May 19, 2002

From my personal archive. I don't necessarily believe any of this, but I don't necessarily believe anything I write, and you shouldn't either.

There isn't any more rock. There was Chuck Berry and Little Richard and after that the form was extinct. The Stones were not a rock band; they were an art project. Punk never rocked. It was either too scrawny or too muscular or maybe even too fat. What rock was is unencapsulable and to millions of bands fuck you for trying. There was Pete Townshend but he never really rocked; he was all Tin Pan Alley. There were the garage bands and sure Roky Erickson and Kim Fowley are on the Nuggets box (the first one) but do they really belong there? Does Kim Fowley rock? Maybe not. But his legend does. Like Moulty's legend. And what's all this legend stuff anyway? Why'm I supposed to buy a myth when I can't buy a thrill? Do I really want a heaping bowlful of Joseph ("mmm mmm zzzzzz") Campbell with my spoonful of kicks? Was rock better before criticism of rock? The answer: There isn't any more rock. The day the music died, it had already been dead for two, maybe three years. But what was rock? Exactly. How can you put groin symbolism in a climate-controlled mvsevm? Junkie bizness in a commercial for something that costs six digits before the decimal? The rock might have been there, but the cultural moment is lost in a flytrap dump of the remembrance of things pissed away. As in, the aural imprint is there, but you're not! The rock is rockless. Flaccid. Soft rock for soft living. Soft cheese. A piece of Play-Doh that dribbles through your fingers as you grasp at a memory or handjob someone else's memory until it comes in your open palm, 25 cents, turn the knob, it's yours, dispose. "Rock" starts with "r" and ends with "k." So does "Ric Ocasek," who never rocked, "Rudnick," the last name of a silly theatrical doodaddler (and disco fan, lessee—Donna Summer was produced by Giorgio Moroder who produced Blondie's "Call Me" and Blondie were friends with Lester Bangs who might himself have been rock although 144 percent of the bands he covered didn't even lick the sweaty armpit of rock's staggering, vomitously incomprehensible meaning), and "Rubik," the guy behind the famous cube, and that's too high-def and new-wavish, like something David Byrne might play with while waiting for his veiny stinky cheese platter. Speaking of: "Reek." Well, as J. Geils taught us, love stinks, but nope nope nope no rock there neither. (Who did that song "Ooh, That Smell" – Skynyrd? Allmans? Fuck, olfactory sensations in song, that already becomes too conceptual, despite its potential offensiveness to hygenically obsessed, cleanliness-godliness moralistic twerps like you.) "Rook." A chess piece. Case in point: "Chess" the musical. Certain Yes and Jeff Airplane songs I could name, neither of which is dumb enough to rock, not even the Damned version of the latter (buncha Goths anyway, classical pretentions). "Rink." ("Ice Castles"? "Xanadu"?) "Rank." (Smelly? See "reek.") (Academic or sports "rank"? Well, is rock populist? Communist? Achievement-based? Dog-eat-dog? Or does its competitive nature make the rock eat itself? Ans: Yes.)