Thursday, October 21, 2010

And while we're talking of Music Of Black Origin...

The other day, behind The Times' paywall, there was more attention given than strictly necessary to Keith Richard's memoirs, including a chance for other stars to say how great Keith is as a musician. (Why this was felt strictly required for a book that is mainly about how tiny Mick Jagger's penis is isn't clear.)

Amongst those lining up with opinions was Serge out of Kasabian:

"You play in open G tuning and it's instant Keith. and then of course you can't play it. For someone to own that sound is The holy Land as far as being a guitarist is concerned. And he always knows where to put the riff, where to put the note. He plays like a black man, with a machine gun rhythm, but he's white so it sounds different"
Black people play the guitar differently from white people, and even if white people do play in the same way as black people, they can't because of their skin pigmentation.

At best, Serge has created a modern version of "did you ever notice black people drive their cars like this... and white people drive like this" routines; at worst, it's right up there with "black people have natural rhythm" as lazy, quasi-racist gibberish.

As Michael M, who pointed me in the direction of Pizzorno's pensées says:
These is no essential difference to the musical abilities of white or black musicians, it's all cultural. Given that for the last 4 or 5 decades black and white musical culture has become increasingly merged his statement is at best an outdated nonsense.
Although, really, the idea of someone from Kasabian producing "outdated nonsense" shouldn't really be that surprising.