The Melody Maker Affair

Melody maker once wrote the highly "disablist" article that appears, in part, below. This resulted in a backlash towards the Melody Makers publishers by some members of the disability community in London. Eventually after letters were written, opinions published, a TV program broadcast, a meeting was set up so the two groups could speak face to face. The meeting was fruitful with the main editor being told he was inept, and one of the Stud Brothers (should it be Stupid Brothers?) seeing that he wasn't after all in a particularly knowledgeable position to be expounding ideas on disability issues, especially in such an arrorgant manner.  Melody Maker then published an apology and invited input from the disabled community, although I don't remember much input happening. From this gem of a disablist article  a lot of publicity for both The Useless Eater project and the cause of disability rights was gained, so in a way it had a positive aspect to it. Anyway here's the article.


SIMON Smith is a disabled singer
songwriter (he was born with no lower
arms) whose stated lyrical aim is to deal
with differently abled issues. Musically,
he claims to want to rejuvenate the AOR
mainstream, citing as his influences Dire
Straits,The The, and Lloyd Cole.
Well,he may be differently abled
when it comes to eating, drinking and
takng a piss but when it comes to making
music, his imagination is as crippled as
any of the dour, poncified pub rockers he
admires. Simon sounds exactly like Mark
Knopfler and his band sound like every
AOR band you've ever heard. What sets the 
songs apart (or rather, two of the songs) 
is simon's lyrics. While they never touch 
the heady megalamaniacal  heights of self 
pity reached by a roger Waters or a Matt 
Johnson, they are tellingly bitter. In 
"Soci-At Ease", he demands access, access 
to everything -buildings, social activities, 
people's hearts- and, in the same breath tells us
he doesn't need our patronising money.
Well, the fact is, if he wants access he's
gonna need an awful lot of our money,
whether its 50p's lobbed in tins or another
penny in the pound on incometax. Governments, 
you see, Simon, don't have any maney of their 
own, it's ours. Later, in "Grateful"', Simon 
tells us he sees no reason why he should be 
grateful for charity. Neither particularly do 
we. He is, after all, a human being with the 
same rights as the rest of us, rights worth 
protecting and paying for. We would,though, rather he
weren't so f***ing bitter about it.
......we, meanwhile, will continue lobbing
50ps in tins and vociferously opposing
any tax increases whatsoever.
The Stud Brothers