The huge hollow contrived stadium-rock twaddle, the obviousness and superficiality were offensive to anyone who wants to hear music with any soul or meaning.
I remember in the late 80s some LibDem spokesperson- who clearly had only heard the band's names rather than the music - thinking they were clever saying 'the Conservatives are the music of Simple Minds, Labour are the music of Dire Straits, but we are the New Kids On The Block'.
I remember thinking how unintentionally accurate this was. The Tories and their selfish egotism and overblown arrogance. The New Kids and their squeaky clean cuddly image belying their strategy of corporate greed; pointless, irrelevant, and impossible to take seriously. Then Dire Straits, an unimaginative stale soporific dinosaur, nothing there that you'd ever actively choose, nothing to enrich or inspire you but, well, if you were on a long car journey and only had those three tapes, it'd be Dire Straits that got played.
For those who are too young or don't have an obsessive retentive memory of pop music, New Kids On The Block were the prototype of those 90s hairgel bands, those bland saps with their over-rehearsed sincerity, their Donny Osmond straight-to-camera puppydog eyes.
As Bill Hicks said at the time
'Oh come on, Bill, they're the New Kids, don't pick on them, they're so good and they're so clean cut and they're such a good image for the children.' Fuck that! When did mediocrity and banality become a good image for your children? I want my children to listen to people who fucking rocked. I don't care if they died in puddles of their own vomit, I want someone who plays from their fucking heart.
On the cover of their single This One's For The Children (chorus: 'This one's for the children / The Children of the world / This one's for the children / May God keep them in His throne'), New Kids On The Block wore T-shits with the words 'DRUGS SUCK' in foot-high letters.
Bill Hicks again:
See, I think drugs have done some good things for us, I really do. And if you don't believe drugs have done good things for us, do me a favor, go home tonight and take all your albums, all your tapes and all your CD's and burn them. Because, you know what, the musicians who made all that great music that's enhanced your lives throughout the years? Rrrrrrrrreal fucking high on drugs. Man, the Beatles were so high, they let Ringo sing a couple of tunes. Tell me they weren't partying!
Okay, I'll tell you what else. I'm gonna extend the theory to our generation, now, so it's more applicable. The musicians today, who don't do drugs, and in fact speak out against it - 'We're rock against drugs' - boy, they suck! Ball-less, soul-less, spirit-less, corporate little bitches, suckers of Satan's cock, each and every one of them.
There is more than one way to be a ball-less soulless spiritless corporate little bitch. All those stadium-rock raised fist gestures devoid of meaning and intent rank just as low as New Kids, and kings of it were Simple Fucking Minds.
It's not enough to just like good music and art any more than it's OK just to do positive political action; we must berate, ridicule and actively assault the bad as well. As Bruce said in Easy Wheels, 'evil doesn't just go away, it hangs around like a stupid salesman until you kick it the hell out'.
For some inexplicable reason, Simple Fucking Minds got to play the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 1995. This was such a full frontal assault on those of us who treasure the spirit of Glastonbury that we decided Something had to be done.
Not wanting to - or even being confident if we could bear to - endure their full set, it had to be a good swift surgical strike.
We turned up a while into their performance. It was, I'm pleased to report, by far the poorest attended evening perfomance on the Pyramid Stage I've ever seen. With this working in our favour, we easily got to about 15 people from the front.
And we waited, choosing our moment.
Should we do it during Waterfront? Nah.
How about during Don't You Forget About Me? No, too bouncy.
And then it happened. No need to confer, we knew this was the time. The intro to Belfast Child. As arrogant and pompous a song as has ever been written.
As the pipes wailed, Jim 'Wan' Kerr crossed his arms and tried to look wise, aloof and wistful as he stared into the distance.
And then we raised our banner, in clear two foot capitals, easily legible from the stage:
WHY DON'T YOU JUST FUCK OFF?
The phrasing is all the more insulting for its tone; not angry, more like dismissive.
It got a few chortles from the people around us, so it seems that a good portion of the paltry crowd didn't really like the band.
After a couple of minutes one arsey bugger told us to take it down cos she did like the band. We respectfully pointed out that if that were the case perhaps she should be facing forwards rather than turning round looking at us. She snapped one of the poles, so we retreated, job done.
If feel sure there are Simple Minds roadies still telling the story to this day.
And here we are, me and my companero Adam at the edge of the crowd moments later.