Censorship and Dire Straights

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Freedom 55

A_J wrote:

there's also a widely used version that leaves the verse in but censors the word (I think it's replaced by "mother")


There's also a version that uses the word "Clampett".


Cueball Cueball's picture

I always thought the song was written from the point of view of someone we were meant to look at as a bit of a bellyaching loser who was being ridiculed. I thought it was parody. That is the reaon why the particular lyric never bothered me.


Not to worry.  You can still catch marathon performances of the song on Canadian radio stations - seems they ain't listening.

[b]Dire Straits keyboardist calls song ruling 'unbelievable'[/b]

TORONTO - Classic rock fans and radio stations across Canada have decided that a ruling against Dire Straits' 1985 hit "Money For Nothing" simply ain't workin'.

Days after the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council ruled the song unfit for radio because of a gay slur in its lyrics, radio stations in Halifax and Edmonton planned to rebel by playing an unedited version of the song on repeat for a full hour.

Meanwhile, an outcry from fans continued to reverberate through the Internet, with commentators debating the decision furiously across various formats -- "Dire Straits" and "CBSC" were both still trending topics on Twitter in Canada.

Even Dire Straits keyboardist Guy Fletcher weighed in on his personal website, responding to fans' questions by calling the decision "unbelievable" and referencing a conversation with the song's writer, Mark Knopfler.

"Mark tells me that due to the ban, he has now substituted the word faggot for 'fudger'.... for Canada," Fletcher wrote.

"I reckon Canada could ban about 75% of ALL records ever made," he added later. "Especially those made in America before 1950."


[i]snip ...[/i]


the program director for Halifax rock station Q104 said the station is concerned with the precedent set by the decision, calling it a "tragic error in judgment."

The station said it planned to have members of the gay and lesbian community on hand for its marathon, which was scheduled to run between 9 and 10 p.m. local time.

"We believe that this decision may trivialize the meaningful work done to further the cause of the LGBT community and could actually work against them by creating a sense of excessive political correctness at the cost of the fundamental freedom of speech," Q104's J.C. Douglas said in a statement.

Edmonton classic rock station K-97 -- which, like Q104, is owned by NewCap Radio -- also planned a one-hour marathon, according to a note on the station's website.


[i]snip ...[/i]


"We have an obligation to respect the conclusion that (the council) came to -- that doesn't mean that we have to agree with them. ... We don't agree with the decision, and I think our listeners, while they would rather hear the song than not hear the song because it's been a pretty popular song for a lot of years -- for the better part of 25 years -- but I think they respect what we're doing."

"It's just disappointing that that type of decision has been reached based on a complaint of one person."


[i]snip ...[/i]


Ever since the song was released in '85 -- when it hit No. 1 in Canada and the U.S. and spawned a memorable music video for then-fledgling music network MTV -- songwriter Mark Knopfler has defended himself from accusations of homophobia.

He has said the song was written from the perspective of a working-class man who was unimpressed by the millionaire rock stars he saw jumping about on MTV.

The story was still receiving international press on Friday, with London tabloid the Daily Mail running the story under in its "Don't Miss" banner and Fox News using the headline "No Way, Eh!" for its take on the situation, which earned 150-plus comments from readers.

Much of the outrage seems to be centred on the fact that the song was meant with irony. But Cohen has said that the council usually considers such distinctions in context less relevant in short pop songs than in TV dramas or documentaries.

That didn't satisfy Douglas, who compared the character in the song to Archie Bunker -- the irascible bigot in the 1970s sitcom, "All in the Family."

"(Bunker is) one of the great fictional characters of our time, and one who illustrated how completely absurd a bigot can be," he said.

"To deny radio the right to reveal that character, warts and all, is a tragic error in judgment and puts the (council) on the slippery slope to censorship."




That is the reality of it, or so it would sound from the interview. I have had several discussions on this in the last week. I brought it forward to babble to see what those of us on the left feel. I am less offended by some language so I was seeking an audiance that better reflects "the so called pc left". I brought up this thread and members of the LGBT communitiy by and large not being offended by the song because of the context, not the content.


