Four Reasons I’ve Mellowed on the Shaggs

  1. Because I used to hate them with a passion — well, certainly not the performers personally or even the cult record. It was the cult and its philosophy of the (art) world I despised.
  2. I have no use for “ironic” appreciation of any kind of art. But it’s a trend, like showbiz schlock and laid-back, “tasty licks” rock that’s declined in power and has fewer and fewer adherents.
  3. I learned, and long ago accepted, that if somebody believes “so bad it’s good” is a truth, there’s nothing you can do to turn them around. There’s even a few interesting music nuts that have some “ironic” faves and I can talk to these people. If it’s yer main rave, however, you can just stand way over there behind that lamppost … forever.
  4. Back in the days when recorded music meant physical items, I had an above-and-beyond complaint about the Shaggs: they sucked reissue/re-evaluation space, time and energy away from many more worthwhile projects. Now so much stuff has gotten the deluxe treatment that the argument doesn’t have as much force. And gotta admit that for far longer than I imagined, the Shaggs endure and cause new fans to go through the talentless-genius routine. I do continue to insist there should be a law that if you fall for the Shaggs, you have to listen to Contact High with the Godz  — after all, they were no-talent brilliant first.


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