Friday, December 19, 2008

Gordon in the morning: Now with Francis Rossi

The story about doctors recommending neck braces for headbangers has got Gordon Smart all annoyed:

IT’S enough to give heavy metal fans a headache.

Health and safety experts want to pull the plug on headbanging – the skull-shaking dance craze which started at a Led Zeppelin gig in 1968.

He's so angry, he's called in Francis Rossi to join him in an anger-swamp:
WHEN I heard that experts are advising headbangers to wear neck braces, I thought it must be a joke.

That, Francis, is because, erm, it was a joke. It was a bit of fluff for the Christmas edition of the British Medical Journal. They weren't actually seriously suggesting that you wear neck braces to heavy rock gigs. It was meant to be lighthearted...
[T]he nanny state would have had a field day with us.

There have been so many times that we’ve nearly decapitated each other by swinging our guitars around our heads.

Even if they weren't joking - which they were, and you're getting all annoyed about something meant as a joke - they're university researchers and not part of the "nanny state", and were only making suggestions, not prescribing rules. But it was a joke anyway.
[T]here’s a difference between taking care of yourself and being totally paranoid in life.

What, you mean like being so paranoid someone writes a tongue-in-cheek article for a Christmas edition of a magazine and you're so blinded by belief that people are trying to do you down that you write an opinion column for a national newspaper? That sort of paranoid?
Not so long ago, RICK (PARFITT) twisted his ankle on stage from rocking out during a gig. What did he do?

He carried on playing and sorted it out afterwards.

If health and safety had been there, no doubt they would have carted him off on a stretcher and kitted the rest of us out with protective bodywear.

Yeah - damn health and safety and their nannying ways, theoretically trying to stop Rick Parfitt from having a nasty injury which might have caused him mobility problems in later life, if they'd been there, whoever "health and safety" might be.
Some people even look on a sore neck and ringing ears the morning after a gig as the sign of a good night.

I wonder if Pete Townshend might like to take Rossi to one side and explain exactly why that might be an especially dangerous thing to say. Somehow, Rossi has managed to take a joke and turn it into something that could potentially persuade people to put their hearing at risk. You'd have thought that Gordon might have had the wit to remove that line.


Anonymous said...

I feel a bit sorry for Gordon. It's obvious what happened; He was at the Sun's Christmas Party yesterday, sitting at the Bizarre table, when he felt a tap on the shoulder.

Gasp! It was Clarkson.

"Me and the boys were wondering if you'd like to join us on the Exaggerated-Right-Wing-Outrage Columnists' table" he said, gesturing towards a smiling John Gaunt, Jane Moore et al.

"M-m-me? B-but you're the... the L-lord!" stammered Gordon.

"Yes, but we've all been admiring your work this year. Come on, you're too good to just be reprinting Kasabian press releases. Sit with us." Gordon is agog.

Three boozy hours later, Gordon is holding court at the columnists' table. He has everyone in stitches. He can't believe it! Then, someone has an idea.

"Gordon," says a face which Smart can barely make out through the alcoholic haze. "You could be one of us. You too could get thousands per week just to write a page attacking Britain-gone-mad."
"Yes! I could!" beams Smart. "But... How? I'm the Prime Minister of showbiz. Wouldn't it look odd if I suddenly started writing about loony councils and PC do-gooders?"
"Not a problem" chuckles the voice. "I've got just the story. It's got rock music AND bonkers Health and Safety rules in it. It practically writes itself! Here, I've got a print-off, take it, and show the world what you're made of..."

With the enthusiasm of Charlie Bucket finding the golden ticket, Gordon runs back to the office, his head filled with ambition, excitement and the distant sound of a guffawing Clarkson bellowing something about stitching a little twat up...

Anonymous said...

I just had a glance at the article on the BMJ site and it just goes to show how vast the gap is between intelligent people who can understand a joke in the language of science and creatures who swing clubs around shouting "fukuhelfensafetee". It really doesn't take much to look at that article and realise that its lingua is placed firmly in its buccae. (sorry)

Then again I never understand most of these "fukuhelfensafetee" articles since anyone with any sense who's actually done a health and safety check will be able to tell you that given enough time you can pretty much cover everything. After all, it doesn't take much common sense to spot that we're still quite able to take part in jumping out of planes or driving fast vroomvrooms round in circles.

(oh and James' reply was brilliant!)

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