by Dolf Hermannstädter
A book with
more than 250 songs of agitprop lyrics from the singer und co-founder of
the Dutch band The Ex. The band started in 1979 and G.W. Sok decided to
leave them in late 2008 this book documents his writing in
chronological order, more or less. At first it might seem odd to imagine
to read that many lyrics, but it is not! You can see how G.W. develops,
from bold classic “anti,” to socially engaged, to deep intellectual
analysis of geopolitics onto poems. Sok shares his thoughts with the
reader and takes you on a trip of three decades of insightful
socio-political standpoints. During a certain period one can tell much
more “work” went into writing the lyrics, which, I think, was not
necessarily for the best, since I do believe that a text should be
understood immediately and not only after putting a lot of thought and
effort into finding out what the author means to say. But I know the
other side of the coin, it can take the beauty out of a text . . .
anyway, it is funny to read in 2012 a text that was written in 1982 and
to see it still can be screamed at the audience nowadays:
“Punk (Aversion 2” —Hey ho fake punks/here’s news for you/this is 1982/”scaring people” —time is over/we don’t wanna play for you/The times you fight on our side/are nothing but coincidence/when you’re satisfying needs/you could try to use some brains/Why don’t you rip off your badges/you look like a Christmas-tree/your dope, your beer, your swastikas/show nothing but stupidity or interesting and at the same time funny stuff like “The Idunno Law” —I do not quite remember/I’ll have to look it up/That’s not in my recollection/I guess no one has told me/I don’t understand the question/It’s hard for me to answer/I can’t recall, I told you/Did I write what note?/Apparently I said so/It’s all unknown to me/What do you wish I’d tell you?/These facts I can’t recall/Maybe it has happened/I really do not know/Did I have this conversation?/I assume that it took place/Yes, I didn’t know that/I guess that it could be/Who do you say has told you?/And who you say told me?/I can’t remember everything/Did I lead what discussion?/This happened long ago/Why shouldn’t you believe me?/Would I lie to you?/That’s the first time that I hear this/You say I had a conflict?/No one did inform me/Maybe I should know/What can I say about it?/I feel no urge to answer/If only I remembered or one of the later texts “Shop Drop”—Let us pretend for a minute or three/that we all agree/that no conflicts can be seen between/the rich and poorer nations of this civilization/and therefore we assume/that there is no competition/that we’ve ran out of all friction/concerning resources except, of course, if through natural causes-/then a future lies ahead/in which all experts expect/a yearly steady growth/of the economy as we know it/with all the tacky side-effects/enabling us to blow it/If this rate is sustained/then a rough calculation/makes it very clear/that within a 100 years/we’ll be X-times as rich/and X-times as fucked/as we’re asking the question/that the experts have ducked:/what to do with this wealth?/how on earth do we spend it?/we’re so busy being buying/but how can we end it?/what to do with this wealth?/why do we spend it?/we’re so busy being buying/how can we end it?/what to do with this wealth?/why do we spend it?/we’re so busy being buying/why don’t we end it?/Do we shop till we drop?/do we buy till we die?/do we use till we lose?/do we go with that flow?/do we build till we’re filled?/do we suck till we’re fucked?/do we do we/do we?/Do we never have enough?/do we really need that stuff?/do we stick to the greed?/do we knock us off our feet?/do we climb up to the gutter?/do we wise up like a nutter?/do we do we/do we?
While the band was always experimenting with the music, G.W. Sok was doing the same with the lyrics of the songs, without losing the big picture. A must for The Ex fans and also a good inspiration not only for your average band singer. 350 pages with a foreword by John Robb and a introduction by the author himself. A few small b/w photos are there too. Paperback.