Rock O’ The North…Pt90

So suspected serial killer Stephen Griffiths has been exposed…as a fan of rock music.

In an attempt to make the man arrested on suspicion of three murders in the Bradford area appear even more sinister (if that were possible), certain national newspapers chose to reveal his taste in music.

And after glossing over the fact that he likes reggae, hip-hop, house music and drum n bass it was reported his three favourite bands are none other than…Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots.

This, you see, is a favourite technique of the popular press when attempting to paint the perfect picture of a so-called ‘creepy loner’. A love of rock music is always seen as the clincher when portraying a troubled individual as inherently skewed.

Rock and metal, as we all know, is the music of the devil. All of us who like Smells Like Teen Spirit and Even Flow spend our weekends slaughtering live animals and drinking their blood.

Everyone who ever attended a Nirvana gig pledged their allegiance to hell. And most of us who have seen Scott Weiland in action like to don red horns and terrorise virgins in our spare time.

In fact a love of rock and metal almost always leads to a life of serious crime and, in most cases, murder.

Or not, as the case may be.

It’s just a sad fact that rock and metal has been an easy target for years. Whenever there’s a high school massacre, an unexplained suicide or some kind of violent crime many look no further than loud music for the answer.

But it seems ridiculous that Griffths’ love of grunge should be mentioned in the same article as references to sex killers, Arab terrorists and Nazis when attempting to explain the murder suspect’s warped personality.

And it casts a completely unwarranted cloud over the millions of rock and metal fans out there who simply love to listen to and watch great music played with passion and belief.

Of course Scandinavia’s Black Metal scene has spawned one or two unsavoury characters in the past and even inspired some rather brutal crimes. And the more extreme Hell’s Angels gangs have hardly enhanced heavy metal’s reputation, wearing famous logos as badges of honour on their way to causing a whole heap of pain through organised crime.

But on the whole us rock and metal fans are not strange. We don’t advocate wrongdoing. And we utterly abhor murder (I hope).

Stephen Griffiths may well be a murderer. He may well be a creepy loner. And he may well be a university boffin. But it’s highly unlikely that any of the above has anything to do with Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder or Weiland.

I’m a journalist specialising in sport and rock music. Can’t play either so I write about them instead.

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