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On privately educated rock stars, 10m 100yr-olds, and Burnley manager’s job

Posted on 30 December 2010 | 5:12pm

Many thanks to twitterers for keeping me vaguely informed of what has been happening outside the no newspapers, not seen the news for a week Christmas zone where I have been.
The two most interesting random things pointed out to me were 1, that sixty per cent of British acts which made the charts are privately educated and 2, that ten million people alive in Britain today will live to the age of 100.
Both observations worried me, the first because it so fits the kind of Britain the Tory government wants to encourage, and the second because as a country I’m not sure our politics is geared up for the issues that flow from such demographic change.
Of course the most significant news, which trended on twitter no less, was the departure of Brian Laws as Burnley manager. He is a really nice guy, but a section of the support never really took to him at all, and I suppose the board felt we ought to be doing better with the squad we have.
When Owen Coyle did a runner, one of the bookies was kind enough to have me at 66-1 to take over. This time, I seem not to figure at all, but I will keep the phone on just in case the chairman is trying to get in touch.

  • There hasn’t been a decent working class band since the Smiths. Get over it.

  • John

    Great blog post. Everytime I open my mouth about private education i’m instantly rebuked with “you have a chip on your shoulder”, which is untrue. I don’t judge individuals and I don’t hold a grudge against private schools. I am open to more progressive education but the “you have a chip on your shoulder” comment is so disarming and frustrating

  • What’s wrong with with Private school education? Instead of criticising, your Labour govt in their 13 odd yrs should have improved the decaying state school system. Then we wouldn’t have to have parents having to send their kids to private school to protect them from the knife wielding hooded bullies lurking in our inner city school system.

  • Claretcolin

    It was a real shame that Brian did not do as well as we had all hoped. He wasn’t Mr popular but I really wanted him to do well. In the end it became uncomfortable when fans were arguing amongst themselves particularly at away games. Although I had supported his efforts all season, I also support the decision to let a very nice guy go.

  • Alan

    I see that Burnley means a lot to you, but Coyle didn’t do a runner. He was simply given the choice to better his career and he grabbed it with both hands (albeit it wasn’t that much of a jump). Owen is very clinical in his approach to football, but he cares for his staff and players whoever that maybe. Celtic ignored him all through his playing career, but are beginning to come round to him as a manager. He is a great motivator and gets the best out of what he’s got. Up in Scotland, Burnley are look upon as a very decent schooling club for footballers, so don’t spoil your clubs image. It’s typical for anybody associated with Celtic family to be cast as a Judas for one thing or another. Come on give him your support, you gave him the lift up he needed. Order, Order let the guy from the Gorbals flourish.

  • Quinney

    Don’t worry Dave will hug the hoodies so they will see the errors of their ways and in time they will benefit from charitable orgainisations that will intervene to save them.

  • Quinney

    Don’t worry Dave will hug the hoodies so they will see the errors of their ways and in time they will benefit from charitable orgainisations that will intervene to save them.

  • Quinney

    Karl Marginson at FC United is going nowhere, forget it Ally!

  • Quinney

    Karl Marginson at FC United is going nowhere, forget it Ally!

  • Craig Mcnamara

    Tells us more about how badly Labour ran the state education system or do you think that the old school tie is getting people record deals these days?

  • Craig Mcnamara

    Tells us more about how badly Labour ran the state education system or do you think that the old school tie is getting people record deals these days?

  • Hollinsfarm

    Come on Al get your self back and get on that interviewing panel ! you could play the bad cop role ( not like you don’t know it well enough) we need a future manager who can handle the expectations of the clarets fans and more importantly understand why ninth in the table just isn’t good enough, any way why arn’t you on the board? Burnley Football Club needs an Alastair Campbell ! have a nice new year ,,,,,,,,,,,,,, shame politics isn’t like football then we could have booted Dum and Dummer out after a year !

  • Hollinsfarm

    Come on Al get your self back and get on that interviewing panel ! you could play the bad cop role ( not like you don’t know it well enough) we need a future manager who can handle the expectations of the clarets fans and more importantly understand why ninth in the table just isn’t good enough, any way why arn’t you on the board? Burnley Football Club needs an Alastair Campbell ! have a nice new year ,,,,,,,,,,,,,, shame politics isn’t like football then we could have booted Dum and Dummer out after a year !

