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‘Rock and Roll meant fucking’

RSO Booksale is having a “clearance sale.” I dropped by its SM City branch this morning and found books priced at half the amount they may probably cost at Power Books. I grabbed a copy of Hank Bordowitz’s “Turning Points in Rock and Roll.” This will surely keep me busy the rest of the week. Here are excerpts from the Introduction:

THE late, great promotion guru Juggy Gayles hated the phrase rock and roll, although he is one of the unacknowledged champions of the sound. “Anyone who spent time in the colored neighborhoods knew that ‘rock and roll’ meant fucking,” he said.

Rock and roll both reflected and triggered revolutionary times in the history of the United States and the history of the world. Very few eras were quite as fomentive as the last half of the twentieth century, and rock and roll was the soundtrack to this change. Humanity began to question the values that they had lived by for centuries. Science and technology brought us bigger, better, more, and different. Change around every corner and no one could predict “the future” without a crystal ball.

Invention like “the pill” and mind-altering chemicals led to the scenes like Woodstock’s “three days of peace,” mud, drugs, sex, and music. Similarly and simultaneously, the armed conflict in Vietnam coupled with rock and roll spurred the first mass, long-term opposition to armed conflict by the people who would be sent to fight it.

From the ability to capture music in a replayable form (i. e., records) to the digitizing of music, from the relative innocence of “Rock Around the Clock” to the outright seductiveness of “Soft and Wet,” from white artists like Pat Boone sanitizing black hits for the suburbs to Run-D.M.C. urbanizing rock for the ‘hood, popular music in the twentieth century had more turning points than your average highway, and like the highway, not all roads led to the same place.

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One Response to “‘Rock and Roll meant fucking’”

  1. nakaharbor sad kog mga libro didto 2 weeks ago.. alice munro for 80bucks, tag500 sa powerbooks, hehhe,=)..


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