To Guy Reid-Brown:
Music + Theatre have always had lights and smoke and mirrors etc. Your aesthetic metaphysics, as it were, are all very well but would invalidate most music played outside of churches - and inside them, come to think of it - since the year dot.
I think rock and roll is theatre mostly, not much different to Music Hall. True enough it has become unpleasant and I find most of it aesthetically disgusting these days. The funny thing about rock and roll is that both the left and the right got it wrong - the left thought it was going to bring down civilisation and so did the right. In the end it just went legit and businessmen took over, as they always do. True, it's played its part in the coarsening of society but all aspects of popular culture have coarsened for many reasons and I don't think you can blame Elvis and the Beatles for that. The best of rock and roll balanced, so to speak, on conservative culture. By which I mean the major and minor acts of the rock and roll years had grown up listening in to a varied but accomplished musical culture. They knew they had to be 'good players' who knew their chops. This means *standards*. That is what has changed. Punk and knob-twiddling killed that off. An excess of democracy and equality if you will. Add that kind of relativism in with a culture where sub-groups of youngsters listen to one sort of music and you have a recipe for stagnation and a brinkmanship culture of 'shock value'.
G Whitfleld wrote: You might as well say "Tottenham Hotspur will outlast Peugeot" or "Boeing will outlast The Angling Times" for all the sense your remark makes.
My remark makes perfect sense: the people who took against things like Dylan are unlikely to be remembered, outside of History departments. Dylan is still a household name and will continue to be for many years. Let me repeat, I am not a Dylan fan, just someone who recognises Peter Hitchens psychological tactic: attempting to invalidate anything that falls outside his rather narrow vision of what constitutes conservative culture. I mean here's a man who doubtless would have supported the banning of 'When I'm Cleaning Windows' had he been middle-aged in the 40s. I'm calling for good critical judgement. Hitchen's attack on Dylan was lazy.