April 21, 2004

“Classic” Rock The regular reader

“Classic” Rock

The regular reader of our “weblog” will surely become aware in the months to come that we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” absolutely despise so-called “rock music.” Or, we should say, “rock” so-called “music.”

We know, we know: This is bound to make us as popular as Corbin Berenson. But we can’t help it; no matter what label you paste on it—grunge, indie, pop, trip hop, petrogenesis, fyke—it still sounds like aesthetic water-torture to us.

What particularly burns our collective britches, though, is the appellation “classic” that some schlocky radio stations add to the word “rock.” Every town in America, from Abbington to Zilchville, has one of these FM irritants, which is usually given garish signal names like “WROK,” or “KLSX,” or “WSUX.”

Naturally, though, what really gets us steamed about “classic rock” is the audacity behind the connection of the adjective “classic” with the substantive “rock.” Whoever came up with this phrase must have been pondering the great classics of the Western world: Plato, Ovid, Grand Funk Railroad—you know, the crème de la crème.

As if it isn’t bad enough that sundry English departments in colleges all across the United States are home to “scholars” who wrote their Ph.D. theses on “Interrogating Feminism(s) in the Oeuvre of Blue Oyster Cult,” we now find the Greco-Roman world somehow a synonym for Strawberry Alarm Clock. O tempora, o mores! Or, to quote David Bowie: “This isn’t rock-n-roll, this is genocide.”

Sorry, David, but you’re only partly right: This is rock-and-roll and genocide. And the guy who wrote the song “Fashion” should realize that.

We know what you are thinking, dear reader: The crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly” is just a passel of snobs—the kind of people who use grandiloquent verbiage when more elementary terminology would suffice.

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: That’s a congeries of rebarbative palaver. Doesn’t it bother anyone else that the word “elitist” used to describe someone who wouldn’t deign to talk to his servants, but now refers to someone with an insufficient appreciation of Golden Earring’s "Radar Love"?

We, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” realize that our battle against “classic rock” is a losing cause. Half of us, in fact, couldn’t even take Eric Burdon in a fight—and that guy’s teeny. But we don’t care. It’ll be the proverbial monkey on our back: Some people suffer from narcolepsy; others have limbs that have gone gangrene. We have Peter Frampton.

We know which one we’d pick, if we had a choice.

Posted at April 21, 2004 12:04 AM | TrackBack