Not Fade Away
I thought music had really lost its edge, I guess its revolutionary edge, and had begun to parody itself, and rock and roll was over and dead, and the revolution — we didn’t win, we lost. And here’s why we lost. Yeah, it’s about the death of romance in a way, his motivation is totally romantic, but very unrealistic.1 And I thought that was very true of our youth, because we were very romantic, we were going to change America, and we didn’t have a clue how deeply entrenched the power was in this country; not a clue. But we learned, and now Janis Joplin is selling Mercedes Benz. It’s like a steel sponge, America can absorb anything.
Have you ever read Herbert Marcuse, and his notion of Repressive Tolerance? And he was a very popular writer when I was in my early 30s, I guess. And he has this thing about repressive tolerance. It’s like one way to repress people is to tolerate dissent to a certain level. And I thought that was exactly what was at play in America at the time, was this repressive tolerance. I mean, you can use freedom against people. Say hey, play that music, and we play it loud. And we’ll figure out a way to make money off of it.
Yeah, it was a lot of fun. I really sort of let my imagination go, and having — picking up various — people that would impart knowledge, or it was like a teaching thing of what he was learning as he went. And the book was full of these weird things, like I needed to know where The Big Bopper was buried, because originally he’s going to go to his grave. And I had no idea — and I didn’t really know if the plane wrecked during a blizzard or what. And my wife and I were going to a family reunion. We were in Helena, Montana. And we stopped for dinner at a — doesn’t matter what restaurant it was. But I was walking across the parking lot, it was really windy.
And this newspaper literally wrapped around my leg. And I picked it up, and it was that day’s edition of the Helena Record that said, it had just been purchased by this guy who was — his claim to fame was that he was the first reporter on the scene at the plane wreck, which was a big emotional moment in my young life, was when those guys were killed, because there’s nothing that ends romance like death. And I loved The Big Bopper, and I believe to this day that “A wiggle in her walk and a giggle in her talk makes the world go round”. See I love wiggles and giggles. And when they died in that plane wreck, those were my three favorite musicians in a way, all just like — it was like the realization that we live on the crust of oblivion, and we can fall through at anytime. And if you’re going to enjoy life, you better pay attention, because it can end. And then I wanted to know why it ended, and then I found out, of course, it’s about exploitation of the music was why it ended.