It’s an all-too-familiar story these days: A musical act whose fans are known to be an unsavory lot gives a public performance; large numbers of those miscreant fans crowd into a confined space to hear that provocative music; before long, someone ends up getting hurt, all because of those no-good, disreputable “artists.”I’m talking, of course, about the Boston Pops and their light orchestral fare.
Haven’t you heard? Last week a nasty fistfight in the seats of Symphony Hall (pictured) interrupted the Pops’ opening night. The Boston Police Department initially declined to charge anyone in the incident, but they decided last weekend to open a criminal investigation.
One thing that no one seems to have considered doing is shutting down Symphony Hall or otherwise punishing the Pops’ distinguished players for the actions of a single creep who happened to attend their performance. Of course they haven’t — that would be utterly ridiculous, right?
Change the genre, though, and all bets are off.
A few weeks ago, police in the British city of Derby chose to shut down a nightclubfor 24 hours simply because G-Unit rapper Lloyd Banks was scheduled toplay a show there. Banks hadn’t done anything to anyone, directly orindirectly. The show hadn’t even taken place yet! But those factsdidn’t matter to Chief Inspector Gary Parkin, who cited “a number offirearms-related incidents at similar events connected with this musicgenre.”
Ah, yes, “this music genre.” You know those rap tunes, always makingotherwise calm people want to kill each other for no reason. Clearlyrappers like Lloyd Banks are responsible for the problem of gunviolence in central England — not, say, local police officials who arebusy demonizing musicians when they should be stopping actual crimes.Thing is, violent people are going to commit violent acts wherever theyare, regardless of soundtrack. Sometimes that means fights break out athip-hop concerts; sometimes they happen at supposedly respectablebourgeois get-togethers like the Boston Pops’ opening night. I, forone, have never sensed the least hint of danger at any of the countlessrap shows I’ve attended — unless you count the enthusiasticallygrooving naked dude at Ghostface Killah’s recent Coachella set, and hedidn’t seem like much of a threat to anyone.
What do you think, PopWatchers? Will you burn all your copies ofArthur Fiedler and John Williams’ breezy symphonic interludes beforeit’s too late?