Milo if you read the opening post I made mention of the changing of Huck Finn going on. I can't really speak to it as I am not a minority. But it points out the common usage of such a degrading word in the 1800's.

Revisionism? I tried to explain it as I see it(rightly or wrongly) Until the 90's I had viewed the word bitch as applying very derogatorally to women only. Then urban language changed it slightly to apply to men as acting like a "bitch", perhaps a double insult to women. So in 50 years this word could be very very derogatory, I'm not saying its the same as nigger which is typed over 200 times in the novel. But if it reaches that level at some point do we start rewriting books because they were wrote in the 00's Like the book Skinny Bitch (though maybe it shouldn't have been written to start with for being inconsistant in messaging and style)? Or is that oversimplifiying the huck finn isuue.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

I really have problems with this cult of the sanctity of artistic expression, the ugly stepchild of freedom of speech absolutistism. The CBSC made an asinine decision [brings to mind the Heinlein quote about a committee being any creature with six or more legs and no brain] but let's not toss out all the babies along with the bathwater.

[note: you may want to read through the rest of the posting before deciding on whether or not to activate the link in the next paragraph]

I did a little checking on youtube, and Buju Banton's Boom Bye Bye is still up and running, in fact almost 4 million hits, and a 7 to 1 approval rating. I have seen it reported that Banton has sold more records than Bob Marley (which should easily put him in the same league as Dire Straits [at least in terms of sales/commercial success] and the majority of genre critics readily acknowledge he is an extremely talented practioner of his art). Are those who want to defend artistic expression (and freedom from censorship) going to extend their principled arguments to artists like Banton too? Whose lyrics call for batty boys/nasty men ("faggots") to be shot in the head (in the chorus), shot with an uzi (verse) or necklaced (set on fire with a a rubber tire filled with combustibles around the neck) (verse)? Maybe it is just me, but when I see people rallying around the banners of artistic freedom/freedom of speech I always want to pull back from the particular instance and pay attention to the principles they are (implicitly) appealing to - and I frequently find I am not subscribing to the same principles they are invoking.

I am kind of tickled that Le T linked to the video of Michel Rivard from Beau Dommage being grilled by what is supposed to be an Arts Council panel. Of course I may be taking a slightly different message from the video... not that Arts Councils or Broadcast Councils are a problem in and of themselves, but that they are problem when they are staffed with political appointees and/or career bureaucrats whose agenda (whether it being cheering on the political masters who appoint them, or defending the bureaucratic infrastructure that provides them with employment) has no real connection with the communities they are supposed to be serving nor the people affected by their decisions.


@ milo: in regards to people objecting to the bleeping of movies... I do it all of the time. I must admit I have a juvenile enthusiasm for "action" films (movies where things go boom, people and buildings fall down) - and am constantly complaining about the nanny-mentality that bleeps the language during the scenes of wholesale slaughter going on in most of these "flicks" especially when they are broadcast on television with the gore left untouched. WTF, they want to spare the audience from a fuck-bomb, while body bits are flying all over the place because of a portrayed explosion?

@ maysie: in regards to the line "[...] that millionaire rock stars who are clearly straight, such as Mick Jaggar [...]" - assuming you are referring to Mick Jagger of Rolling Stones fame - um, you have got to be kidding. Clearly straight? Hey maybe it is just memories of his playing coy with the press during those periods of time when "bisexual chic" was, in fact, chic... but I think you really should come up with a better example. How about Gene Simmons or Robert Plant or someone like that.Wink


alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I wonder if anyone thinks Bob Dylan's song 'The Hurricane' should be banned when he paraphrases the words of those who imprisoned Ruben Carter as dismissing him as a 'crazy nigger'

But judging by most people's posts,I'm think the prevailing agreement is that it's all about context vs content.

Slight thread drift..

