammel, bygget store dele af min identitet op omkring min forståelse af Morrisseys tekster og hans komplekse outsider-personlighed – og jeg følte mig i starten svigtet og såret over de vanvittige holdninger, der begyndte at dukke frem…
    … Jeg er dog siden nået frem til nogenlunde samme konklusion som Nick! Morrissey må mene og sige, hvad han vil!! Det vil aldrig kunne påvirke musikkens storhed og relevans…

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