Can't Get It Outta My Head








                A Baby Boomer


       Muses on The Music

The Late Artist, Formerly Known as

The focus of this blog has been The Music of the 1960s and’70s, but its “to do” list has always included some musing on where rock and roll has gone since. With the passing last week of Prince Rogers Nelson, maybe it’s time to ask that question — more particularly, did it go Purple, and to the Twin Cities? I was first exposed to the music of Prince, as were a lot of music fans, via the music video phenomenon. I found the concept of rock and roll combined with videos interesting — another dimension for a creative genre to play with. (There were “music videos” decades before the 1980s, but the need of MTV and its network imitators to fill hours and hours of airtime created a new and expanding

He Had a Nice Beat

The “American Bandstand” meme, “It had a nice beat, it was easy to dance to,” apparently is apocryphal, but you can say of the TV program’s long-time host that he had a nice beat — in the other meaning of the word. The beat worked by Dick Clark, who died four years ago yesterday (April 18), was popularizing rock and roll music. Clark served an important function in the development of The Music — odd for a white guy from a New York City suburb, born a month after the stock market crash kicked off the Great Depression. Clark was a radio guy in the early 1950s, but unlike Alan Freed, not particularly associated with the rhythm and blues music that would parent rock and roll. His first DJ job wa

Something Old, Something Van

I have noted previously that my new music purchases fall into three types, one of which is Filling in the Corners — catching up on favorite artists for whom I don’t have a complete collection. That’s what I was up to last week, the artist being Van Morrison. For me, they don’t come much more favorite-ish than Sir George Ivan; only the Beatles and Steely Dan rival Van the Man in terms of total albums in my iTunes music list. That said, I haven’t kept up with Morrison as much as my love for his music should engender. Within five years of his breakthrough with “Brown Eyed Girl,” I had bought his first half-dozen or so LPs, but then got out of the habit of buying albums in general. A couple deca


In last week’s post, while writing about what Mink DeVille was doing with the album “Le chat bleu,” there was a line from a song that was trying to get outta my head. All that kept surfacing was the Stones’ “It’s only rock and roll, but I like it,” which wasn’t what I was looking for at all. Of course, a couple days later, up pops “It ain’t what they call rock and roll,” from Dire Straits’ “Sultans of Swing.” But what do we call it, and why? Well, we call it rock and roll — sometimes. But sometimes we call it pop, too. For a genre that stretches to accommodate everything from ABBA to Zevon, the term has to be pretty elastic. Everything was pop, pretty much, before the early ’50s, and the maj

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