I started mulling over this line of thinking after seeing Canadian “Alt-Rocker” Matthew Good get his blog post about the Vancouver Stanley Cup riots picked up by the Guardian over in the UK. “Who’s Matthew Good?” you ask. Apparently he was “big” in Canada back in the ’90’s, but I was living in Seattle at that time and as he didn’t really register a blip on the radar outside of Canadian borders, I was ignorant of his “fame”. So besides what you can find on Wikipedia, I can’t really tell you more about him.
I won’t get into how I felt about his opinion as I can’t really think of a way to say it in a positive or complimentary way.
He’s obviously not the only artist out there who likes to get his opinion heard. Bono, Sting, Bruce Sprinsteen, Peter Gabriel and a host of others also seem to enjoy getting their points of view on a bunch of different subjects out in front of the public eye.
My question is:
Does Joe Bloe or Jane Blane actually give a hoot about what Matthew Good or other artists have to say outside of their lyrics / music?
Obviously some people do as there are a freak-load of comments on this post at the Guardian and his personal blog.
In my previous life, I had access to and met a number music artists from a variety of “lists”. And really, when you take away all the stage, sound and lights, they’re mostly just as “normal” as the rest of us. The difference between them and the rest of us is the fact that they’ve established an audience through their art. That audience is also ready and eager to hear more.
I guess I should qualify my original question with a couple of others:
- Does an artists’ opinion on a given topic actually sway people’s opinions about it ? (or does it just re-inforce those who already empathize with their lyrics/music)
- If so, do people question whether or not these artists are “qualified” and knowledgable in the subject on which they are giving their opinion (i.e. is there any level of skepticism being employed?) ?
I’ll get off my soap-box now…