Thursday, 10 September 2009

Keef plays his guitar really hard, I've just read it in a Rolling Stone magazine from July 17th 1975 (courtesy of time travel via e-bay and some collector in New York and aeroplanes). His guitar minder is moaning that all the guitars are broken after one gig in Batton Rouge. Funny, I was playing (the earlier) Get Your Ya Yas Out the other day. I was playing it loud for lots of reasons in the sunny afternoon (great speakers (Mordant Short towers), fabulous amp (NAD 3020- bought when I was seventeen) university meeting that morning, whisky in the afternoon) and I could feel him playing that guitar hard, I could feel him wrenching the noise out of it, it wasn't even as if he was playing it. That immediacy, that challenge to the cosmos, is the essence of rock and roll for me. You don't have to be brilliant, you become brilliant in demonstrating the effort and soar to the gods, and you do it in every way. The Stones live, at their best, were always ON THE EDGE OF BEING AWFUL.
If only universities understood they were not manufacturing products or tickets with such mechanistic banality, but selling TIME itself. Time to do fuck all if you like, but most people would get bored with that after a while, and then people would just get on with stuff - playing hard if you like, and if you were any good, dedicated, just like Keef, and you enjoyed advice, history, whatever, who knows what would happen. Not knowing what might happen seems good to me- constructive failure you might call it. The alternative is a nasty little bastard called FASCISM which is creeping up on us. In ten years time I wouldn't be surprised if I was paid by the number of students who passed. I always thought having the happiest FAILING students was more constructive in the long term. Still do.
Funny. Our authorities are currently  extinguishing education in their apparent enthusiasm for it, simply because they have adopted a stupid model and never listen with care to rock n roll.

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