"The mainstream is too strong. It's flowing too fast. These little jagged things go in there and they get smoothed off straight away."

Jarvis Cocker profile in The Guardian:

Early on, [Cocker] says, he really did believe Britpop was a new dawn – not just musically, but politically. If the alternative, rather than the mass-produced, could be embraced by the mainstream in pop, maybe that would be the harbinger of social change. “I had high hopes that it would be some kind of revolution within English society. But I think the mainstream is too strong. It’s flowing too fast. These little jagged things go in there and they get smoothed off straight away.”

What kind of revolution had he envisaged? “What makes society and life interesting is diversity, so if something that embraced that diversity could be accepted in the mainstream that would mean mainstream society would be more open and accepting. And that’s what excited me about it. That that could happen.”

He says he’s always been a bit naive, and it was hardly the first time he had been pulled up short from his dreams. “I’m always going through these false dawns. It was the same the first time I went to a rave. I thought, this is fantastic, people are dancing all night, they’re all being friendly to each other, they’re not really drinking, it’s not about pulling birds or having a fight. And I thought, that’s got to have an impact on society. When they go home after being all loved up and talking to everybody and being really inclusive, how can that not have some knock-on effect in normal life? And yet it didn’t.” He smiles, baffled. “That was the last spontaneous youth thing. I can’t think of anything that’s not been stage managed since then.


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About Jay Babcock

I am the co-founder and editor of Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curator of the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was one of five Angelenos listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. Today, I live a peaceful life in Tucson, Arizona with Stephanie Smith. https://linktr.ee/jaywbabcock

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