There exists healthy and reasonable skepticism about rock stars wading into the choppy waters of politics from their on-stage pulpits. But Radiohead’s Thom Yorke might be onto something. And he sure is gutsy.
The singer with the British arena-rockers slammed Spanish banks this past weekend from a stage where the group was headlining. That stage, however, was in Bilbao, Spain. And the festival the band was playing? Sponsored by Spanish savings bank Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa (BBK). Shazam!
According to the NME, Yorke said midset: "We know in Spain you're having a lot of trouble. Cuts cuts, no money no money. Well we think you should be taking to the streets. Someone stole that money off you. The banks."
There might be some consensus in that opinion. Today, Reuters reports that new governor of Spain’s bank said that Spanish banks too weak to survive on their own should be wound down even though Economy Minister Luis de Guindos insisted the government had "absolutely" no plans to shut down any bank.
Four of the Spanish banks benefiting from an up to 100-billion-euro European bailout could face being wound down if the European Commission concluded that the cost of their recapitalization is higher than the cost of an orderly resolution, Reuters adds.
Bad news all around but it makes Yorke’s statement seem at once astute and really damn bold, so good on him as both a European and a citizen of the world.
Meanwhile, the NME adds, Rage Against the Machine guitarist and longtime activist Tom Morello made a similar statement during a London show on Saturday, though in a far more verbose manner.
Speaking in solidarity with the Occupy movement – and before performing the Woody Guthrie song “Ease My Revolutionary Mind’ on what would have been the folk star’s 100th birthday - Morello said: "Currently on stages across the country right now, the Occupy movement is hanging up the 'Bang Up The Bankers' sign.
“So in solidarity across this great nation with Woody's legacy and with the global struggles of the 99% against the malfeasance of the corporate sector that has torpedoed the global economy and caused so much misery for millions of families, I'd like to say Happy Birthday to Woody Guthrie that your struggle is alive in song on this stage today."
Yup, politics and rock are alive and well. Onward, Christian soldiers!