Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Articles [NAJP]

Forget Oasis--Blur Vs. Little Richard: Who Will Prevail?

I'm heading off to Puerto Rico for eight or nine days, generally without internet and--if I know the San Juan Star--without much arts coverage in the papers either, though funny things happen sometimes. I try to post here Friday, not that I've been very exact about it lately, and once again won't. So I thought I'd pass along this tidbit, which I just stumbled on. It's quotes from two music books.

The first is a famous Little Richard gem from The Dick Cavett Show that plays a key role in Greil Marcus's Mystery Train. It goes like this:

I HAVE WRITTEN A BOOK, MYSELF, I AM A WRITER, I HAVE WRITTEN A BOOK AND IT'S CALLED--

"HE GOT WHAT HE WANTED BUT HE LOST WHAT HE HAD! THAT'S IT! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! HE GOT WHAT HE WANTED BUT HE LOST WHAT HE HAD! THE STORY OF MY LIFE! CAN YOU DIG IT?

The second is from "the Sunday Times bestseller" Bit of a Blur, by Blur bassist Alex James. James is describing a love affair. He concludes:

"The tragedy of getting what you want is that when you do actually get it, you always lose what you had."

There is no citation, but that's not what matters. What matters is the sense of language, What matters is that we too got what we wanted but we lost what we had.

Articles, Jan. 6, 2009


Tail Tales A Faraway Blur