Rock stars make a song and
dance about taxes
Daily Telegraph 20 Nov 2003
A GROUP of British rock veterans are to
release a song protesting about the Chancellor, Gordon Brown, in the wake of
an attack on Gerhard Schroder topping the German charts.
The as-yet-unnamed group, led by the former
Small Faces and Who drummer Kenney Jones, have recorded Mr Brown, a modern
equivalent of the Beatles's Taxman.
Whereas the Beatles song attacked high income
tax in lyrics such as Let me tell you how it will be/ There's one for you,
nineteen for me, Jones said he had to address the complexity of stealth
The lyrics attack Mr Brown for Taking with
one hand and giving with the other, and the anguished refrain to his new
tune goes: Mr Brown, you're robbing me. The angry anthem is sung by Robert
Hart, a former member of the stadium rockers Bad Company.
Jones, 53, who owns and runs a polo club in
Surrey, contacted The Daily Telegraph after reading an editorial on the
anti-Schroder song last Friday which said: "A similar theme would go
down well over here."
The drummer, a Conservative voter, said:
"Taxman has always been one of my favourite songs and I decided it was
time for a 21st century equivalent of it.
"Recently, I've been amazed at the
negativity of this Government. They only seemed interested in themselves and
not the people they govern. It seemed time to speak out in song."
The German charts are currently topped by Der
Steuersong (The Tax Song) by Elmar Brandt, a comedian who imitates the
A lecturer in popular music said that a new
genre could be dawning - the Right-wing protest song.
Dr Jason Toynbee, of the Institute of Popular
Music at Liverpool University, said: "Protest songs have generally been
Left wing and about liberalising the consensus.
"Taxman was by Left-wingers, but was
also a sulky self- interested song by new millionaires."
But Mr Brown could fall foul of BBC censors.
A spokesman said the corporation allowed "scope for artistic
expression" but that guidelines warned against playing records with
"definite political overtones" and at election times banned
records critical of any party.
Attacks on named British politicians in the
charts have been very rare. The Beat had a hit in 1980 with the plea Stand
Jones's other band members, currently
finishing an album, are the former Foreigner bassist Rick Wills and the
guitarist Gary Grainger whose writing credits include Hot Legs for Rod
A Treasury source said: "If they want to
get their new band off to a good start, Dear Prudence from the White Album
might be a better and more appropriate Beatles song to imitate."