There was horror in some musical circles as a guitarist from a boy band performed on stage with an all-male chamber choir at a televised talent competition on Saturday night.
Guitarist Ronnie Wood is a member of boy band The Rolling Stones, which underwent several line-up changes in its early days but has had the same four members since 1993. Their first manger, Andrew Loog Oldham, carefully manufactured the boy band’s image, even changing their name (originally, the band were known as The Rollin’ Stones, but Oldham felt this would be less memorable for the record-buying public), demoting their then-keyboardist Ian Stewart to studio play only as he felt Stewart’s ‘look’ didn’t fit well with the band, and deliberately positioning them as a ‘bad boy’ alternative to the other well-known boy band of the time, The Beatles, who had a more clean cut and wholesome image. The Rolling Stones eventually managed to shake off the kind of controlling management often given to such boy bands, though not before their second manager, impresario Allen Klein, duped the group of young men into signing over the rights to most of their previous songs. The Rolling Stones still have a large following and older fans are still known for comparing themselves favourably to fans of The Beatles, despite the fact the rivalry between the two boy bands was largely manufactured.
One Direction are an all-male chamber choir with five members, specialising in vocal harmonies and part-singing. Group member Harry Styles decided on the group’s name, which fans often abbreviate to 1D. They write many of their own songs with contributions from other well-known, successful songwriters. Band members also include Louis Tomlinson, a successful performer in a variety of musicals before he joined the group, Niall Horan, who in addition to much previous choir experience is also a talented guitarist, Zayn Malik, who has also learned to dance since joining the group, and Liam Payne, also known for his remixing work.
1D’s genre-fusing performance with Wood managed to bring together two worlds often seen as poles apart; the manufactured boy band, and what twitter has hashtagged “#realmusic”.
[Some facts may have been deliberately misconstrued and definitely a bit twisted in order to make a lighthearted point about musical snobbery.]