Saturday, March 21, 2009

OPINION: What is 'Cool'?

Muddy Waters (Muddy Waters via

WHAT is "Cool"?

One aspect of Cool is the knack of being (fanatically) un-original. At one’s outset…

Take the Rolling Stones.

Evidently some minor pair of this history-changing clutch met on a train station somewhere on a drizzly day on some God-forsaken suburb of England, and saw in each other's schoolboy satchels, each other's record collections… And connected.

And they connected because they felt they were taking a stand against the dominant paradigm at the time.

Cliff Richard who began Rock and Roll in England with the first bit of it allowed IN by the music moguls at the time, a great little song called "Move It", which even Ringo Starr said was the first clear Rock thing on UK radio since the BBC had been invented. Cliff Richard was the UK Elvis for about 6 months. Still going, evidently…

So, how were this drizzled-upon pair of the Rolling Stones being fanatically unoriginal?

Because in their schoolboy satchels were strange, old vinyl records…

Muddy Waters. Howling Wolf. Chuck Berry… Just like, in any really excellent chef's mind, are strange, old (very traditional) recipes that no-one knows about…

Which is what the Rolling Stones were so fanatically unoriginally into.

Thank Christ.

In a nutshell, the Rolling Stones, (at their outset), guided Rock and Roll by rejecting their present and their local culture as they saw it.

In trying to be faithful to their cultural gods, they tried to play like their gods. But you can never replicate (or indeed BE) your god, so they ended up being Their Influenced Selves.

And THAT is cool.

By Justin Sheedy

New Author

1 comment: