Nickelback as a GOP Nomination Issue: The BBC Interview

Yesterday, I received a call from the BBC. “Can you explain this Nickelback thing to Her Majesty’s subjects here in Great Britain?”

“Um, which Nickelback thing? There are several things that are…of concern.”

“Yes, we’re aware. What is it with you people sending horrific music out to the world? Celine, Bieber, that horrid picture Bryan Adams took of the Queen.  We’re interested in the meme alleging that Donald Trump likes Nickelback. Have the Yanks found a way to weaponize Nickelback against a potential President Trump? It’s all over the papers, you know. Here: let me send you a link to The Telegraph.”

Seriously. The BBC wanted me to explain AND defend both Donald Trump and Nickelback at the same time. A nightmare.

“Well,” I said, “This is a message that says  ‘Don’t mess with Canada. We started with Celine Dion. We’ve since launched attacks with Bieber, Drake, The Weeknd and Shawn Mendes.  Now faced with the prospect of a President Trump or Cruz, we’ve gone for the nuclear option.'”

“So you’re insinuating that Canadian agents–do you even have agents?–have infiltrated the Trump faithful in an effort to discredit him with…handmade signs impugning Trump’s musical taste?”

“That’s what we’d like the world to believe, but frankly, this is an American-born meme that has co-opted the baffling concept of universal Nickelback hate. I’m flummoxed as to why people single out Nickelback for such hate, but it’s a fact that this hate exists. It was only time before things became political.”

“The Nickelback bomb appears to be annoying Mr. Trump.”

“Yes, which is a good thing, isn’t it? Besides, we’re a large country with only 35 million people. We need a way of keeping from being pushed around.”

“This isn’t a new thing,” said one of the presenters. “Didn’t someone go after Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, over the issue of his alleged love of Nickelback?”

“True,” I replied. “That was 2012, but those must have been rogue agents. Frankly, we Canadians like to go shopping in Chicago. We just wish that there were less murders in the city.”

“Do you think that this kind of rabble-rousing will bring down the incidence of homicide in Chicago?”

“What? No! We…”

“Why do you have Nickelback, anyway? Why haven’t you done anything about them?”

“Well, we do exist inside the parliamentary democracy that YOU people imposed on us…”

“You’ve got it wrong, obviously.”

“And YOU have One Direction! What’s your excuse?”

“Thank you for your time. Up next: The Hedgehog Report followed by Britain’s Tastiest Village.”

I hope I acquitted myself well for Queen and country.

 

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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