An admission – you won’t be surprised to learn that I don’t like rock and roll much. There are major exceptions (Jerry Lee!), and I’ve patiently sat and made myself appreciate a lot of it, but it doesn’t move me and never has.
It’s not that it sounds dated now, just pickled. Some of the things that make it good pop music – its spontaneity and intimacy – don’t survive the aspic of respect well. Others – its good humour and lightness – are more unexpected and welcome, since they’ve gone missing from the history books (themselves now yellowing) that paint rock and roll as a music of energy and teenage threat. There’s little harder to recapture than an energy or a shock, which is maybe why so much writing about rock keeps trying. The reverence and belief that leads people to keep fan sites and magazines for Eddie Cochran alive is something you either feel or you don’t, and I don’t. “Three Steps To Heaven” is a bright song and Cochran sells it well – it’s just that I can’t find a way in, can’t get past the thin glass case and museum hush I create around it. My compliments to those who can.