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March 08, 2005


tom moody

Thanks for the feedback on those posts. Regarding your earlier comment, I added a parenthetical re: the prog and fusion (or proto-fusion) I think holds up against the Pistols, etc. By "Canterbury and electric Miles" I mean Soft Machine, Tony Williams Lifetime, Can, Faust, John Cale, "Thrust"-era Herbie Hancock, Larry Coryell ca. "Live at the Village Gate," early Mothers, Fred Frith, etc etc. Also, you didn't explain what makes 3-chord rock purists different from Delta blues purists.

Miguel Sánchez

Also, you didn't explain what makes 3-chord rock purists different from Delta blues purists.

I guess my point was that prizing the integrity of black Delta blues over the British bands that covered them is to make a distinction between an original and a copy. But preferring 3-chord garage rock to prog isn't a matter of original and copy, it's choosing between two competing aesthetics. So the two comparisons work in different ways. The garage rocker doesn't dislike prog because it's a distortion of his aeshetic (as the blues aficionado does feel about, say, Led Zeppelin); he hates it because it opposes what he values.

I suppose one could argue that there is a similarity on the basis of a demand for some idea of authenticity on the part of the Delta blues and garage rock fan. But I'm not sure that works either. After all, many British bands insisted on attempting to maintain as high a degree of blues authenticity as possible (obviously a limited one, but nevertheless.) And garage, rather than the spontaneous expression of rock and roll it claims to be, is almost always an intellectualized, even mannered aesthetic. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Really, my earlier post came out of the fact that I finally got a copy of The Lyres On Fyre on cd and was listening to it over and over. That, plus the Mad Peck cartoon, and I couldn't resist. But thanks for the clarification and the comment.

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