At this point in the coronavirus pandemic, the majority of the public are obeying social distancing measures, wearing a mask where necessary and generally behaving as the government suggests we should.
Despite this, there are a few celebrity names who have publicly opposed the new rules, with The Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown adding his voice to the list. His opinion has been getting louder on Twitter in recent days, and his new track: ‘LITTLE SEED BIG TREE’ has furthered the debate.
The song includes lyrics such as “A sonic lockdown, state shakedown, a mass breakdown / Put your muzzle on, get back in your basket”. Clearly written to share his beliefs, many listeners have voiced their concerns regarding corona misinformation spreading within his fanbase. The track follows an outburst on twitter from the politically active artist.
On 31st August, the 57-year-old tweeted ‘GET BEHIND YOUR DOORS FOR THE NEW WORLD ORDER’. Fans guessed that this was the start of Brown’s public opposition to coronavirus restrictions. One fan replied ‘Ian, you should know better!’.
On the 5th September Brown tweeted once again: ‘NO LOCKDOWN NO TESTS NO TRACKS NO MASKS NO VAX #researchanddestroy’. This was a direct poke at the establishment, with Brown offering criticism of all lockdown measures.
On the same day, Stone Roses guitarist John Squire offered his view. The tweet was a simple reply to Brown’s anti-lockdown activity on Twitter. He wrote ‘Wear a mask. Stay safe. Look after yourself and others #morecambeandwise’.
Despite this reaction, Brown backed up his views three days later, responding to criticism from fans. “To all of you asking about my medical qualifications i have the same as the computer seller bill gates (biggest funder of the world health organisation)” Brown said. Adding a further layer of conspiracy theory, the frontman’s thoughts on the virus are extremely clear.
The public have seen a split in opinion regarding the rocker’s recent claims. Arguably, many find it ‘on brand’ for Brown, who has been outspoken against the establishment in his music for some time. On the other hand, his views seem to have escalated and are more extreme as the days go on. The tweet below mirrors another proud tweeter: Donald Trump, featuring as another prominent mainstream media critic on Twitter.
Liam Gallagher was quizzed by fans on Twitter regarding Brown’s views. The Oasis star was asked ‘Liam what do you think of Ian being against wearing masks’ to which he replied, ‘Ooh trick question’. Another fan kept the exchange going in the following thread.
Some have suggested this speaks volumes of Gallagher’s opinion towards lockdown, and that it could be similar to Brown’s.
In an all too familiar fashion, the two Gallagher brothers are in disagreement over the topic. In a recent episode of the Matt Morgan Podcast, Noel did not hold back. He argued “I don’t wear a mask, no. The whole f*cking thing is bollocks” adding “I don’t give a f*ck, I choose not to wear one. If I get the virus, it’s on me”.
It is a particularly dangerous problem when artists use their huge platforms to speed misinformation, like Brown. When someone as prevalent in the UK music scene as Ian Brown makes these sorts of remarks, it can back up and affirm anti-lockdown thoughts in the minds of the people that idolise him and the Stone Roses.
As infections continue to rise along with the ‘R’ rate, coupled with lockdowns in Manchester itself, it is especially concerning to see these debates continue.
Words by Sam Gilder