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Friday, December 03, 2004

ELVIS WHO?

Rock music, as we know it, began in the heart and soul of a black man. Everybody knows this. Robert Johnson to Sonny Boy to Muddy and Chuck and a guy named Richard Penniman. Johnny Johnson, Chuck Berry’s pianist is more responsible for the state of popular music today than Elvis or any other white man. Back in ’89, Fox television (I believe) tried to develop an award show for rock music; the award to be given was called the Elvis. When Living Color took the stage, they suggested calling it a Chuck, and when the Replacements took the stage, Paul Westerberg put it simply, but aptly; ‘Elvis Who?’ Indeed. The question put to me that inspired this blog was, ‘do black people listen to Rock?’ Well you’d have to ask one, but in my life, I have known many black people who listen to Rock. My good friend from high school, Jerome Adams, is a black rock fan, and my friend Niko, who is white, is a member of the Black Rock Coalition. I know that when I go to see Rock concerts, I always see black people in attendance, and the rap artists I work with all want Rock guitars on their Hip Hop. There’s a black member of the Libertines. And what about Jimi, and the Bad Brains? The new bass player for the Stones is a black man. So the answer is yes, there are many black people, both on the stage and in the audience, in the world of Rock. I guess the best response to a question like that is; ‘Do white guys play basketball?’

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