Wolfie & Sid?

Stephen Brown argues that Sid Vicious and Mozart shared the quality of primitivism, by which he means the winnowing away of unnecessary complications. I see his point with Sid, but in Mozart's case, I see it as the essence of the refining fire. Still, a good read and well-argued, even though, IMHO, wrong.

Buddha's picture

Well, this is tough. I guess if someone can be a primitivist without being aware of the fact," I'll give ya Sid. But it's tough to think of someone as a ""valid"" modern primitivist if they had no certain awareness of what it was they were doing. I'd be more comfortable saying that music critics and some fans ascribed that characteristic to him. More an ""accidental primitivist."" Otherwise"," we'd have to get into how it can really be Sid's ""primitivism"" if Malcom Mclaren goes out and finds Sid", an amusical drug addict, teaches him a few behaviors," and then cashes in on the ""New Primitivism"" of Sid Vicious", whose very name is pretension! For me, the only thing Sid did was steal media attention from the authentic primitivists.

Wes Phillips's picture

As usual, Buddha, you are persausive. Yet," Never Mind the Ballocks was a truly great rock'n'roll record. What was even greater was all of the music it inspired—either out of admiration or revulsion.Could the Sex Pistols have been a greater band with a better bass player? That's as hard to answer as whether the Beatles could have been a greater band with a ""better"" drummer than Ringo. We'll never know and it would have changed the chemestry—why mess with success?Ultimately", I think you said what I wish I'd said when I referred to Mzart's stripping away of excess as the refiner's fire which burns away impurities, rather than a style decision," which is what Sid's ""art"" was.

Buddha's picture

It's all good. I think Bart Simpson is a primitivist and he's not real, either!

Jeff Wong's picture

Sorry for coming to this so late, but, I was in the land of the Sex Pistols and have only just returned and am just now catching up. How's this for winnowing away of unnecessary complications: Sid didn't play bass on Never Mind the Bollocks. We don't even need to consider how the album might've been different without him (other than some possible backing vocals.) From the author's examples, it seems to me that Mozart's ability to create tension and interest has more to do with rearranging existing conventions rather than the stripping away the false and inessential. I'm not convinced Mozart really falls into the definition of primitivism that Brown describes.