County Lines by Bob
Did you see the VH-1 presentations of the top 100 rock and roll
albums of the last 50 years? What a rip-off. Who were the geeks
who made the majority of the selections?
They were vaguely described as a combination of musicians and rock
journalists, whatever that means. But who were they exactly?
Why were they afraid to identify themselves? What chemicals had
they ingested to become oblivious to the many talented rock and
roll artists who weren't listed? How much were they paid to put
so many clowns who have no concept of rock and roll on the list?
Some insight into the identity of those who made the selections
was provided during a segment in which Yoko Ono babbled on about
rock and roll.
While Yoko is a ghoul, feeding off the money and fame left behind
by John Lennon, that doesn't make her an authority on rock and roll.
If you've listened to her squealing on a recording, here piggy,
piggy, you know what I mean. How old is Yoko anyway? She must be
at least 130.
Whoever the other dweebs were, they obviously didn't want to be
identified because they were afraid of being ridiculed in person
for their many moronic selections, like placing Madonna on and leaving
Janis Joplin off the list.
Madonna is a pop celebrity created and sustained by media hype.
She knows nothing about rock and roll. If Madonna had to depend
on people like me to buy her recordings, she'd be standing on a
street corner saying, "You wanna party?"
Janis Joplin will always be the Queen of Rock and Roll. Leaving
her off the list is comparable to not putting Babe Ruth on a list
of baseball legends.
Chuck Berry, who kicked the doors to rock and roll wide open with
Maybellene, Roll Over Beethoven, and Johnny B. Goode, wasn't on
the list either.
I guess he was left off to provide room for George Clinton, who
plays what he calls "funkadelia", which can best be described
as a blend of noise and lyrics with no meaning.
Unlike Prince, Buddy Holly wasn't on the list. I guess Buddy's
contribution to rock and roll wasn't considered important. All he
did was pave the way for groups like the Beatles and the Rolling
Stones, unlike Prince who dressed in purple and made bad movies.
Fats Domino, one of the leading founders of rock and roll, wasn't
on the list. But Michael Jackson, who has never recorded a rock
and roll song, was listed more than once.
If Michael Jackson had to depend on people like me to buy his recordings,
he'd be standing on a street corner, begging for spare change, if
he wasn't in a correctional facility.
The Grateful Dead weren't on the list. But that didn't bother me.
I've never liked the Grateful Dead. Those long, boring riffs are
hard to take unless the brain is numb, which reminds me of a joke.
What did the guy at a Grateful Dead concert say after he ran out
of marijuana? "Hey, man, where'd the music go?Ó
The list included Kiss, an imitation rock and roll band who appealed
to pre-teeny boppers. "I want to rock and roll all night and
party every day." At least 30 seconds must have been required
to come up with that line.
While beneficial to a reptile, a long tongue does not a good rock
and roll band make. Like a reporter wrote after seeing Kiss perform
without makeup, "Please, put it back on.Ó
Television, don't ask me, I'd never heard of the group before and
don't want to again, was on the list. Donovan wasn't. I guess four
platinum albums in a row disqualified him.
I recently asked a clerk at a music store where the recordings
by Donovan were. "Who?" she replied. "Donovan,"
I said. "He wrote Mellow Yellow, Sunshine Superman, Catch the
Wind, Season of the Witch, plus a lot of other songs that topped
"Huh?" was all she said.
The Beastie Boys, excuse me while I puke, were on the list. Lynyrd
Skynyrd, the best live-performance band in the history of rock and
Except for Elvis, no Southern rock and roll greats were on the
list. Not the Allman Brothers. Not Tom Petty. Not Charlie Daniels.
Not Roy Orbison, which is comparable to leaving Thomas Jefferson
off a list of this nation's greatest presidents. Not Little Richard,
another leading founder of rock and roll.
R.E.M., a Macon, Georgia group, was on the list. But R.E.M. doesn't
play rock and roll. They do provide real Southern rock groups with
a good laugh, though.
The Beatles were on the list five times, and rightfully so. But
as anyone who understands rock and roll knows, Rubber Soul should
have been number one, not Revolver.
Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, the Byrds, Steppenwolf, the Hollies,
Deep Purple, Grand Funk, the Kinks, Credence Clearwater Revival,
the Band, Frank Zappa, Ten Years After, and Buffalo Springfield
weren't on the list. Shame, shame, whoever you plastic list preparers
If you think I place too much importance on rock and roll, you
need to remember that rock and roll brought and kept the antiwar
protesters together in the sixties and early seventies.
If it wasn't for the good rock and roll of that era, the United
States might still be fighting a war in Vietnam, instead of buying
crummy Vietnamese products that seldom last for long.
Perhaps I should just shut up and be grateful that the Archies
and their imitator Ricky Martin weren't on the list. Or were they?
Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570