Who can forget Gordon Brown’s Arctic Monkeys debacle in a men’s magazine, when he was unable to name a single track? Or Tony Blair’s admission that he was a fan of Oasis – only for lead singer Noel Gallagher to announce that he was fed up with taking “flak” for it?
Now David Cameron has become the latest to run the gauntlet of the uneasy and usually unrequited relationship between politician and musical muse.
Johnny Marr, a founding member and the lead guitarist of The Smiths, yesterday called on the prime minister to stop saying that he liked the band.
“Stop saying that you like The Smiths, no you don’t,” he wrote on Twitter, adding: “I forbid you to like it.”
Cameron has made no secret of his love of the Mancunian group, who since the 1980s have been acclaimed as one of the best British bands.
He picked This Charming Man – a track composed by Marr with the group’s lead singer, Morrissey – when he was a castaway on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs four years ago.
While Marr hasn’t explained why he was so incensed at being to Cameron’s taste, perhaps Margaret on the Guillotine, Morrissey’s song that imagined the execution of Mrs Thatcher, from his 1988 debut album Viva Hate, might have been a clue as to what the band think of the Conservative party.
Marr is not the first musician to take exception to Cameron. Radiohead’s frontman, Thom Yorke, came forward to dispute a claim made by Cameron during his appearance on Desert Island Discs that Yorke had performed the song Fake Plastic Trees, his favourite, at a show following a request by the prime minister.
Although Fake Plastic Trees may have been the favoured soundtrack at Notting Hill dinner parties in 2006, its inclusion in the band’s set had “nothing to do with any special guests,” Yorke said in a statement.
The Killers, Pink Floyd and Bob Dylan, Cameron’s other musicians of choice, have yet to air their views.
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