I believe,like Bowie and Lou Reed,Jagger experimented with same sex relations in the 70's...I can see someone drawing a conclusion to Mick Jagger's sexuality after listening to 'Cocksucker Blues'....But he is not a gay man,nor is Rod Stewart--(sorry haters)

An old girlfriend of mine was a big fan of Janis Joplin and had this biography,(I don't remember the title or author),but the author claimed Jim Morrison tried to do something to Jimi Hendrix during a drug and alcohol enduced private jam at a popular New York City club...I think it's a load of BS.

I don't understand rumours about homosexuality or why anyone gives a damn about anyone's sexual preferences..What does it matter?

Back on topic,references made to define or parody some people's prejudices or ignorance related in the context of ridicule or disdain directed at said person,is not an issue---to me,anyway.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

alan smithee wrote:


I don't understand rumours about homosexuality or why anyone gives a damn about anyone's sexual preferences..What does it matter?


In terms of judging the individual's worth, it doesn't matter at all, in terms of interpreting the narrative they are presenting, yeah it can be kinda important.

Caracremada Caracremada's picture

Does this mean that you can't listen to the Mindless Self Indulgence classic on the radio in Canada?

I counted (with great difficulty) and the f****t word was used 16 times in a row - surely a world record, eh?

VanGoghs Ear

I don't really care all that much for the song but I must have heard it hundreds of times in my life and never felt offended as I always thought of the song's narrater as a angry, jealous, fool.  What bothers me about this decision and to a lesser extent the publication of Twain's masterpiece with the word's changed is that it really show's an intellectual immaturity of our culture, and the  mainstreams fear or unwillingness to take on anything even the least bit subversive or not perfectly straight forward.

A good example is Taxi Driver by Paul Shrader and Martin Scorsese - inspired by the existential novel of russian master Dostoyevsky they make a movie with a racist, ignorant, socially awkward vietnam veteran(almost certainly with undiagnosed PTSD) who grew up in a small isolated farm town and is now living in NYC and it manged to be a hit. 

The willingness to try and create great art that uses imperfect or fringe characters and to get the audience to empathize with them is important as it shows a maturity of an audience that they can use their brain and be forced to think about and face uncomfortable truths.   Of course this movie is probably as misunderstand as Huck Finn to people who can't see past the fact that many things exist despite the fact that they wish they didn't and we shouldn't just hide or avoid these uncomfortable truths.


alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Taxi Driver is one of my favourite movies.

A well written story can make its viewers empathize with even the most ethically and morally flawed character.

Even a character such as Tony Montana could garner a smidgen of empathy.

Movies and television would be dreadfully boring and unwatchable if all the characters were pure and generic and painfully politically correct.

David Young

Who gets to decide what is offensive?

I recently saw Monty Python's AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, which has the Terry Gilliam animated bit about two cancer spots falling in love, and moving into a house, which prompts the neighbours to say "Did you see the colour of the ones who just moved in next door?  Yes; black as the Ace of Spades!  Well, there goes the neighbourhood!"

If someone of African origin saw that, and objected to it's broadcast on similar grounds to the Dire Straits song, is it a valid claim of racism.  Granted, it's Monty Python, the absolute kings of satire, but...!


i know what you mean bagkitty, i find it ridiculous that they have no problem showing people getting tortured, killed, maimed, beaten, etc.  but the "bad" words have to be bleeped or overdubbed.  My point though is there is no front page headlines/days of news coverage about "they bleeped out "fuck" in rambo!  nanny state!" like there is with this.

it just seems like the people complaining about this don't seem to object to the censoring of other equally offensive words in music like fuck, shit, other racial expletives, and other so called "bad" words, in any context.  

it sounds like people are unjustly equating beeping or changing the word in a public broadcast with actual censorship of the recorded material, like with mark twain, where the book will actually be printed with the changes, meaning hypothetically the original book might no longer be available at some point.

i think if it was any other word, and not an expletive used to denigrate gay people that is still commonly used, there would be no uproar.  Did anyone freak out when the changed "shit" to "ish" in that nicky minaj song? no.  So why freak about this?

