Nitsuh Abebe on the Punk Movement — New York Magazine

By the time punk swept the U.K., the sound had cut itself back to the sinew and muscle of early rock and roll, yes, but it had also excised one of the key things that made early rock and roll captivating to young people, which was some sense of sexual urgency—swing, groove, sly vocal implication. All were traded for happy hectoring and desiccated angularity. The guitars may have a kinship with Chuck Berry, but the barking does not.

Ergo, punk never had much appeal for me.

Nitsuh Abebe on the Punk Movement — New York Magazine

It’s my theory that rock and roll happens between fans and stars, rather than between listeners and musicians—that you have to be a screaming teenager, at least in your heart, to know what’s going on.

Ellen Willis, quoted in The New Inquiry – Heroine: Ellen Willis on Rock Music. On a similar note, Daniel Mendelsohn says:

Strange as it may sound to many people, who tend to think of critics as being motivated by the lower emotions: envy, disdain, contempt even… Critics are, above all, people who are in love with beautiful things, and who worry that those things will get broken.

See also both Little Steven and Elijah Wald on music and dancing.

Playboy Interview: Metallica (April 2001)

This interview is packed with wonderful tidbits. James Hetfield on day jobs and the early tour routine:

We worked at day jobs. After that, we’d throw parties, take the furniture out of the house and smash the joint. We smashed dressing rooms just because you were supposed to. Then you’d get the bill and go, “Whoa! I didn’t know Pete Townshend paid for his lamp!” Come back off the tour and you hadn’t made any money. You bought furniture for a bunch of promoters.

Hetfield on growing up differently from Lars Ulrich:

I could afford maybe one record a week, and he would come back from the store with 20. He bought Styx and REO Speedwagon, bands he’d heard of in Denmark. I would go, “What the fuck? Why did you buy Styx?“

Kirk Hammett on Hetfield’s Nothing Else Matters:

All I could think of at the time was, James wrote a fucking love song to his girlfriend? That’s just weird.

Hetfield on alcohol abuse and parenthood:

You can’t be hung over when you got kids, man. “Dad, get the fuck off the couch!” Well, they don’t say that—yet.

Ulrich on Matt Damon:

PLAYBOY: Your wife, Skylar, used to date Matt Damon, and he made her the model for the female lead in Good Will Hunting. A few years ago, Matt described you as “a fucking rock star who’s got $80 million and his own jet—a bad rock star, too.”

ULRICH: He said that before we met. And he’s apologized about a hundred times. The first five times I saw him, he would spend 10 minutes apologizing profusely. He really is a sweetheart.

Ulrich on collecting art:

Hanging out backstage with Kid Rock is an amazing turn-on, no less so than sitting and staring at my Dubuffet for an hour with a fucking gin and tonic.

Playboy Interview: Metallica (April 2001)

Playboy Interview: Metallica (April 2001)

This interview is packed with wonderful tidbits. James Hetfield on day jobs and the early tour routine:

We worked at day jobs. After that, we’d throw parties, take the furniture out of the house and smash the joint. We smashed dressing rooms just because you were supposed to. Then you’d get the bill and go, “Whoa! I didn’t know Pete Townshend paid for his lamp!” Come back off the tour and you hadn’t made any money. You bought furniture for a bunch of promoters.

Hetfield on growing up differently from Lars Ulrich:

I could afford maybe one record a week, and he would come back from the store with 20. He bought Styx and REO Speedwagon, bands he’d heard of in Denmark. I would go, “What the fuck? Why did you buy Styx?“

Kirk Hammett on Hetfield’s Nothing Else Matters:

All I could think of at the time was, James wrote a fucking love song to his girlfriend? That’s just weird.

Hetfield on alcohol abuse and parenthood:

You can’t be hung over when you got kids, man. “Dad, get the fuck off the couch!” Well, they don’t say that—yet.

Ulrich on Matt Damon:

PLAYBOY: Your wife, Skylar, used to date Matt Damon, and he made her the model for the female lead in Good Will Hunting. A few years ago, Matt described you as “a fucking rock star who’s got $80 million and his own jet—a bad rock star, too.”

ULRICH: He said that before we met. And he’s apologized about a hundred times. The first five times I saw him, he would spend 10 minutes apologizing profusely. He really is a sweetheart.

Ulrich on collecting art:

Hanging out backstage with Kid Rock is an amazing turn-on, no less so than sitting and staring at my Dubuffet for an hour with a fucking gin and tonic.

Playboy Interview: Metallica (April 2001)

patpadua:

Purchased at the Antiques Garage in Chelsea. The only identifying mark on the back of this print was the handwritten word “Beatles.”

See America First | The New York Review of Books

Speaking of bohemians, I like this bit from a 1970 review of Easy Rider and Alice’s Restaurant. (via I forget who)

The current generation of bohemians and radicals hasn’t decided whether to love or hate America. On a superficial level, the dominant theme has been hate—for the wealth and greed and racism and complacency, the destruction of the land, the bullshit rhetoric of democracy, and the average American’s rejection of aristocratic European standards of the good life in favor of a romance with mass-produced consumer goods. But love is there too, perhaps all the more influential for being largely unadmitted. There is the old left strain of love for the “real” America, the Woody Guthrie-Pete Seeger America of workers-farmers-hoboes, the open road, this-land-is-your-land. And there is the newer pop strain, the consciousness—initiated by Andy Warhol and his cohorts, popularized by the Beatles and their cohorts, evangelized by Tom Wolfe, and made respectable in the bohemian ghettos by Bob Dylan and Ken Kesey—that there is something magical and vital as well as crass about America’s commodity culture, that the romance with consumer goods makes perfect sense if the consumer goods are motorcycles and stereo sets and far-out clothes and Spider Man comics and dope. How can anyone claim to hate America, deep down, and be a rock fan? Rock is America—the black experience, the white experience, technology, commercialism, rebellion, populism, the Hell’s Angels, the horror of old age—as seen by its urban adolescents.

See America First | The New York Review of Books

Craig Schuftan: Hey! Nietzsche! Leave Them Kids Alone

fuckyeahphilosophy:

“Who knew Lord Byron had something in common with My Chemical Romance? Armed with an encyclopaedic knowledge of pop culture, Craig Schuftan traces the history of romanticism in rock and roll, drawing comparisons between 19th century poetic giants and the heroes of indie, glam and emo music. In this talk with Zan Rowe, Schuftan explores the links between music, philosophy and literature and why nobody wants to own up to being emo.”

Craig Schuftan: Hey! Nietzsche! Leave Them Kids Alone

The crisis in performance is, I believe, based on one simple fact. When it started, rock n roll was dance music. One day we stopped dancing to it and started listening to it and it’s been downhill ever since. We had a purpose, had a specific goal, an intention, a mandate, we made people dance or we did not work, we didn’t not get paid, we were fired, we were homeless. That requires a very different energy. To compel people to get out of their chairs and dance, it’s a working-class energy, not an artistic, intellectual, waiting-around-for-inspiration energy. It’s a get-up, go-to-work-and-kill energy. Rip it up, or die trying.

Little Steven (via austinkleon). There’s some good discussion of this in How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ‘n’ Roll. A while back I tumbled one of the good quotes about music critics versus those who dance.