Tag Archives: Generation X

Eric Clapton: England Is For White People

“Do we have any foreigners in the audience tonight? If so, please put up your hands. Wogs I mean, I’m looking at you. Where are you? I’m sorry but some fucking wog…Arab grabbed my wife’s bum, you know? Surely got to be said, yeah this is what all the fucking foreigners and wogs over here are like, just disgusting, that’s just the truth, yeah. So where are you? Well wherever you all are, I think you should all just leave. Not just leave the hall, leave our country. You fucking (indecipherable). I don’t want you here, in the room or in my country. Listen to me, man! I think we should vote for Enoch Powell. Enoch’s our man. I think Enoch’s right, I think we should send them all back. Stop Britain from becoming a black colony. Get the foreigners out. Get the wogs out. Get the coons out. Keep Britain white. I used to be into dope, now I’m into racism. It’s much heavier, man. Fucking wogs, man. Fucking Saudis taking over London. Bastard wogs. Britain is becoming overcrowded and Enoch will stop it and send them all back. The black wogs and coons and Arabs and fucking Jamaicans and fucking (indecipherable) don’t belong here, we don’t want them here. This is England, this is a white country, we don’t want any black wogs and coons living here. We need to make clear to them they are not welcome. England is for white people, man. We are a white country. I don’t want fucking wogs living next to me with their standards. This is Great Britain, a white country, what is happening to us, for fuck’s sake? We need to vote for Enoch Powell, he’s a great man, speaking truth. Vote for Enoch, he’s our man, he’s on our side, he’ll look after us. I want all of you here to vote for Enoch, support him, he’s on our side. Enoch for Prime Minister! Throw the wogs out! Keep Britain white!”
– Eric Clapton, to his audience during an August 1976 concert in Birmingham, UK. (Per Wikipedia, “in British English, wog is an offensive racial slur usually applied to Middle Eastern and South Asian peoples.”)

Clapton’s rant, coupled with the rise of fascist and neo-Nazi rhetoric in England, led to the formation of Rock Against Racism, a UK campaign in which recording artists including The Clash, Elvis Costello, The Buzzcocks, Steel Pulse, Aswad and Generation X performed concerts with an anti-racism theme.

In an interview some years later, Clapton claims his remarks weren’t aimed at any one particular minority. True. They were aimed at “wogs” and “coons” and Arabs and Jamaicans, so several minorities. You dug yourself out of that one! “It was kind of a feeling of loss of identity, being English and losing my Englishness,” said the blues guitarist whose first solo top ten hit was a cover of a reggae song written by Bob Marley.

In his 2007 autobiography, cleverly entitled Clapton: The Autobiography, in a paragraph that begins with the sentence “I had never really understood, or been directly affected by, racial conflict,” Clapton says of the 1976 outburst “Since then I have learned to keep my opinions to myself.” Okay, that’s one lesson. I think there may be more if one looks hard enough.

Today Eric Clapton turns 70 years old. To celebrate, here are twenty songs about the idiocy of racism.

Click here to like Tunes du Jour on Facebook.
Follow me on Twitter: @TunesDuJour

Leave a Comment

Filed under playlists

Punks And Lesbians

In the early days of London’s punk rock movement, around 1976, there were no punk clubs per se, so the punks needed somewhere to congregate where they can be who they are and dress how they dress without fear of being hassled. They found such a place at Club Louise, a lesbian bar that also welcomed gay men and punks, just off Oxford Street in London’s Soho district. Billy Idol hung out there every night. Other regulars included Johnny Rotten, Sid Vicious, Paul Cook, Siouxsie Sioux, Malcolm McLaren, Vivienne Westwood, members of The Clash and members of The Slits. Writes Billy Idol in his recently-released autobiography Dancing With Myself, “[Louise’s] was a much-needed haven. Back then, the way we dressed would have started a riot if we had set foot in any normal club or pub.”

Idol discusses Louise’s as ground zero for the punks’ plans. “We all congregated there, drinking and socializing, plotting our rebellion. It was our midnight meeting place, our sanctuary. We all walked the same path at that time. Many of the classic-rock bands talked about musicianship but had little to offer us, the disenfranchised and disenchanted… As the gay ladies danced and loved one another, we devised our plans and consolidated a movement. By being like-minded, we ruled the night. We would rock London to its core. The lesbian bar was our spiritual ‘upper room,’ and we, the new aristocracy of the poor, knighted with fire, sallied forth and followed Johnny Rotten into the unknown!”

New York City’s punk scene was similar. Club 82, a drag queen/transsexual bar, was one of the few public places where punks could perform in the early to mid-1970s. The club always welcomed the outcasts, so the punks were part of the family. Other gay bars opened their doors to punks as well. These not only were places that accepted those who are “different;” gay bars also were places where people could experiment with their appearance.

Idol explains the bond between the punk rockers and the LGBT populations by quoting a figure from American history. “Benjamin Franklin once offered advice to his fellow revolutionaries: ‘We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.’ We were a small group of people bored with the repeated clichés of modern life and its stagnant, putrid waters. That is what brought us — and ultimately bonded us — together.”

Ringo + Billy Idol
Today Billy Idol turns 59 years old. Here are twenty career highlights.

Click here to like Tunes du Jour on Facebook!

Leave a Comment

Filed under playlists