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Ginger Says – The industry knows what flavours you will put up with for the rest of your munching lives. They know how sensitive your little stomachs are

By Ginger | January 21, 2001

Ginger by Dave HeulunHappiness. Bullshit or not? Do you believe in it? Do you sometimes think that if no one believed in it, that there wasn’t a need for it, that anyone would have bothered thinking it up at all?

Yeah, happy new year. Happy New Fucking Year. It’s a bright, new, spring-loaded, multi-purpose, big, useless fucking new year to plough through, armed only with the hope that it’s gonna be better than the last fucking one. Like the last one was better than the one before? Like fuck.

Xmas? It was fucking shite, wasn’t it? A time for family? Unless you live in a paisley and pale blue world, where everyone says hello in the hallway and Mom and Dad kiss like they’re still dating, then you’re probably with me. Xmas? A time where, if you were ever gonna gun down the population of your town on a Saturday afternoon, this would be the season. I’m not suggesting you gun down anyone, mind you… but if you are then just make sure they work in the music industry. One less asshole, right? (More later.)

Fucking New Year? Fucking fuck fuckity fuck. “Happy New Year”? When you say that, when it tumbles over your lips, does it taste the same as “I’m really sorry to hear about your recent bereavement”, or some such ‘need to say something – make sure it’s bullshit’ auto-crap? It’s bullshit and the whole world laps it up and never complains about the flavour. It’s popular. Lies disguised as conversation. It’s blah blah blah… and don’t we just fucking lap that shit up.

I can’t get signed! It’s a joke, right? Now, I’m not naming any names, but for fuck’s fucking bastard’s sake, I’m sure I’m as good / talented / entertaining (choose adjective of choice) as anyone currently making a living out of / getting signed into this business. (I’m sure you think so too… wish you were an A&R man!)

Two (I’ll run that past you again just in case you missed it… two) shows in this country. Both in London, both crammed to the rafters with people all singing along to an album that hasn’t even been released, both attended by record companies looking for a band that look like a promising proposition for a seemingly ROCK 2001, and every fucking one of them said, “Nah, I don’t see it.”

So what do I have to do? I can’t cut myself, I swear to you, I wouldn’t know where to stop.

A year ago, I suggested to the faceless mass that we will simply refer to as ‘the industry’, that the album gets released in its original form, the form it’s in now. I was turned down on the grounds that “the industry knows best.” That’s a whole year spent sitting on your fucking ass waiting for this ‘big industry’ idea to blow your fucking hat clean off yer head. A year preparing to be impressed beyond anything your meagre ‘musician’ brain could conjure up, even in its most over-driven state of inspiration. You wanna hear the industry plan one year down the line? The industry are releasing the album in its original form.

Laugh? If I didn’t want to shoot myself through the fucking face then maybe I’d find it funny, perhaps even ironic. But I don’t… I just don’t see the fucking irony, y’know. I only see hatred – pure undiluted hatred buzzing through my body thicker than the walls of the veins that it somehow manages to squeeze itself through. And thank fuck it does squeeze through too. It’s the only thing that’s keeping me walking; keeping me writing; keeping me working as an automaton in a faceless world of clueless bureaucrats counting the spoils of their last successful campaign to fob off the public with some light entertainment – the kind of entertainment that is un-hampered by the anchor that the industry call TALENT. The mere word strikes fear into the heart of every lazy fucking pig in every stinking shit-infested office that resides under the crust that is the industry. You see, careers are built on power. Power is based on ownership. And ownership is the art of manipulation. The idea of talent undermines this power at the very core of the beast.

“If the guy we are signing writes songs himself, and we don’t think those songs are going to sell [remember these people know what you want, right?], and we suggest he has a whole bunch of writers write the songs instead of him, then he is going to be offended. That is going to cause trouble, and we don’t want no trouble. Forget him. We’ll instead sign up that group that look cute and will do anything to make it – even play whole albums, whole sets, and make whole careers out of other people’s songs.”

That is what this business is giving you to munch on, boys and girls. And they know what flavours you will put up with for the rest of your munching lives. They know how sensitive your little stomachs are. See that huge wall outside? Pick up the biggest stone you can lift and hurl it towards that big ol’ wall… and listen to hear if it says “ouch”. This is your industry, you paid for it by buying their ideas. Ideas that they knew would work. Me? I’m outside of it all. Never bought Marilyn Manson. Never bought Limp Bizkit, Korn, Blink 182. I can’t complain that they suck, y’know, because I never wore the hat in the first place. Let’s face it, I don’t like the taste of cock, I can’t roll over and have my belly stroked, and I won’t be someone’s clown… unless that someone is me.

What hope in the fucking world have I got of getting signed? And on top of all that, if having self-respect wasn’t handicap enough, I have TALENT. I write my own songs, in the long-standing, and sadly dwindling, art of self-exorcism / -promotion / -preservation. I couldn’t be less attractive to a major record company if I was a rapist. (Actually, at least that would have a market… OK, OK, bad joke, but we are on the subject of bad jokes, right?).

So what do I do? Suicide is right out of the question, as tempting as it sometimes looks. (Hey, I’d probably get a Best Of out of it, though!) No, what I do is keep on going, ploughing through the mire, living off the many compliments given to me by the record-buying public that fill the pockets of this sick industry, while I struggle to pay the rent. Ironic? You couldn’t make this up! (Copyright: Darren Stockford.)

And don’t you – yeah, you at the back – gimme any of this “people would give their left arm for the gift of being able to write a song” bullshit, because I’ll rip that fucking left arm off the first person that spouts any of that “at least you’ve got your eyes” crap. Go fuck yourself. “A working class hero is something to be.” (Copyright: John Lennon.) Only someone that was once working class and had now moved on to pastures far more lucrative could write something like that. “A cult hero is something to be” (trad. arr). Same principal applies.

“Money can’t buy me love”? Then you must be really fucking ugly. Money equals success as it is the only currency that makes any sense, and therefore has any value, to the people running this business. It is the only valuable item. Everything else can be worked out. Jobs for the boys. Back scratching. What a filthy fucking business this really is. Songwriters will be killed by this business just as artists have been killed by computer graphics.

The future? It looks like there will be some kind of a future, though not one I want any part of. A future safe with blueprints instead of passion, stunt-cocks instead of artists, designers instead of style. I don’t want to be part of a world where the term ‘artist’ has ceased to apply. And I will stick around for as long as it takes for us to become fully extinct.

No longer.

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