Also, we should keep in mind, the band themselves recorded the vocal change to "mother" instead of "fa***t".  And any band that doesn't want their song changed (provided they actually own the rights/publishing and not the record company) can always say no to changing the song and simply withdraw it from commercial radio play.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Pet peeve (I have a whole menagerie): if we are discussing the use of the word "faggot" let's use the word... no need to type in the asterisks. It is not being applied as a label to anyone and yes it's use is disgusting -- but if we are going to have to delve into the muck, let's not get all prissy about it. I find the avoidance of the word itself by using f****t actually more annoying than seeing the word itself. My 2 cents anyway.


I took the opportunity of this ruling to have an "All Offensive Lyrics" show today.  I haven't been able to work some of these tunes into a program before.  I don't think I've ever had to do a disclaimer before a show in the past 17 years, but I did today.

  • Sissy Man - Josh White
  • Masculine Women! Feminine Men! - Irving Kaufman
  • Manana - Peggy Lee
  • Egyptian Ella - Ted Lewis and his Band
  • Mr. Wu's a Window Cleaner Now - George Formby
  • Puttin' on the Ritz - Fred Astaire
  • Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love) - Rudy Vallee
  • Mississippi Mud - Paul Whiteman Orch.
  • The Sun has Got its Hat on - Ambrose and his Orch/ Sam Browne voc.
  • Chinese Blues - Irving Kaufman
  • Two Cigarettes in the Dark - Bing Crosby
  • Smoking Reefers - Larry Adler
  • Was I Drunk?  Was he Handsome? - Georgia White
  • Slap 'Er Down Again, Paw - Arthur Godfrey
  • She Wouldn't do What I Asked Her To - Original Memphis Five/ Billy Jones voc.
  • Shoot Him High, Paw - Rosalie Allen
  • Hong Kong Blues - Hoagy Carmichael
  • Swinging on the Reservation - Chick Webb Orch. /Ella Fitzgerald voc.
  • Totem Pole - Lucille Hegamin
  • Oh, is She Dumb - Eddie Cantor
  • The Cake Walk - The Victor Minstrels
  • You've Got to Beat Me to Keep Me - Trixie Smith
  • Since Ma is Playing Mah Jong - Original Memphis Five
  • Complainin' - It's Human Nature - Sophie Tucker

The CRTC should shut the station down any day now.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Don't forget "Bomb the Boats" by the Forgotten Rebels, and "Fuck Off" by Wayne County and the Electric Chairs.


Can you imagine the outrage that would have taken place if they had ruled that "faggot" was acceptable for being broadcast?


Cueball wrote:

Don't forget "Bomb the Boats" by the Forgotten Rebels, and "Fuck Off" by Wayne County and the Electric Chairs.


Hmm, my guess is that Corus Radio Corp. wouldn't have played those anyway.


That reminds me, back in my pre-current progam days, I played Rachbottomoff by The Pansy Division, as well as Patti Smith's "Rock and Roll N*****."


I decided to do a nostalgia trip and watched the 1967 film To Sir With Love for the first time in many decades.  Given this thread I found it hilarious that in one scene in an East End London market one of the women stall vendors calls one of the male vendors a faggot. Fortunately I didn't have to endure a bleep it was just left in.  It came out the same year that I was thrown out of high school for the first time so I enjoyed it at the time.  It held up fairly well despite the obvious flaws in its portrayal of a young women's proper place in society. The message of self respect was great but since it came in a wrapping of a "women's place is in the kitchen" it didn't quite work 40 years later.

I wondered if the writers even thought about using the term faggot as an insult or whether it was written into the dialogue because it was so everyday that nobody reading the script noticed.  

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Isn't a 'fag' British slang for a cigarette?

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

@ alan smithee: yep, you are correct it is.


Yes but not faggot. Fag in British slang can mean either a cig or someone's whose gay. 


@ al-Q

Great playlist.

I could suggest a few others in the same vein, but I don't think that sort of tangent would get too far.

I presume you saw the Twain-Knopfler cartoon in the star kleenex.


Nope; I avoid the Kleenex, and rarely read it.

I had more tunes, but ran out of time.  I did play the really bad ones, as I'd have trouble finding an excuse to play them in any other context.

