Monday, March 10, 2008

Alas, Rock

By Capt. Fogg

Remember the Dave Clark Five? If you don't, you can go away now, I'm writing this for your parents.

It's not that I was ever a fan. They were, in my opinion, there only so that some of the younger Rock & Roll generation could pretend that they weren't against anything so popular as the "British invasion" which consisted mainly of the Beatles. To my way of thinking, their soulless enthusiasm, like the roar of the satanic mills of Manchester or Birmingham it came from, was certainly as fulsome and puerile in its mechanical banging and screeching as any Beatles tune I had heard to date.

I couldn't stand either group actually, or their cheap simulacra of the already moribund American genre. It was like listening to some guys in white shoes and belts at the country club, drinking martinis and trying to sing the blues like Manse Lipscomb or Son House; like seeing your grandchildren loving it.

Rock & Roll was already here when Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard. Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins were making the tubes glow in my radio and making the Juke boxes boom in road houses on two lane highways all over the midwest. I think it began to die when the peg pants pretty boys from England's industrial North were making adolescent white girls scream in sports stadiums. All ancient history to most people, sure, but when the Rock & Roll Museum decides to install the DC5 along with Madonna, perhaps it's time to bring in Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack or simply close the doors.

Cross posted from Human Voices
Bookmark and Share


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Of course you're right that admitting the Dave Clark five to anything other than the ten cent bin at the flea market is a disgrace.

But to call the Beatles and DC5 the same thing is to go deep into old fart territory.


12:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again, somebody who doesn't have a clue writing about something that they're clueless about. I know it would have been a struggle, but at the very least you could have looked up where the DC5 actually came from. I'll even give you a clue, it was neither Birmingham nor Manchester.

2:35:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Once again some cheap anonymous twit entirely misses the point and rushes to tell me how superior he feels about it. Are you typing with one hand when you write this shit Mister musicologist?

"And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic Mills?"

Every Englishman knows the words to The New Jerusalem. Those cities are metonyms for the Industrial North of England and yes, Jerusalem is a metaphor and William Blake didn't come from there either. Go look it up and maybe you'll get it or maybe you'll fall down a manhole and die, which is far preferable to any more of your inane, egotistic and inapposite comments.

Who gives a screaming beer fart where their watery, derivative, imitative and uninteresting pap originated anyway? What has that to do with their mass produced sound and mindless lyrics? The point is that it isn't related to the music by nationality or tradition any more than Karl-Heinz Stockhausen is to Woody Guthrie. Get it bozo?

And to J Sundman - one can indeed equate both groups to the extent that neither had anything to do with Rock & Roll unless someone banging on a drum is the definition, which it isn't. That's my point and I'm sticking by it.

Two otherwise unrelated things can share the fact that they are not a third thing. That's not a controversial or an inappropriate equation.

I much prefer the Beatles and indeed after Sgt. Pepper, they were fully redeemed in my eyes, but then again, it wasn't Rock any more than the bubble gum ballad "I wanna hold your hand" was, it was something new. New and good and pivotal actually although if you remember it and how original it was, you might be exposing yourself to stupid age jokes, should I be so disposed.

If reflexively loving everything that comes out of the sausage grinder makes me an old fart, then so be it, but anyone who can't tell the DC5 and the Beatles and Madonna from the real, essential and original Rock music probably can't tell Mozart from Mahler or perhaps even Elton John. Or is he supposed to be Rock & Roll too?

It seems that Leonard Cohen, whom I truly appreciate was inducted too and that's also a bit silly. Perhaps you're beginning to see what I'm saying. Lets put art in the art museum and natural history in the natural history museum and so on. We don't put cars in the zoo if they're called Jaguars. N'est ce-pas?

Sorry again; you don't dismiss anyone's arguments by imagining his age and no, I don't understand or enjoy Hip Hop or most popular music for that mater, but it isn't Rock & Roll either. If I've listened to and studied music for a long time, I would be interested to know how that weakens my arguments in your opinion - or is it you just don't trust anyone over 18? :-)

4:11:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Oh Fogg, I'm glad my friend Marc doesn't read this blog or he would be having a apoplectic fit over your dissing his heroes, the Beatles.

Me, I have to admit I was a bit enamored of the Fab 4 but the Rolling Stones supplanted them in my heart shortly thereafter. I didn't hate the DC5 though. Hell, I even liked Paul Revere and the Raiders and the Monkees and Freddy and the Freeloaders...

But I was just a young girl then.

4:43:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Where did I say anything about the Beatles other than they didn't do Rock & Roll - other than a few early, weak and out of key rip offs? When I heard them on Ed Sullivan in my Freshman year at college, I could only laugh at how far out of key they were and nobody other than little girls took them seriously for a while.

They did great things, but so did Mozart and he's not enshrined in Cleveland nor is Luciano Pavarotti in any Blues hall of fame.

I don't know why this is controversial unless nobody really knows what Rock & roll is any more. It's a bit strange to be lectured on it by anonymous people who were born after it was all over. I'm the same damn age as Jagger - how the hell does that make me too old to understand Rock? I've been with it since Little Richard was little and before the Big Bopper began to bop. I've screamed down the highways of the night with "who do you love" rattling my radio; the wild, young American top down, Rocket 88 night and it's American music born in American juke joints and road houses and the streets of Chicago and Memphis. It's not English music. It's not music for kids whose mothers drive them to the ball park to listen and scream and then drive them home in station wagons with fake wood trim.

I've half a mind to ask that Jumping Jack Flash and Honky Tonk Women be played at my funeral and the Stones belong in any tribute to R&R.

7:47:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Hey Fogg, I agree the Beatles were not rock and rollers, but don't tell Marc they don't belong in the hall of fame. :=}

And they do deserve credit in a way that Madonna and DC5 don't. But I think maybe they just need a new name for the place. Rock and roll is really kind of false advertising.

9:27:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Um, did you notice that's what I said in the first place?

It's not a popular music hall of fame.

It's a great place to visit though. Much better than I expected.

9:20:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I did Fogg. As usual, my attempt at humor fell flat...

11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

So did mine! I'm still laughing about being accused of not knowing about Rock because I'm from the Rock generation.

5:18:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home