I know it’s only rock ‘n roll…

The story goes that, back in the 1990s, when the band Primal Scream were asked to appear on the BBC show ‘Top of the Pops’ they declined. At the time they were touring Ireland, and to appear they would have had to fly over to London for the day, do the show, and return. They would have had to fly in to Luton airport, near London. They refused, allegedly saying that they wouldn’t fly to Luton because ‘it isn’t rock ‘n roll’. They were banned from ‘Top of the Pops’ as a result, and the whole episode was a great PR success.

I have nothing against Luton airport myself, and have used it a good few times. On the other hand, image is important, and style is often seen as a good interpreter of content. This blog is written (as I have mentioned before) on a Macintosh computer, and Apple has achieved its recent phenomenal success by understanding and working with the effect that style has on people’s perception and appreciation of functionality.

Universities are in the first instance institutions that need to protect and enhance their reputations through rigourous intellectual integrity. But even for us, how we present ourselves is important – whether the campus is clean, whether the buildings are well designed, how good the leisure facilities are, and so forth.

I am not actually sure what has happened to Primal Scream. But I hope they would be willing to perform in DCU and would regard it as adequately rock ‘n roll.

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2 Comments on “I know it’s only rock ‘n roll…”

  1. Ultan Says:

    A favourite. Primal Scream are still around, releasing new music, and touring – though nothing tops their XTRMNTR album of 2000. They played TCD while you were lecturerer there (including one notorious gig in the Arts Building), but have never played DCU.

  2. Ellie Clewlow Says:

    Is rigorous intellectual enquiry on its own enough to protect the reputation of the sector? When I see the press reports in England about the external examiner system and degree classification, I realise that we are facing a real challenge in terms of explaining to the public and to the government what we do and why that can be trusted to get on and do it. Otherwise, we are facing the continued growth of a league table/customer satisfaction/value-for-money culture.

    To return to your post – how do we make the case for the Apple?

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