Chuck Berry — And the Whole First Wave of Rock and Rollers — Have a Right To Be Pissed

Can’t be said often enough about a peculiar phenomenon I have never understood. The sex-terrified reactionaries of the ’50s wanted rock and roll to just go away — by banning if necessary. Send that monster Elvis into the Army. Send that threat to white women Chuck Berry to jail.

And damned if it didn’t work in a funhouse-mirror way. The rock of the British Invasion and later (up to a point) is annoyingly present (just consider the nonstop soundtrack we had to put up with while the car was worked on this Sat. — maybe the single most painful part was the inclusion of “I Wanna Be Sedated” like it was the hit it shoulda been). But the whole original wave of rockers is neglected except for oldies moments.

C’mon everybody (ahem), you can program that stuff right in with the Boss and related acts.

Rock and Roll Goes Fatherless — R.I.P.: Chuck Berry

Here’s an early mention pointing out an overlooked disc from a box every pop music fan should have.

My three all-time vinyl picks for Chuck B.

Still play him at least two-three times a year. Hasn’t aged a second.

Excellent Jon Pareles obit contains a fundamental insight about Berry: he knew what his audience wanted before they did.

R.I.P. Alan Aldridge

Now that I’ve gone through this very classy artist retrospective. (Though it’s certainly better with images than words.) I understand more about the zoomonie of ’60s graphics and, what happened to the guy who oversaw the Beatles Illustrated Lyrics books. That, yeah, were kinda a graphic guide to how to think hippie for hicks out where.

Grab some volume by Aldridge, I say. But there is an unfortunate turn that explains why he dropped out of sight-line like a lot of other LSD lights. He was enormously influenced by Alice-in-Wonderland illustrator John Tenniel. At his best in the Brit-Invasion and after years, Aldridge was a blown-wild eruption from Tenniel. And then the second act didn’t show up. He settled into childrens’ books illustration that were plenty charming but that also seemed like mere updated versions of Tenniel. Oh, well.

Once More, the Importance of Selection and Sequence Knocks Me Over

Re-discovered a retrospective anthology from last year collecting a particular style of pop from a particular small country — realized it was the same style and same country to which I am now devoting serious review energy for a new collection.

How could I not remember the earlier collection?

Well, there’s virtually no overlap in performers and while the 2016 anthology makes the style sound charming enough, it also brands it as minor — a musical footnote.

The new anthology makes the same type of music sound exciting, nearly essential.

Shouldn’t be surprised by this — after all, lots of garage-rock collections are for compulsive specialists only. Then there’s Nuggets.