  • Steve Brundish

    Alastair I am glad to see you picked up on that 60% of chart acts are privately educated. I was astounded by this number. I then read on and it explained that because of the music lessons and recording studios these people had an advantage. No doubt the fact that the music industry is now controlled by a cartel of music companies and promoters like Simon Cowell who rely on a conveyor belt of l talent which can be moulded and controlled has something to do with it. To me music in this country is dead. Rock music was always the music of the streets the establishment hated Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and co. The kids created the youth culture not the other way around, The Teds, Mods Rockers, and Punks working class kids rebelling against the post war austerity and then anything that moved. There was danger in the air whether from flying bits of wood from Pete Townshend’s Gibson or the sweat or spit from a punk pogoing at the Marquee. Along with Football working people have been pushed out of our cultural heartlands by mockney speaking posers. I apologise to all the Tarquins out there but Rock and Roll and the cello don’t go together and in the Punk days you would have been wearing it rather than playing it.. Yes I was in a band and spent 10 years trying to how to play the guitar and I don’t really mind a few privately educated musicians in or around the scene but 60% its a total take over and music is the worse for it. But just like Rap real music evolution and creativity come from people who have lived at bit. Rock will be back. Things feel and sound dead at present just like they did when Malcolm McLaren put John Lydon and co into their ripped T shirts and consigned the Rock establishment to the bin for a generation. Tarquin you are warned.

  • Steve Brundish

    Alastair I am glad to see you picked up on that 60% of chart acts are privately educated. I was astounded by this number. I then read on and it explained that because of the music lessons and recording studios these people had an advantage. No doubt the fact that the music industry is now controlled by a cartel of music companies and promoters like Simon Cowell who rely on a conveyor belt of l talent which can be moulded and controlled has something to do with it. To me music in this country is dead. Rock music was always the music of the streets the establishment hated Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and co. The kids created the youth culture not the other way around, The Teds, Mods Rockers, and Punks working class kids rebelling against the post war austerity and then anything that moved. There was danger in the air whether from flying bits of wood from Pete Townshend’s Gibson or the sweat or spit from a punk pogoing at the Marquee. Along with Football working people have been pushed out of our cultural heartlands by mockney speaking posers. I apologise to all the Tarquins out there but Rock and Roll and the cello don’t go together and in the Punk days you would have been wearing it rather than playing it.. Yes I was in a band and spent 10 years trying to how to play the guitar and I don’t really mind a few privately educated musicians in or around the scene but 60% its a total take over and music is the worse for it. But just like Rap real music evolution and creativity come from people who have lived at bit. Rock will be back. Things feel and sound dead at present just like they did when Malcolm McLaren put John Lydon and co into their ripped T shirts and consigned the Rock establishment to the bin for a generation. Tarquin you are warned.

  • lesley

    Owen Coyle did indeed do a runner and well deserves his Judas title but what is done is done.Brian Laws was never the man for the job,he might be the nicest man on the planet but he has the charisma of a squashed gnat and like it or not the best football managers who inspire their fans and team always have great charisma.It grates me very much to say so but this was the major difference between Coyle and Laws.The board really needs to go for a manager with passion next time as Clarets fans will forgive any amount of bad results if we just play with inspiration rather than indifference

  • To be honest I’m surprised the number is as low as 60%. It would be interesting to know if that is higher or lower than 20 years ago (think Genesis, Brian May etc). I don’t think the advantage comes from music lessons (they probably help) but more from having the time, space and most importantly confidence (much a part of a private education) to have a go.

    Personally I’ve never really been a fan of rock and roll. Me and my mates were always fans of house music. Anyone could have a go. Much more meritocratic. Now, wheres my drink…

  • Gilliebc

    There is nothing wrong with private school education, for those fortunate enough to be in a position to pay for it. Good luck to ’em.
    But, surely no one can say that state schools didn’t improve under a Labour government, because they definitely did improve a great deal. Leaking roofs were fixed, smaller class sizes, more books and many other good things were achieved during Labour’s 13 years. As for knife wielding hoodie types, we don’t have that sort down here in Devon and if we did, I’m sure they would be efficiently dealt with. My grand daughter’s junior school has a few difficult and challenging pupils though, the sort that in my day would have been sent to special schools. I’m not happy at all that this type of child is allowed to be at school with ordinary children (especially my beloved grand daughter). But, in the main they seem to be accepted and liked by the other children. Even when one of them tried to strangle my grand daughter’s best friend and had to be pulled off by a teacher. And that’s another point these difficult children have to be constantly monitored. If I was a teacher, I wouldn’t be best pleased to have my time taken up by having to watch over these freaks of nature, instead of trying to educate the normal children.

