Who Is More Polite: A Punk Rocker or a Pop Starlet?
Folk-punk singer Frank Turner and pop-starlet Nicki Minaj don’t have much in common musically, aesthetically, and, it now seems, mannerly.
Both Turner and Minaj were recently at a music festival in Scotland called T in the Park. After Minaj allegedly mistreated the backstage crew at the festival and showed up fifty minutes late to her own performance, Turner took to Twitter to call her out:
To clarify: Nicky (sic) Minaj has been being a total selfish [expletive] head to all the hardworking crew backstage at T. Pathetic. [Expletive] off. You can (I suppose) be a [expletive] to your own crew, you’re paying them. But everyone else? And not to mention the people out front. Ugh… Also for the record: I have no opinion either way about Nicki Minaj’s music, don’t think I’ve ever heard it.
He later wrote a blog post clarifying his position (rather elegantly, I believe):
The central point I wanted to make, and the thing that got me pissed off in the first place, is about respect. A lot of bands (and me) spend a lot of time talking about respect for the people who listen to your music, the people in front of the stage, the “fans” (I still hate that word) or whatever, and rightly so; personally, I feel that showing up late and not apologizing is a little weak. But the thing that got to me yesterday was more about respect for a different group of people: the crew.
There are an awful lot of people who work on making shows and festivals happen who don’t get to stand in the middle of the stage and bask in anyone’s adulation. In fact, it’s the vast majority of people. This includes my crew (sound guy, guitar tech etc.), the stage hands, the promoter who books the show, and the hundreds of people who run the backstage organization, and more. These people all work their arses off, they’re there from first thing in the morning to last thing at night, and they don’t get paid as much as the musicians on the stage. Without them, nothing would get done, there would be no shows for anyone to enjoy. I couldn’t do what I do without my crew.
Running a festival is a logistical nightmare; it takes a lot of people an awful lot of time to make sure everything runs even vaguely smoothly. If there’s one person in the midst of this who has a pretty easy, highly paid job (show up, mime, go home) who refuses to do this, and thereby [expletive] up the day of all the hard-working, sleep-deprived, exhausted, under-appreciated festival crew, well, that pisses me off. It means everyone has to do a ton more work just to make sure that the people at the festival and all the other bands don’t have their day ruined.
For some reason, doing this when you’re holding a microphone makes you “artistic”, “difficult” or maybe a “Diva”. In any other walk of life it’s called being rude, selfish and inconsiderate. Of course, Henry Rollins already said this better than I ever will.
Turner is referring to this sign by Rollins.
Even though Turner “only” has 64,000 Twitter followers, compared to Minaj’s 13 million, it’s nice to see a relatively popular music personality defending virtues like humility and respect.
While we’re on the topic of Frank Turner, check out this interesting profile of the “self-taught troubadour.” (Yes, he’s a t-shirt sporting punk rocker, but did you know he grew up in a manor and attended Eton College alongside Prince William? Maybe that’s where he learned his manners).