I don?t know if I can put that here or if it more some TOPIC stuff... Anyway, a few days ago,I was nervous and I needed to shout something. So I wrote that... and send it to Rolling Stone...
?R.S.? mag :
b y J e a n ? N o
A few weeks ago was published in the ?rock?n?roll? magazine Rolling Stones (now on R.S.) an article / serial about the ?immortals? of rock music. Always aware of being ?different? and with ?innovative? purpose? (excuse me : I?m laughing! I can?t stop!), R.S. edited a rare top 3 : the Beatles #1, Dylan #2 and Elvis at #3. Waow! They are really outrageous people at R.S.! Rock?n?roll attitude, you know?
Anyway : despite the typical fact of dismissing the ?big bang of rock?n?roll? and overrating ?soft pop? culture (sorry guys, ?Love Me Do?, ?All My Loving? and ?Octopuses Garden? are not rock?n?roll classics) as they always do, there was an original article about Presley written by Bono : that was the best thing of the whole mag.
Now comes the sadest one :
I?ve been living in Spain for 5 years and never bought R.S. Nevertheless, the freaky top 3 was so funny! Moreover, there was that article by U2 Big Boss translated to spanish that was the only thing that was not sh**t, so I did it : I GOT R.S.! (Beware : I didn?t buy it, just got it?) I?ve always been a respectful person, so I read the first two articles dedicated to the 60?s teenage idols and then came the one from The Legend itself : Elvis. Of course, I had read the original english publication. That?s the reason why I was so surprised, amazed, when I saw that part of the original publication had been censored in the spanish edition! Unbelievable but true. And do you know what was that part about? Too easy : Bono explained that what impressed him more was the Vegas showman (?with the Big voice?) from the 70?s. But is it really surprising?
As always, R.S. ?Spanish version? (or whatever other version) dismisses Presley whole heritage and, generally, focuses on the early years (the 50?s) and forgets all the rest. You know, to study a 23 years carreer is too much. It?s clearly not a job for people from R.S. : it?s easier to reduce it to 4 years (1954 ? 1958) and resume all the rest with the pathetic :
?He left to Germany, made 3 movies a year until 1969 and, finally, overweighted live on stage before dying in 1977.? (public domain)
19 years in three lines! A dream come true! OK R.S. ?reporters?, I give you that sentence so you can use it every time you need it. ?Copy? and ?Paste?. So easy to remember? OK, I repeat : first ?Copy? and, then, ?Paste?. No : not the contrary.
Let?s make a poll : how many of you read any article about Elvis? recording sessions between 1966 and 1976? OK, let?s make an easier question : how many did read an article about Elvis there? Still easier : how many read an article in this mag? Well, I tried one time, but I couldn?t finish : it stinks.
Coming back to the King, that?s the way it?s always been : Elvis, the #1 Rock?n?roll legend (I don?t say it : Lennon, Paul Simon, Rober Plant, the ZZ Top, Little Richard, Madonna? say it), his studio work, his enormous influence, remain underrated by the ?rock experts? (ho-ho-ho!) that prefer to give more importance to soft pop tunes makers. They?re still trying to convince us that ?Yellow Submarin? was such an important piece of art. ?In the tooown where I was boooorn?? Art, they say. Sure!?
I can easely imagine the typical 45 years old R.S. writter getting up in the morning listening to his favourit Eminem album and, then, getting wild, ON FIRE, with ?Obla-do, Obla ?da?. He?s never heard pure rock?n?roll (for him, ?Baby let?s play house? is a Barbie set and ?Great ball of fire? some mexican menu). Instead, he will prepare an article about HUGE (in Tarantino?s language speaking) people like Sir McCartney whose rock?n?roll purpose is to sign McCartney / Lennon instead of Lennon McCartney. Several pages for that. So interesting. Rat! Of course, like THE SUN or ?HOLA!, he will use very big photos so he won?t have to write too much. Bigger are the pics, shorter is the text. They like big pictures in R.S.. My 5 years old cousin like them too.
Let me say to you one thing : R.S. mag is, to my point of view, everything but rock?n?roll (except for his name which is the only link to THE culture). Basically, we?re talking about a magazine written by 60?s soft pop tunes suckers (sorry for the bad language) convinced that everything happened between 1964 and 1966.
They may try to change our minds but they can?t change history.
July, 27th 2004
Visit Jean-No?s website :
Elvis ? STAX SESSIONS ?73
P.S. 1 : At the time I?m writing this article, the ?Aloha from Hawaii? Boxset is still n?1 in Spain (5 weeks).
P.S. 2 : By the way, ?That?s all right? (the song that started it all back in 54, not in 64) was #1 in the US. Do you remember the position of ?Love me do? when they published it (again) to celebrate its 40th anniversary?
P.S. 3 : I give the Roughly Stupid mag to my 5 years old little cousin so he can use his painting pencils on it. Pretty useful at least.