10cc musician Graham Gouldman addresses cultural appropriation claims for ‘Dreadlock Holiday’

Musician Graham Gouldman has addressed claims of cultural appropriation for his band 10cc’s hit “Dreadlock Holiday”.

The song released in 1978 is best known for its refrain, “I don’t like cricket, I love it”, and tells the story of a white man’s encounter with locals on the Caribbean island of Jamaica.

In a new interview with The Times, Gouldman revealed his thoughts on the song’s reception.

The 77-year-old insisted that feedback from the Caribbean community “has only been positive” and that the song is a satire about “someone trying to emulate West Indian cool”.

Some critics interpreted the track as a critique of Britain’s colonial past, as the main character in the reggae parody is saved by a man in dreadlocks. However others have called it “problematic”.

It became an international chart-topping single for the band reaching No 1 in the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, and New Zealand, and was often used as the theme for cricket programmes on Sky Sports.

In an interview with Discussions Magazine singer Eric Stewart previously said the song was influenced by a visit to Barbados when he recalled seeing a white man “trying to be cool and he looked so naff” which inspired the lyrics to the song.

Discussing the song’s origin, Gouldman said he had asked a man in Jamaica if he liked cricket, to which he replied, “No, I love it,” inspiring the infamous phrase, according to uDiscover.

The singer also addressed controversy surrounding Jonathan King, the producer who signed the band in 1972 and discovered Genesis.

King was convicted for sex offences against teenage boys and served four years in prison. Gouldman called him a “visionary” who was now “persona non grata” due to his convictions.

“There were things he regrets, things we regret,” he said. “But he’s a visionary, a force of nature. Genesis wouldn’t have existed without him, and possibly 10cc.”

Goldman said the song’s response has ‘only been positive’ (Getty Images)
Goldman said the song’s response has ‘only been positive’ (Getty Images)

The “I’m Not in Love” musician opened up about embracing the band’s Jewishness and shared that their faith “was some sort of bond.”

He said: “We never had any antisemitism — in fact we used to call ourselves Three Yids and a Yock.”

The latter is a crude word used for Gentile and referred to Eric Stewart who was the last member to join the band.

The band has split into offshoots with Kevin Godley and Lol Creme leaving 10cc in 1976 due to artistic disagreements and setting up their own duo called Godley & Creme. Stewart left the band in 1999 which left Gouldman to lead a touring version of the group ever since.

Gouldman will tour the UK under his band’s name from 7 March to 27 March with tickets available to purchase on Ticketline.