I've been following the NHL's San Jose Sharks since their inception in 1991, and one of my favorite things is celebrating a Sharks goal. The song they've been using for the past I don't know how many years is Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part 2", which you've probably heard at one time or another. It's great, it's got handclaps, thumping drums, and the irresistable shout of "HEY!" People really get into it, I know I do. Actually, I think quite a few NHL teams (and teams in other sports) use it as their goal celebration song, it's all good fun. Ooh, and by the way, the above pic is the game-winning overtime goal by the Sharks' Curtis Brown (in black) from the game I attended last week.
This season, the Sharks have changed their celebratory song from "Rock and Roll Part 2" to Green Day's "Holiday", presumably because of Gary Glitter's arrest and conviction in Vietnam for committing obscene acts with minors. I'm guessing that removal of the song is a league wide decision, and I can kinda understand it, but the Green Day song sucks. It doesn't have that same tribal rhythm. Billie Joe does some "HEY!" shouting, but it gets lost underneath the buzzsaw guitars. I went to the Sharks game on opening night last week, and it was just weird after they scored their goals. People were cheering and clapping, but it wasn't nearly as impressive as the "Rock and Roll Part 2" celebration.
I want my old goal celebration song back.
I guess the deeper question is this: If an artist falls on hard times and ends up committing crimes against society, should we write off their previous output? Don't get me wrong. If the guy slept with 11 year old girls, fuck yeah he should go to jail for that. He was convicted in a court of law and, from what I've read, he's lucky they didn't cut off his dick and have a firing squad cap his stupid ass. However, most of his music was written some 20 or 30 years ago, before he fell from grace. Yeah, he was probably high on dope or strung out on cocaine, but that's the sort of baggage that's accepted with rock n rollers, especially back then. It's kind of a double standard, isn't it, but at least he's (theoretically) destroying only himself with the smack. Abusing little girls is a whole other story.
So yeah, I want the old song back at the Sharks games. My reasoning is that it's a better song and it was written when Gary Glitter was an entirely different person. If he had written/recorded/released it within the past 10 years, when all his troubles began, I doubt I, or anyone else, would have anything to do with it.
So what happens when your favorite artist (or celebrity) runs afoul of the law? If you're a fan of Michael Jackson, did you throw out all of his albums that you own? Does that make "Thriller" or "Off The Wall" lesser albums? Are all those great Jackson 5 songs now crap because of who he is now? In the case of Gary Glitter, is it better to wipe the slate clean, not play the song and thereby deny him royalties? Actually, does anybody know if he still gets to collect royalties while he's in jail? Do the checks go to the government? I have no idea.
So here are the songs in question. I feel compelled to add that, despite their Bay Area origins, I'm not really a fan of the Green Day or that song, but it's there for fair play. I'm not even a fan of Gary Glitter, but I do like that song and have since I was a kid. Oh, and the other songs that were up for consideration were U2's "Elevation" and Blur's "Song 2". If anything, "Song 2" would work better than "Holiday", plus I like Blur much, much more. "Elevation" is simply shit.
Gary Glitter > Rock and Roll Part 2
Green Day > Holiday