M.A.D. Cancels Smut Peddlers European Tour for "Right Wing Statements".
As of 03/15/05, the Smut Peddlers European tour is in serious crisis. All it took was this question:

"Nice quote from Thrasher: "Most music magazines are just political propaganda, and the people that write and do interviews are a sorry lot with axes to grind" - strong words. Can you elaborate on this?"

and this answer:

John- "In the United States, it seems like most of the so-called "music" magazines are filled with left-wing political propaganda and not much discussion of music. School teachers and University Professors are predominately leftists. They like to be called "progressive", which implies that those who disagree with them are REgressive. The universities and schools tend to brainwash the students with Ideas and concepts like "Affirmative Action", which is institutional racism. The Hollywood entertainment industry is the same way. Journalists and Gay Actors are not representative of America as a whole. I voted for Bush, and he won fair and square. I thought he was better than the alternative. I liked Ronald Reagan, too. So we can't get a gig at Spaceland. I don't think politics should be a big deal and so one-sided in the press. If a musician has an opinion and wants to talk about it, fine, but having critics and editors constantly ramming their views down my throat and censoring and editing out opposing views is frustrating, boring, and downright fascist. Maybe it's different in Europe, but it's probably even worse."

...in an interview conducted via email for the editors of Ox Fanzine to (in less than 24 hours) mobilize a boycott of the Smut Peddlers upcoming European tour, on the grounds that they had a "right wing agenda." Make A Difference (MAD), the booking agency handling the tour immediately caved under the pressure and cancelled the tour, ending what had been a positive, successful business relationship with the band. MAD's explanation for this move was:

"There is a discussion going on in the European press and media about an interview given by a band member to a fanzine. We don´t want to apology for any bands statements."

These actions by Ox and MAD are only made to look ridiculous and hypocritical in light of Ox recently running a memorial piece on the notoriously conservative Johnny Ramone(RIP), and MAD continuing to list numerous openly conservative and patriotic American Punk, Hardcore and Oi! bands on their roster: most notably Down By Law, who's front man Dave Smalley has very publicly attached himself to Conservativepunk.com as one of their columnist. Apparently both Ox and MAD like to pick and choose who's political opinions they want to take a stance against.

TKO Records will not stand by this unfair and unjustified treatment of the Smut Peddlers. We are 100% in the Smut Peddlers corner on this issue. The actions taken by Ox and MAD against the Smut Peddlers for John Ransom expressing himself are just plain wrong, and very unbecoming of supposedly open-minded members of the "Left Wing". TKO is proud to have a reputation of working with bands who hold a very wide spectrum of political views and for supporting these bands' right to self-expression. We've never backed down to pressure from would-be censors and we won't start now. This tour is happening whether Ox and MAD like it or not. Plane tickets have been bought and work schedules have been painstakingly adjusted. The show is going on.

We are asking for your help. Any European Smut Peddlers fans who can help the band get a show in their area, please get in touch at: info@tkorecords.com

Any Smut Peddlers fans who want to show their support and let Ox and MAD know how you feel about this, hit them up at:

Ox- redaktion@ox-fanzine.de

and

MAD- info@mad-tourbooking.de

Thanks for you time,

TKO Records

"We are definitely a leftist magazine, not a single person among our staff of 70+ writers supports political parties and ideas that are not leftist (I am very confident about that) and we all think that president Bush and his whole administration are a bunch of right wing assholes." - Ox Fanzine

"God bless President Bush, and God bless America." -Johnny Ramone (recently featured in Ox Fanzine) at the Ramones' induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.

"...and everybody by MAD is shocked about what he said too we are all 200 % left wing people and we are all asking ourself do we know them. " -MAD, commenting on John Ransom and the Smut Peddlers

"In 2004, punk rock fans don't have to all be the same. Sheep are the same. Lemmings are the same. But punk rock fans should never demand sameness, be it from the left or the right. A healthy democracy depends on a free thinking, engaged citizenry -- and a healthy punk rock scene should be the FIRST to welcome ideological diversity.

... I call punk rock conservatives gonzo conservatives. This is not your father's conservatism. Gonzo conservatives have done and seen things their fathers never could have imagined, and right alongside punks on the left. Gonzos are inked and scarred and concerned about problems in the world. They love the Bad Brains and the Sex Pistols, and grew up believing the very essential punk rock notion of "think for yourself." Some have been part of the punk rock scene for years, and helped it grow. Some are new to the scene and discovering that punk's ideals can lead to more than one way streets.

... Gonzo conservatives see racial quotas as an Orwellian twisting of good intentions. Not hiring someone because of their color? Hiring someone because of theirs? It's racist, and illogical. Imagine if "affirmative action" extended to one's favorite band. The Beatles were four white men. Should they have had to hire "someone of color" to fill a quota? How about if the Bad Brains had to hire a white person on drums? If racial quotas seem like a poor idea for a band, it's an even worse reason for someone getting admitted to medical school. Let's be truly a colorblind society, and let all people's talents shine, regardless of the color of their skin. Where there is discrimination, we must fight it -- but we must not make the remedy one of discrimination itself."- Dave Smalley, front man of MAD-represented act Down By Law

fyi - i rec'd this via email and posted it cuz i thought it was interesting... most actual sources are cited in the body of the article. jb

Comment