Monday, July 21, 2008

Bloc Party vs. Sex Pistols

I'm a bit confused and have been since this morning. Going through my blog reader this morning an article over at the Guardian caught my eye. Seems that Kele Okereke, frontman and singer for the band Bloc Party, got into fisticuffs with John Lydon, better known as Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols. Lydon is quoted in the article as claiming Okereke was the instigator and any allegations of racial attacks by him or his entourage were baseless. Lydon goes further to say that Okereke was just looking for some publicity.
Now Bloc Party just released a new song two weeks ago on their website. And the last time I saw the band play they were still bringing in lots of people. So I don't think the band is hurting for press coverage. Besides, why would Okereke throw down with Johnny Rotten of all people? The band hasn't built itself on a rough and tumble punk rocker image so why start now?
Then I came across this posting at ultra8201 linking to another article by the same Rosie Swash of the Guardian. This new posting relates a different story that the fight "occurred on Saturday evening at the Summercase festival in Barcelona while the bands were socialising backstage." Swash reports that after Okereke asked Lydon about a renunion tour of Public Limited Ltd, a band Lydon formed after the Sex Pistols, Lydon and his entourage became aggressive with the words "your problem is your black attitude" being said before members of two other bands, Foal and the Kaiser Chiefs, came to Okereke's defense.
Clearly the two articles conflict, not just in who's side of the story you're reading, but also in their complete lack of cross-linking and information, aside from the basic fact that a fight occurred between Okereke and Lydon. After shooting a message to Richard at ultra8201 he expressed the same confusion saying, "I dont see Bloc Party pushing for press this way or initiating any arguments at all. I interviewed them at ACL and they are anything but aggressive."
So here I sit, waiting for an email back from Ms. Swash, wondering what the hell is going on. It's not that big of a deal. I like Bloc Party a lot but I don't swoon for them. And the Sex Pistols are more of an institution than a band for me. I have no particular beef with them or Lydon in particular. I just want to know why the conflict between articles written by the same person but standing in strong odds with each other? I'm reserving judgement here, both on who was at fault in the fight and over the quality of reporting. Still, this isn't the kind of reporting one wants as it's confusing and almost misleading. I hope Ms. Swash can clear things up for me.