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At least one person took umbrage at my characterization of rock. This didn’t seem to need any unpacking, but perhaps I was wrong. So, I’m going to throw out some names just to be clear…
Chuck Berry (Solos? Check. Preening? Check.) The Beatles (Solos? Check. Preening? Check.) Led Zeppelin (Solos? Check. Preening? Check.) U2 (Solos? Check. Preening? Check.)
Perhaps there’s some super-modest sub-genre of rock music that I’m not aware of, one in which none of the participants ever step up to the mike or wonder how they look in the mirror. But it seems to me that these are pretty universal traits. (Mind you, I love me some solos and preening.)
And while I’m at it, I’d like to take just a tad bit more air out of the rock mythos. Classical doesn’t need my help, but I think that the comparison is a useful one.
So here goes…
Whereas rock culture preaches the evils of capitalism—Do I need to unpack this? If so, just check out the Festival Express scene in which the hippies want the bands to play for free; it’s a pretty typical sentiment—rock bands are basically travelling small businesses. The ones that take risks tend to do better than the ones that don’t.
Orchestras, however, are more tethered to one place and are heavily subsidized. Are there any that make money even when they take risks?
So I ask you: Which would be more appealing to the socialist and which would be more appealing to a free enterprise type?