Ed Driscoll

"Indeed, Queen May Be The First Truly Fascist Rock Band"

Jonah Goldberg goes F-Spotting:

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before. Behold a new sport for readers. Send me your examples of people just using “fascist” to describe things they don’t like. For example, Kevin Costner in Bull Durham: “Quit trying to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring and besides that, they’re fascist. Throw some ground balls. They’re more democratic.”

Here’s an oldie-but-a-goodie from 1979 by music critic and veteran Bruce Springsteen hagiographer Dave Marsh in Rolling Stone magazine:

Whatever its claims, Queen isn’t here just to entertain. This group has come to make it clear exactly who is superior and who is inferior. Its anthem, “We Will Rock You,” is a marching order: you will not rock us, we will rock you. Indeed, Queen may be the first truly fascist rock band.

As an audience member (and Queen was my first rock concert, as I recall, with Billy Squier opening), I would not have presumed to have rocked Queen. It seems reasonable to assume that when one plunked down money to see Queen, one presumed that they would be the core element of the experience which would be doing the rocking during the concert. How that made Freddie Mercury and company fascist, I cannot fathom, but like the man said…

Incidentally, in 1992, Rolling Stone magazine celebrated its 25th anniversary with a lavish party at the Four Seasons in Manhattan, a restaurant whose interior was designed by Philip Johnson.