I listened to "Rainbow Radio" for a while, waiting to hear their take on the decision, but they noodled around talking about other things so I shut off the radio.


favorite offensive songs (great message-plenty of swearing.  Will all the people saying dire straights is censorship defend the unedited play of these songs? not in a million years, even though the "context" is wonderful.

hallie selasie, up your ass: propagandhi' 

shamus' nuts: i spy

needle up my cock: gg allin

fuck the police: j dilla

nazi punks fuck off: dead kennedy's

fuck you: the germs

too drunk to fuck: dead kennedy's

mass communication mindfuck-insect warfare

hey, fuck you:beastie boys

talk about fucking: big black

you don't want to fuck with me: odb

i don't give a fuck: partisans

expensive shit: fela kuti

oh shit!: buzzcocks

get the fuck out: phobia

wu tang clan ain't nothin ta fuck wit: wu tang

gator fuckin':big boys

the sin-hellfucked: belphegor

i was a teenage fuckup: really red

no fuckin' war!: the dicks

tough fuckin' shit: gg allin

dick dogs: sonny sharrock

big dick: no means no

lick my ass: kool keith



never mind the potty talk, no one has ever questioned how appropriate Down By The River or Hey Joe are for the airwaves.

Nice playing. Vile fucking songs IMO. There are a mere handful of songs I can't stand to hear, and those two are on the list.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

How about album covers?

Blind Faith took alot of heat for theirs...

But The Scorpions 'Virgin Killer' album cover...How the fuck did they get away with that?



Those protectors of all things holy and good are slouching on the job.  There's some purdy nasty paralanguage goin' on out on the airwaves.

Donna Summer

Serge Gainsbourg et Jane Birkin

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Killing Me Softly ...Isn't that song about masturbating?

Good Golly Miss Molly...Sure likes to ball-->It amazes me that that song always ran under the radar even back at the time of its original release which was in the late 50's or early 60's.

But for some reason,according to censors, Louie,Louie was the filthiest song ever recorded.


alan smithee wrote:

Killing Me Softly ...Isn't that song about masturbating?

But for some reason,according to censors, Louie,Louie was the filthiest song ever recorded.

No, she wrote it about Don McLean, I believe ...about his singing, to be specific (I think it you google it you can find out for sure).

And the only actual filthy version of Louie Louie I ever heard was The Stooges' version, I think the whole rumour was because no one else who sang it enunciated clearly.




Killing Me Softly ...Isn't that song about masturbating?


I don't know, but "She Bop" by Cyndi Lauper is, as is The Who's "Pictures of Lily."


Wow. Talk about double entendres.

I think there might be some hidden meaning in this one too:


(one of the greatest pop bands of all time, BTW)



al-Qa'bong wrote:


Killing Me Softly ...Isn't that song about masturbating?


I don't know, but "She Bop" by Cyndi Lauper is, as is The Who's "Pictures of Lily."

And this one:


Now, I know this guy 
His name is Mick 
Now, he don't care when he ain't got no chick 
He do the shake 
The rattlesnake shake 
Yes, he do the shake 
And jerks away the blues 
Now, jerk it


Well, if you want to go all subtle on us...


Ethel Waters -  My Handy Man


"Sometimes he's up long before dawn,
Busy trimming the rough edges off my lawn;
Oooh, you can't get away from it! He's such a handy man!

Never has a single thing to say,
While he's working hard;
I wish that you could see the way
He handles my front yard!"


Ms. Waters' Organ Grinder Blues isn't so cheeky.


In the "Make Love, not War" department, there's Lizzie Miles' My Man O' War.

I'm not going to spoil the effect by supplying lyrics.


perhaps we should all agree that all censorhip is wrong, or complete censorship is the way to go. Someone will always find something offensive in most forms of art, music or everyday living, others may aprreciate the content of the so called art, music or the way that others live. I am probably wrong because everyone should be more offended than I.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

wassup, I invite you to check out the link in post 55. The lyrics are also available here. If you are unfamiliar with Jamaican slang, batty boy is basically synonymous with "faggot". Poison like this pretty much undercuts the possibility of my agreeing that all censorship is wrong.

