Usually when an artist's music is banned or mired in controversy, particularly policital controversy, said artist's song/album/music is something that you definitely want to track down and hear, and most likely own a copy of for posterity. What could be so powerful a piece of music that would lead to it being banned? Incidents that come to mind include the classic example of the Sex Pistols and their controversial 1977 single "God Save The Queen" which was banned by the BBC upon its release.
So when I recently read all of the hullabaloo that made international news headlines surrounding the "controversial anti-Putin" (as in notorious Russian leader Vladimir Putin) song “We Don’t Wanna Put In,” I was intruiged. The song is by the quartet Stephane & 3G who hail from the country of Georgia, and it recently won that country's preliminaries for the Eurovision Song Contest, which this year is to to be held in Moscow, Putin's backyard. But due to pressure (much of it reportedly trickled down from Putin himself) to change the lyrics or be banned, the song has been withdrawn from the contest by the group, who refuse to change their song in any way. Now Georgia will no longer be represented in the Eurovision Song Contest. In fact, the country of Georgia, in solidarity with the banned group, is reported to be holding its own international music show, to be broadcast on the Georgian national TV station Rustavi 2 at exactly the same time the Eurovision Song Contest is to be broadcast live from Moscow.
What a story! What a build up! I couldn't wait to hear the song after all of this nail-biting news. But when I finally did hear it earlier today, boy was I disappointed! The song (hear/see video below of the winning performance) is so bad (as in bad) that it is like a lame karaoke interpretation of the Tramps' "Disco Inferno" by a group of no-talents who didn't even bother to rehearse, and that's being kind. Much as I may share the group's apparant dislike for a tryant like the former president/current prime minister of Russia, to me the real controversy here is not the lyrical content but the fact that this song won any contest, let alone a national song contest. What must the runners up have sounded like? And where was Simon Cowell when we needed him? Ultimately it is a terrible waste of free publiciity that so many struggling acts could have taken better advantage of.