Tuesday, January 25, 2011

James Wood on Keith Moon, or Thereabouts

This is from James Wood's piece on Keith Moon in The New Yorker:

Nowadays, I see schoolkids bustling along the sidewalk, their large instrument cases strapped to them like coffins, and I know their weight of obedience. Happy obedience, too: that cello or French horn brings lasting joy, and a repertoire more demanding and subtle than rock music's. But fuck the laudable ideologies, as Roth's Mickey Sabbath puts it: subtlety is not rebellion, and subtlety is not freedom, and it is rebellious freedom that one wants, and, most of the time, only rock music can deliver it. And sometimes one despises oneself, in near-middle age, for being so good.
Hmm. As self-encomiums thinly disguised as encomiums to rock stars go, this is not a bad piece of writing. Still, I really prefer to take my encomiums straight.

While Keith Moon is a player of the drums of no small repute, I don't count myself a fan, and I would not miss The Who if a member of the band died or something.* Still, this is really good, and in its way, charming.

* Too soon?

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