  • Richard

    “… the first because it so fits the kind of Britain the Tory government wants to encourage….”
    The tory subversive, unannounced policy on pop music acts ia aweful. All those poor people misled by Cowell and his cronies into watching acts who went to public school feeding us their middle class drivel! We should have been warned of this before now.
    Make a New Year Resolution Al: you do not need to blame everything wrong in your world on Con/Lib Dems. “Two Shags, Two Jags, First Class, Upper Deck” Prescott appears regularly on TV spouting the rhetoric of the eighties and you also seem incapable of moving on.
    New Labour was cleverly built on “Thatcher is the cause of all your woes” politics. It withered and died.
    The future is about compromise, coalition and “chips on shoulders” politics have no place in our future.

  • Olli Issakainen

    Our problem was not Mr Laws. According to BBC statistics we have played well and created a lot of chances. But we have been unlucky not to get the results.
    The real problem is that we never replaced Steven Fletcher. With Pato also injured, we have lacked pace up.
    I would like to see Brian Flynn as our next manager. He is good with young players and could introduce Harvey, Wes Fletcher, King etc. to the team.
    But in reality I think it will be Billy Davies, Phil Brown, Eddie Howe, Derek McInnes or Chris Hughton. Or Paul Lambert.
    Anaway, we have a squad capable of promotion. But we need to start with Cort and McDonald plus sign a defensive midfielder.
    As for your chances, I would like to see you in our boardroom. Buy some shares in Burnley FC with your book proceeds!

    Ps. Happy New Year to all regular commenters.

  • Steve Brundish

    Just a clarification on the point you made about the percentage increase over the last two decades. The news item I refered to mentioned 1%
    increaseing to 60%

  • Phil

    Manic Street Preachers, Oasis and Arctic Monkeys to name just three. Wasn’t TB a privately educated wanabe rock star in the 1970s?

  • Idle Rich

    So, hung up the boots and hoping for a management career?

  • Sarah Dodds

    I am a teacher, and these comments bother me. You are right in saying that education improved under Labour. It was for that reason I to joined the party a few months ago.
    However, in terms of the difficult and challenging children you refer to your claims are way off the scale in terms of reality, for the following reasons.
    a) these “types” of children will be expected to grow up with, socialise with, work with, and maybe even have a relationship and kids with, “ordinary” children. Inclusion means that not only do children with challenges grow up with an expectation to work and live in society alongside their peers, but the other kids in the school see them as “normal”. My hope is that my children will grow up without any latent prejudices. And this is a wonderful way to start.
    b) In terms of behaviour that can be challenging, it is wrong to pin point kids with special needs as having the main issues. I can categorically testify that the most disruptive behaviour seen in school today is actually from kids who you would view in the first instance as “normal.”
    c) In terms of the extra “monitoring” they require, it can be fairly easily done where the special needs services of a LA work well in providing services for schools in putting in place statements of educational needs. And “monitoring” is not the right word at all to describe the nurturing, encouraging and teaching that goes on in the best schools for these kids. One of my huge worries now is that this provision will become sadly diminished as a natural and direct, although unintended, consequence of Tory education policy.
    d) I have been “best pleased” to watch over and teach these kids. It has been, in 99% of circumstances, a prime source of job satisfaction for me.
    e) Gilliebc, we are all freaks of nature. Normal is just a word that we use to justify what we find acceptable.

