You never forget your first Billy Bragg concert. Especially if it was at Porter Hall.
This impressionable student was already a convert to the politically-savvy folk singer. And on that night, everything he sang seemed to ring true. Moreover, everything he said — whether mocking Joe Strummer’s sincerity, calling out international injustice or joking that The Smiths were targeting the pro-life market in the U.S. by renaming one of their albums Masturbation is Murder — rang true. Even the bit I didn’t fully understand at the time: something about an evil man seeking to control minds in Europe and on the verge of doing the same in America. The push for total control by this mysterious Rupert Murdoch character, our prophet in blue jeans explained, was at present being thwarted Stateside due to strict laws that prevented newspapers, radio stations and television stations in a given market from being in the hands of a lone owner. “Just wait,” Billy insisted. “He’ll get those laws changed.” Continue reading