Monday, September 30, 2019

About music criticism

Two people writing about music, one brilliantly perceptive, the other magnificently wrong. First, Dave Marsh in 1989 discussing the influence of the Delta blues, as expressed by Bo Diddley’s ‘I’m a Man’:
...functioned like an art virus, inhabiting as ghosts the music of men and women who worshipped them (the Yardbirds) or never heard of them (the Sex Pistols) or preferred to imagine they were doing something else (Steely Dan). As an influence, this makes Bo the Typhoid Mary of the genre. Or maybe the Faust.
And, in November 1962 (the date is significant), the promoter Bunny Lewis:
I don’t believe that the Americans could give a hoot for any of our singing artists... they just don’t want to know about any of our talent, and if our singers make more determined efforts to get in, the Americans will do all they can to keep them out.

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