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Topic: "New" book a rant against ageing rockers Return to archive
09-14-01 10:05 PM
moy New book a rant against ageing rockers
Lambastes Jagger, Springsteen

Dan DeLuca
The Philadelphia Inquirer
If John Strausbaugh had his way, we wouldn't have to listen to Mick Jagger squawking like a geriatric rooster anymore, or see Pete Townshend creakily attempt another windmill on The Who's umpteenth reunion tour.

Rock Til You Drop: The Decline From Rebellion to Nostalgia is Strausbaugh's rant against "colostomy rock." His reductive premise is that rock is "a distillate of youthful energies: innocence, ignorance, rebellion, discovery, hormones." Thus, it "should not be played by 55-year-old men with triple-chins wearing bad wighats."

Strausbaugh dedicates an entire chapter to attacking Jagger and the Rolling Stones. But he's also got venom for such easy targets as Fleetwood Mac, CSNY and Journey, as well as sacred cows like Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and Bob Dylan.

You might have guessed that Strausbaugh is a member of Generation Y grossed out by shrivelled rockers older than his parents. But the New York Press editor is a 50ish geezer who ate acid at Woodstock and is profoundly embarrassed that the Rutles' send-up of '60s idealism All You Need Is Cash turned out to be true.

Strausbaugh isn't one of those ex-hippie bores who thinks "rock is dead." In taking apart James Miller's 1999 would-be rock 'n' roll obituary Flowers in the Dustbin, he cites the White Stripes, Sleater-Kinney, Zen Guerrilla, and "hundreds of other bands I can't pretend to know about" as evidence of the music's continued vitality. "Rock isn't dead, Mr. Boomer," he writes. "It's just dead to you."

Having a go at greying critics such as Robert Christgau and Greil Marcus, Strausbaugh argues they "are simply too old to be making creditable rock criticism."

Strausbaugh distinguishes between rock and pop. Rock happens when a bass-guitar-drums group (or some variation) "comes together because they just gotta rock." Pop occurs when "a producer, engineer, a cute vocalist and session men or machines" join together, as with Britney Spears, Michael Jackson or the Monkees, specifically to make hits.

According to Strausbaugh's book -- which is padded with chapters on Rolling Stone magazine's 30th anniversary -- it's OK for pop stars like Madonna or Tony Bennett to keep at it as they get decrepit, but once-challenging rockers such as Lou Reed should just stop before they embarrass themselves -- and us -- any further.
09-15-01 08:23 PM
robbluedog Who cares what some arsehole says about 'aging rockers'? He's obviously someone who know that if he hits a raw nerve with a few people it'll help him sell a few copies of his garbage.

I saw the Stones in about '97 on the 'Voodoo Lounge' tour and quite honestly they would run most bands half their age into the ground. This whole age debate is a total waste of time and I wish whoever posts this shit would not do so. I as a Stones fan certainly wont be buying this (obviously boring) product and I doubt whether many other fans would either.

In any case rockers like the Stones tend to be young for their age, writers like this guy must be very old for theirs.
09-16-01 10:59 AM
lovelymocca Before this American tragedy I at 27 yrs of age had a huge
hang up about age. To me 27 was not young it was old. To some that still may be the case.
I also felt that old stars like Mick jagger, the Who etc should
"Give It Up". Today however I do not feel that way. Every day that you are alive
is precious. Just listening to the stories of the survivors and
how they're happy to be alive opened my eyes. So now I say
if the fans still want to see them and they can still do it
go for it. Besides it's always good to go back in time to simpler days through nastalgia anyway.

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