You should also consider researching overt "hate rock" - a North American and European sub-genre popular with certain elements in the "white nationalist" and skinhead communities. Lyrics are available on most of the sites that link to it.



[url=http://www.cbc.ca/arts/music/story/2011/01/21/crtc-dire-straits-money-fo... urges broadcast council to reconsider ban[/url]



the thing is, it doesn't bother me that some people generally don't want to hear certain expletives on the radio.  A bunch of corporate radio stations that play the same 100 songs over and over do far worse things then edit content for "objectionable language"...as in they censor out a large portion of music i'd like to hear, political views that many people have, are used to shill advertising etc.  to me that's much more offensive.


Sky Captain Sky Captain's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The best music on the airwaves in the dismal mid '80's was the Parachute Club.  At the Feet of the Moon was a far superior album to anything Dire Straits did. Gad thinking about that era reminds me of frat boys with mullets and high heeled boots slagging gay people.


Excuse me, but compared to Dire Straits, what the frack is the Parachute Club?


Hurtin Albertan

They were a Canadian band from the 80's.  Got a lot of airplay from the Canadian content rules.  And they had some really good songs too.

Still have some of their songs on a cassette somewhere that I taped off the radio back in the day.

'Course, you young whippersnappers wouldn't know what a cassette is.  Back in MY day, you didn't have all these newfangled eyephones and eyepatches and whatnots that you could listen to music on.  You considered yourself lucky to have a small single speaker tape player that was only about a foot long and a few pounds in weight, and that ran off as few as 2 D batteries.  It was either that or cart around a huge ghetto blaster.

Now, now, simmer down there, I don't mean nothing from calling it a ghetto blaster.  That's what we called them back in the day.  Weren't nothing racist at all to it.  The important thing to remember is it was a larger and heavier tape player that often used to come with a radio.  And it had 2 speakers.  The fancier ones had 2 tape decks too so you could record tape to tape.  What's all these tapes I keep going on about you say?  I'm getting to that part.  The important part of the story was that these larger tape players or ghetto blasters if you will, heh, would run on as many as 6 D batteries or even more on larger versions.

Yes, darnitall, you heard me right.  That's D batteries.  Kind of like those AA batteries that seem to run the world, but way bigger.  Nowadays everything seems to run on those bitty little AA batteries, back in the day we had C's and D's and those funny little square 9 volt batteries but for some reason I don't think they had a letter, everyone used to just call them 9 volts.  At least where I grew up as a kid we sure did.

You'd have to save up a lot of dollar bills to buy one of those fancy tape players anyhow, and dollar bills were a might rare in the home where I grew up.  Yes, dagnabbit, dollar bills.  Just like the Americans.  We didn't have all this modern pocket change when I was a kid.  "Can I change this 5 for 5 singles?" you'd ask the bank teller.  Yes, bank teller.  In my day you went to the bank when it was open, which wasn't all that often, that's where the term banker's hours comes from.  Because the banks opened fairly late and closed pretty early.  Anyhow you would go to the bank when it was open and stand in a lineup by these fancy velvety rope dividers. 

Those things always reminded me of a snake for some reason.  Which is kind of funny, since I grew up in northern Alberta and we didn't have a lot of snakes up there.  Too cold in the winters or some such.  I remember my father coming home once and telling us he had seen a turtle swimming in the Clearwater River, but that's another story.


you know, hurtin albertan, most of us here are not that young.  Not only do i remember cassettes, but eight tracks, vinyl records, laser discs, mini discs and all the rest.  

uh oh...did i just date myself?


What, no reel-to-reel?

Maybe you did date yourself.  So what?  There's nothing wrong with being old, except that you lack the virtue of inexperience.

I used to have a transistor radio that ran on a 9v battery.  I thought that it was pretty cool.  Later I got a cassette player for christmas.  I'd tape songs off the radio, and when my radio battery went dead I'd listen to tapes, since the cassette player had an adapter that I could plug in.  I listened to a lot of stuff over and over, such as:

"Why did the budgie tackle the nun?"

