I’m with the band: encounter the pitiful proteges of pop music patrons

From Kurt Cobain accepting the middling Melvins to Kanye West signing a singer from the library circuit, an artists ability to oblige enormous music doesnt ever mean they can identify it

Last week encountered the release of the dreadfully bland new book by Vance Joy, one of the many proteges of Taylor Swift, who took him out as a corroborate act on her 1989 nature tour( though apparently they don’t talk any more ). Swift has modelled for bigging up other musicians: she has championed not just Vance Joy, but Haim and Ed Sheeran( who in turn has championed Foy Vance, another singer-songwriter confusingly close in name to Vance Joy, but no relation ).

However, Swift’s proteges have tended to be artists already on an upward curve, already with major description spates and some success. She has not yet mastered the art of picking up on an artist no one has exposed any interest in and continuously shouting about them, until all her followers have gone to the gigs, bought the T-shirt and detected for themselves how dubious their hero’s arbitration is. Unlike this lot…

Kurt Cobain

Kurt Patron saint of lost causes … Kurt Cobain. Image: Frank Micelotta Archive/ Getty Images

The Nirvana frontman was the patron saint of music’s lost causes. He was a man dedicated to promoting his friends, his heroes and anyone who had once secreted a 12″ single that had exchanged seven prints. And those people reaped the rewards of his patronage. The fearsome noise band the Melvins got a major-label treat, with Atlantic, thanks to Cobain’s support.” You could make up a band,[ and] make up a quote about them[ that] Kurt Cobain said. The Melvins were the greatest lesson. Kurt liked the Melvins, so everybody had to go signal the Melvins ,” as Janet Billig Rich of Nirvana’s management firm told NPR earlier this year. The Melvins’ three main description albums for Atlantic left the US album graph wholly untroubled, they were sagged, and it took until 2010′ s The Bride Screamed Murder for them to tallied a graph placing- at No 200.

Mind you, that names was obviously a sucker for Cobain’s taste. Eugene Kelly had been half of the enjoyably perverse Scottish indiepop also-rans the Vaselines, whom Cobain adored( and whose Jesus Doesn’t Want Me for a Sunbeam featured on Nirvana’s Unplugged album ). So, naturally, he took to getting Kelly’s subsequently party Captain America( eventually renamed Eugenius for blindingly obvious copyright reasons) on to his bills. And duly, Atlantic came calling for Kelly. Eugenius’s two books for the label, Oomalama and Mary Queen of Scots were accurately as successful as you might expect from a middling indie band promoted above their abilities, and they soon split.


A A gateway to terrible cliques … Morrissey. Picture: Sheila Rock/ Rex/ Shutterstock

Being a Smiths love in the 80 s was risky. Not because Morrissey might at any moment open his mouth and expose himself to be a horrific human being, but because he might at any moment open his mouth and inveigle you into buying a record by a awful strip. Some are the most horrific than others. The Primitives were a cheerily blurry post-Mary Chain pop band whose map success owed everything to cleanse themselves up with 1988 single Crash, and nothing to Morrissey banging on about them. But dear God, you got to see any particular structure emerging in the groups he championed.

For a start, they might announce not unlike the Smiths, merely not as good, because they didn’t have the melodic genius of Johnny Marr( encounter Raymonde, fronted by Morrissey’s old-time friend James Maker, who resonated uncannily like his mentor ). Or they might sound not unlike the Smiths and be prone to saying the unsayable, in true-blue Moz fashion( check hard-left janglepoppers Easterhouse, who found that expressing tendernes for Soviet communism was not the most wonderful road to map success ). You could create a moderately sizeable carnival out of forgotten circles championed by Morrissey; the only question would be where on the legislation to make Blackburn indie no-hopers Bradford.

Michael Stipe

Chum Chum to the meek … Michael Stipe. Image: Ian Hodgson/ Reuters

REM devotees were often more disappointed than Smiths devotees after investigating different groups mentored by their favourite vocalist. Rarely Stipe struck gold- he endorse 10,000 Maniacs, who really merited championing, and the Indigo Girls. He stuck up for cult deeds, more, committing unstinting support to Vic Chesnutt. However, it’s entirely possible that no one would ever have heard of Hetch Hetchy had they not peculiarity Stipe’s sister, Linda, and been produced by him. And it’s absolutely certain no one would have heard about Chickasaw Mud Puppies without Stipe’s intervention. On the one handwriting, REM fans were left with an dreadful plenty of accounts they were unlikely to return to. On the other, often of Stipe’s support was devoted to local ensembles from Athens, Georgia, and it’s hard to quibble with someone obligating the effort to support the music background in the town that nourished them. Just don’t listen to the records too often.

Kanye West

Part Part of a long and rich habit … Kanye West. Photograph: Leon Bennett/ WireImage

Hip-hop has a long and rich habit of its idols nurturing other MCs, who they assistance propel to commercial-grade success( so rich is that tradition that the proteges have their own specific call: weed carriers ). Kanye West epitomizes the process, having inaugurated as a protege of Jay-Z‘s, before generating his own family tree of rappers, singers and farmers: John Legend, Hit-Boy, Travis Scott, Big Sean, Kid Cudi and so on. But let us recall instead the least likely of the Western endorsements.

In the mid-2 000 s, Ben Hudson was the frontman of Mr Hudson and the Library, a wholly unremarkable banding whose principal items of interest were that they hired steel pans and did a tour of libraries. This did not result in stupendous commercial success, despite a major name cope: at one point you could have caught them playing a gig outside my house( which was nothing to do with me, although it was did leave me with a prolonging aversion to his music ). And then Kanye West heard him, and signed him to his GOOD Music imprint. Abruptly Mr Hudson moved from touring the UK’s libraries to arranging on 808 s and Heartbreak, working with Jay-Z, and Future and Miley Cyrus, and growing a successful songwriter for hire. His solo career sustains, too, yet the world persists stubbornly uninterested.

Paul Weller

A A new Berry Gordy? … Paul Weller. Image: Tom Beard

Simply talking up his favourite artists wasn’t enough for Paul Weller. Instead, he thoughts himself a brand-new Berry Gordy, and as the Jam drew to a close, he set up his own imprint for his preferred soul/ mod sound, Respond Records. Weller offered his business as songwriter, make and guitarist( for the purposes of the pseudonym Jake Fluckery ). There are just a few minor reaches along the way, including Tracie, signed after addressed in an ad in Smash Hits seeking a vocalist for the Questions. She sang backing vocals on the Jam’s final single, Beat Surrender, and then with the Style Council before her solo debut, The House That Jack Built, reached the Top 10. Julie Hadwen and Tony Burke responded to the same ad, were introduced by Weller- and then duly left Respond to have a hit with This House( Is Where Our Love Stands ). As for the rest of the Respond roster- whither ND Moffatt? Or A Craze? Or Meff? More than any other specified of proteges, the histories of Respond demonstrates that someone’s devotees will buy on policy recommendations formerly, but their love strains exclusively so far.

This article was updated on Wednesday 28 February to correct a mistake: the Melvins had three books on Atlantic , not one.

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