  • Dave Simons

    While I’m sympathetic to the general drift of what you say, I would quibble with every supporting detail. It’s more complicated. For example, if I watch the clip of Buddy Holly and the Crickets on the Ed Sullivan Show – late 1957 I think – I don’t get any impression of The Establishment hating Rock ‘n’ Roll. Buddy keeps addressing Ed as ‘Sir’, and ‘Sir Ed’ does not seem at all antagonistic to the group – paternal maybe, patronising perhaps. Also there have been middle class rockers from the beginning – Chuck Berry’s family weren’t so badly off, and pop stars didn’t come more middle class than Brian Jones and Mick Jagger. I don’t think being privately-educated is necessarily a baleful influence – although I would except Genesis from that! Nor do I think you have to have lived a bit to be creative (or destructive). Johnny Rotten and Sid Viscious certainly hadn’t lived a bit when they were doing the rounds – a lot of the punk message was ‘If you want to change the world all you have to do is shoot your mouth off and swear a lot’. Bob Geldof’s still doing it! Mods and Rockers weren’t rebelling against post-war austerity – the early 1960s were boom years when you could get what you wanted on the ‘never never’ and the philosophy was ‘live now and pay later’. Austerity was ending when the Teds started slashing up cinema seats.
    It’s no surprise that people from advantaged backgrounds should become predominant wherever there’s money to be made. They can buy the best instruments, have lessons and use a ready-made middle class network of recording engineers, promoters and publishers. Before Bob Dylan and the Beatles very few university students took pop music seriously, except to debunk it, along with other expressions of mass literacy like tabloid newspapers and TV soaps. After pop lyrics got more literary, former university students started forming bands like the Zombies, Hedgehoppers Anonymous and Manfred Mann. There is no reason at all for cellos to be excluded from rock music – Buddy Holly used strings when he was recording in New York, as did his imitators like Adam Faith. It isn’t a straightforward case of working class = anti-establishment, energy, drive, hunger, and middle class = establishment, smugness and conformity. Having said all that I sort of know what you mean!

  • Dave Simons

    Thank you Sarah – I’m so relieved that somebody answered the above post, especially that phrase ‘freaks of nature’, which I thought had been consigned to the dustbin of history, but apparently still lives on in hoodie-free Devon. The five points you list are wonderful!

  • Ehtch

    The old tie club stretches far. Apart from Pink Floyd, said rock and pop stars haven’t that much to say, just smoke on the water to not see who is actually saying something.

    And as for comedians, BBC Three is full of non-funny tripe, and is even affecting Channel Four.

    And as for Burnley’s future manager, that is a domestic affair at the moment, that you need to sort out for yourselves. Go Swansea/Jacks!

  • Max Headroom

    Radiohead = Privately Educated An excellent Band

    Then there’s Coldplay. Chris Martin = Privately Educated OMG.

    Funny isn’t it? They espouse Private Education for their rich friends whilst the mere mortals should now be eductaed not by professionals but by the ocal grandad in the “free community scholls” CamerWrong is so dangerous.

  • Steve Brundish

    Dave

    Sorry for not coming back earlier, I note some of your points but Rock music was basically anti establishment, Elvis and others set the tone and this followed through with musicians writing and performing their own music. Although your right when you say this was the late 50’s and not during the post war austerity period, It was the generation who grew up just after the war and lived through the austerity period and were reacting against it. I don’t want to go too in depth on the origins of the post war youth culture but the point stands that there was a lot of influences on the British rock scene mostly driven by working people playing and buying the music. Now with 60% of rock musicians privately educated and the reminder of the chart acts consisting of vocal groups controlled by management companies the whole process is a bit formulaic. Also when I talk about ‘living a bit’ I mean do something else other than study for 16 O levels, 4 A levels and university. Yes there is a place in the mix for those but we also need the energy of those who have lived on the council estates and who have taught themselves to play while experiencing the normal lives that the majority of young people can relate to. Bands like the Beatles, the Kinks, the Stranglers and the Jam. My original point still stands that there has been a takeover and music is the worse for it.

  • Dave Simons

    Thanks Steve. I certainly agree that pop music has been processed and gentrified to a deadening degree.

  • Alex

    What’s your problem with privately educated musicians. If you want to play an instrument you have to learn. teaching helps. Teaching costs money, so it is hardly surprising if those who pay for their education, or perhaps those with music scholarships turn out to be more accomplished musicians. That doesn’t mean they are more talented or that the others can’t play, but it doesmean they are more likely to publish songs that get intoi the charts.