(I'll give you a hint where that came from.  The Mother Corporation, circa 1973, right around the time that "Make Five Weiners, I'll Eat Six" was invented during a contest on the same show)


ha, totally used to tape off the radio--the original downloading!!

there was a couple of late night shows that would play stranger classic rock and one that would play the latest punk rock and i'd make mix tapes to listen to on my walkman on the way to school.


Sky Captain wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The best music on the airwaves in the dismal mid '80's was the Parachute Club.  At the Feet of the Moon was a far superior album to anything Dire Straits did. Gad thinking about that era reminds me of frat boys with mullets and high heeled boots slagging gay people.


Excuse me, but compared to Dire Straits, what the frack is the Parachute Club?


Money for nothing or rise up and cease the power?  This is a far superior song on every level to the Dire Staits IMO  Oh by the way, I own both songs on vinyl.



milo204 wrote


"you know, hurtin albertan, most of us here are not that young.  Not only do i remember cassettes, but eight tracks, vinyl records,

laser discs, mini discs and all the rest.  uh oh...did i just date myself?"


You left out wire recorders so you're just a youngster.



whoa, that IS an old technology way before my time.  didn't they stop using those by the 50's?  interesting technology though, i assuming it's what led to tape recording...

Sky Captain Sky Captain's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Sky Captain wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The best music on the airwaves in the dismal mid '80's was the Parachute Club.  At the Feet of the Moon was a far superior album to anything Dire Straits did. Gad thinking about that era reminds me of frat boys with mullets and high heeled boots slagging gay people.


Excuse me, but compared to Dire Straits, what the frack is the Parachute Club?


Money for nothing or rise up and cease the power?  This is a far superior song on every level to the Dire Staits IMO  Oh by the way, I own both songs on vinyl.


Don't get me wrong, I like Parachute Club fine, but no way in hell are they better than Dire Straights or their body of work (which goes way beyond just 'Money For Nothing' into great songs like 'Walk Of Life', 'Brothers In Arms', 'So Far Away' and 'Calling Elvis'. The song (Money For Nothing) is not saying that what the fat, bloated homophobic racist asshole is saying is right, it's taking the piss out of him by showing what a fool he is! That's a better social commentary (or just as good) as what the Parachute Club said in 'Rise Up'.


While there is some music I do like specifically for its meaning, I don't let a not-so-inspiring message get in the way of a good beat.

If we actually wanted to pick this song apart a bit, it seems to me the important message isn't that one homophobic line. As the title says, "Money for Nothing" essentially ridicules poor people who think that the rich do not earn their money.

Of course it is specifically about artists, written by a wealthy artist who I am sure does work to earn his money. But the notion that "I could do that if I just put my mind to it" is certainly a sentiment that has been expressed about people in business as well as rock stars.

But it is also significant that it is a physical labourer who is satirized as homophobic, sexist, jealous, and dismissive of culture he doesn't understand. It's not a cop talking, or some fellow in a cubicle.

And the fact that he doesn't seem to like the music or the artist suggests that is really is just about the money, which he thinks other people aren't working to earn. And clearly he is also jealous of the sex he imagines wealthy artists are getting.

But as I said, while analysing art is sometimes fun and enlightening, I try not to let it get in the way of what I enjoy.



Interesting. I just thought the voice was derisive of the rock and roll lifestyle more than jealous, but the line "that's the way you do it" probably signifies envy.


Well the line "chicks for free" says to me  that this satirical character thinks women are a commodity he wishes he had more of.

...not to mention  the "I want, I want" lyric which is repeated.

He makes fun of the music and the artist, not the money and the sex.


Of course, the character is fictional, and Mr. Knopfler uses him to makes fun of how he imagines working class people think.



And as we all know there is no accounting for taste.  But damn it Parachute Club was far superior on every level to Dire Straits .  Better instrumentation, better beat, better vocals and lyrics that inspire.  Mind you I own Dire Straits music because they are a good solid rock band with great guitarists.  Sort of one dimensional but excellent for the genre.  


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