So many great musical moments have come about in the fight for worthwhile causes. Noah And The Whale chose to cover Tom Petty’s “Last DJ” in order to make a statement regarding the British Broadcasting Corporation’s proposal to cut its digital radio station 6 Music in March of this year. They weren’t the only group to speak out — plenty of high-profile alternative acts voiced their support for the station. Had the axe come down on BBC 6 Music, the world would’ve lost a wonderful outlet for new and emerging alternative artists.
Thankfully, the BBC thought better of closing 6 Music, and it remains a wonderful source to discover or further one’s interest in some fantastic artists. And, because Charlie Fink and company chose to speak out against what they saw as a terrible possibility, the world has this rare and unique cover of a memorable song by a legendary artist.
Petty wrote and performed the song as an attack on how greedy and money-hungry the music industry had become. Well, there’s still plenty of greed and conformity out there, but the song remains an anthem for genuine artistry and for those willing to defend it. So we give you this cover by Noah And The Whale, and the video that was produced along with it. Enjoy.
Well, you can’t turn him into the company man,
You can’t turn him into a whore,
And the boys upstairs just don’t understand anymore.
Well, the top brass don’t like him talking so much,
And he won’t play what they say to play,
And he don’t wanna change what don’t need to change.
And there goes the last DJ
Who plays what he wants to play,
And says what he wants to say,
Hey hey hey.
And there goes your freedom of choice,
There goes the last human voice,
And there goes the last DJ.
Well, some folks say they gotta hang him so high,
Coz’ you just can’t do what he did.
There’s some things you just can’t put in the minds of those kids.
As we celebrate mediocrity,
All the boys upstairs want to see,
How much you’ll pay for what you used to get for free.
Well, he got in a station down in Mexico,
And sometimes it’ll kinda come in,
And I’ll bust a move and remember how it was back then.