Is Tragic O’Hara Innocent?

Posted: 18/07/2011 in Local Music
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Of utmost rarity, at present, is the West of Scotland music enthusiast not sat firmly astride the Tragic O’Hara is Innocent campaign bandwagon. Blogs, Facebook groups and fans’ status updates rally against what appears to be a tremendous injustice brought about by utmost stupidity.

At the end of June, Tragic O’Hara uploaded a promotional video for a song called Jump On which is to feature on his forthcoming 99 Years and Counting EP. The video sees Tragic and an enthusiastic accomplice dancing their way down Glasgow’s Buchanan Street before throwing further shapes in various other parts of the city. The song is decidedly catchy and the video abounds with choreographic hilarity. That, surely, should be the end of the matter?

Well, apparently not.

It would appear that one of the many members of the public who were lucky enough to make cameos, as accidental as they are brief, saw the video on YouTube and took great offence at their inclusion which they saw as a personal humiliation. A war of words – via email – between the aggrieved and Mr O’Hara ensued, during which the complainant demanded their removal from the video, refused to divulge their identity and then threatened Tragic with legal recourse if this paradoxical demand was not met promptly.

Unsurprisingly, this display of unnecessary nuisance and horrifically low intelligence caused quite the stir amongst fans and friends of the musician and a backlash campaign ensued, with the aim of clearing the artist’s name. Tragic, himself, even recorded a video response to the issue. The rallying cry of this movement? Tragic O’Hara is Innocent!

Is he though?

It seems there are several equally plausible versions of events, with the widely accepted one being that an anonymous but disgruntled member of the public has genuinely taken exception to their appearance in the video.

However, there are certain aspects of the story that could be construed as improbable. First of all, seeing as how the public were not made aware of the filming of the video, how likely is it that someone stumbled upon it by chance on YouTube, especially given its fairly small number of views before the controversy?

Furthermore, even if this did happen, how likely is it that this person would take the time to contact Tragic O’Hara to demand the removal of their appearance and then proceed to make this impossible by refusing to identify themselves?

It may well be the case that Tragic O’Hara genuinely is the abundantly unfortunate victim of a malicious campaign of anonymous idiocy but, that said, prudence demands that other possible scenarios are given consideration before a conclusion can be reached.

For one thing, might this all be just an elaborate ruse? Those who have experienced a Tragic O’Hara performance know that the space between songs is often padded out with his own brand of distinctly humourous patter and it doesn’t seem outwith the realms of possibility that some mischievous admirer of his work responded in kind with a wind-up that has now spiralled out of control. Perhaps it caused more offence than was expected and now the culprit feels things have gone too far for them to reveal their well-intentioned but misjudged gag.

Also possible, and bound to prove popular amongst the more cynical, is that the whole thing is a very shrewd publicity stunt aimed at promoting the video. There is no escaping the people’s love of a moral crusade to back up the underdog and there is no debating the boost in popularity the controversy has provided Tragic O’Hara. Supportive Facebook pages, YouTube comments and blog features have abounded, with the recent confirmation of a Pivo Pivo-hosted gig in aid of the campaign serving as the icing on the cake. Such a drama would certainly be simple enough to fabricate, especially with the offending numpty’s purported desire for anonymity.

It all seems to come down to a good old-fashioned matter of trust and the generally unquestioning reaction to the circumstance has been both reassuring and heart-warming. As a musician there must be few things better than the knowledge that, as well as loving your work, your fans have your back.

It seems that, whatever the real story, the outcome has been more than desirable thus far. A fantastic local artist has had his profile boosted, local music fans have been gifted the opportunity to get involved in what feels like a true grassroots movement, music bloggers have a topic which is nothing short of a delight to cover and, on top of all this, careful research by those involved in the campaign has shown that the prospective plaintiff has no case against Tragic O’Hara whatsoever.

No harm, no foul!

Tragic O’Hara’s Jump On video

Tragic O’Hara is Innocent Facebook campaign

Tragic O’Hara is Innocent gig in Pivo Pivo, 27/7/11

Tragic O’Hara on Facebook

  1. says:

    watched video and members of the public appeared to be enjoying the dancing so jury out, probably is some marketing ploy of sorts – clever or devious ? great blogging

  2. Andy Scott says:

    Complainer has no legal footing.

    A lawyer.

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