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Punk Band Will Incite Terrorism?

So New Model Army may not be on the tips of nearly as many tongues as they deserve to be today, but some interesting events have arisen recently surrounding the British post-punk icons. Slated to hit the U.S. for some … Read More

By / September 11, 2007

So New Model Army may not be on the tips of nearly as many tongues as they deserve to be today, but some interesting events have arisen recently surrounding the British post-punk icons. Slated to hit the U.S. for some shows this month, they were denied visas at the last minute. Now, Myspace bulletins are floating about and message boards abuzz with all sorts of interesting theories as to why. One of the most definitive and deceptively authoritative was written by a fellow named Guymon Adams and has been re-posted more than its fair share of times, most likely because it claims that

The official reason for this was due to their name, the word "Army" apparently raising some manufactured red flag. The State Department literally stated "they may incite terrorism."

This sounded preposterous to me, so I decided to message the guys on Myspace, asking for the official line. Was there any truth to this? If so, could they give me some sort of documentation? I can't say I was suprised to hear back from the band with a response in the negative. No, they hadn't been kept out due to their name or to the belief that they might incite terrorism. They had not yet been told why. And while they admitted it might be interesting to speculate, they offered no definitive answer because they had none themselves.

This little anecdote is worth sharing not only because it gives me an excuse to post the video of one of my favorite of their songs below, but because it illustrates precisely where the collision of counterculture and proper politics seems to go terribly wrong so much of the time. Sure, NMA has written plenty about American imperialism, the working class struggle, and an array of issues relevant to those of us with a lean toward the left. But the band members themselves exercise far more consideration for truth than for partisan propaganda than some of their fans. Then again, that's what always made them great–an unwavering adherence to what they believed in, not just what was fashionable or sensational.

Thanks to Justin Sullivan and New Model Army for so many great songs and for giving those of us who deal with politics in music such an exemplary career to admire. No thanks to gullible fans who will believe anything they read and reprint anything that sounds awesomely anti-American. Just because 51st State rocks doesn't make anything you say true.

Check out the video for Green and Grey and check them out once they get the visa issue resolved.

 

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