Another explanation is that dreamy, floppy, public schoolboy music – “bedwetter music” as Creation Records’ founder Alan McGee once cruelly put it – is very much in vogue at the moment, and has been for quite some time. It started with Radiohead (who met at Abingdon school) who in turn inspired Coldplay (Sherborne) who in turn prepared the ground for Keane, the well-spoken trio who take their name from a beloved tea lady at their public school, Tonbridge. And if you think it needs more than three to make a trend, how about Will Young (Wellington) and Dido (Westminster)?
Not, of course, that even now a private education is something many pop stars spend too much time boasting about in interviews. I remember once being begged by Groove Armada’s publicist not to bring up their public school background because it so damaged their credibility in the dance world. And it’s true that among the sneering tastemakers of the music press – many of them self-hating ex-public schoolboys, of course – a terrible form of inverted snobbery has long prevailed whereby a working-class background is considered to be the only true form of rock ‘n’ roll authenticity. The only rock star who has ever been forgiven for going to public school is the Pogues’ Shane MacGowan and only then because the thought of this snaggle-toothed Irish drunk attending Westminster seems so preposterously unlikely it counts as cool.
[via Tim Worstall]