Friday, January 28, 2022

First Generation Rock Critics Can Go Fuck Themselves

Okay, I usually don't hold a grudge forever. That said, (A) I can't believe that I remember this and (B) am still pissed off about it.

From Barry Gifford's Rolling Stone review (1968) of the eponymous debut album by Creedence Clearwater Revival:

“I’d rather hear an old man coughing than listen to their (CCR’s) rhythm section.”

I just looked up Gifford, and he's apparently a well-regarded novelist and writer, although his website and his Wiki entry make no mention of his stint as a music journalist; frankly, if I were him, I'd want people to forget about that too. In any case, and I've been meaning to say this for decades -- Barry Gifford, blow it out your ass.

And you know who else? That moron Jon Landau, who before taking the reins of Bruce Springsteen's career, in 1967 famously wrote (in his Crawdaddy review of Projections) that the Andy Kulberg/Roy Blumenfeld rhythm section of the Blues Project was inadequate to the excitement level required of their music.

Hey Jon, have I mentioned you're a moron? Also -- blow it out of Barry Gifford's ass.

Have a great weekend, everybody!!!


edward said...

Judith "Miss Manners" Martin also used to do reviews for Rolling Stone. I'm sure they were all incredibly polite;>

paulinca said...

What's funny is that today, in my music history class, I'm teaching about Roilling Stone's review's of Led Zeppelin's first records. While I might agree with portions of the snarky barbs (especially on I), by III and IV, RS had simply forced itself on the hill to die on. That said, the reviews are always great to read :)


Mark said...

If you're going to go snark, go literary or witty snark. Think Dorothy Parker. Or Samuel Johnson. Everyone knows what the last refuge of a scoundrel is, right? Patriotism. But the next-to-last refuge may be lame analogies in rock criticism

pete said...

Someone (it may have been David Remnick) said the Grateful Dead's rhythm section sounded like "two sneakers in a dryer." And, for the record, I can't stand CCR.

steve simels said...

FWIW, I actually know the guy who wrote in his Rolling Stone Zep II review that Jimmy Page was "absolutely the number-one heaviest white blues guitarist between 5’4" and 5’8" in the world."

It pretty much killed his writing career.

ChrisE said...

... That would be John Mendelsohn re Zep II. Which is too bad because that review is hilarious and I don't think you have to be a Zeppelin-hater to appreciate the humor in it - hell, I like the band a lot and I still think Mendelsohn's take is funny. Re CCR: Dave Marsh, in one of the editions of the "Rolling Stone Record Guide", refers to Stu Cook and Doug Clifford as a "whiplash rhythm section" and he means it as a compliment. I agree - they may not have been virtuosos, but they were powerful players, particularly Clifford, and their input helped give Creedence its distinctive sound.