It's hot, it's exciting, it's Rock & Roll! Too bad it's never going to last.
The shock of the new is nothing new here to the Cabaret. We've been cruising the cutting edge in music for decades. And while some of my contemporaries are fortelling the end of music to be replaced with random noise, they seem to forget their elders saying the same thing about jazz (remember when reefer-smoking hep-cats were bound to destroy western morality?).
And Rock & Roll, a nice, upbeat new sound coming out of the delta, is shocking (and rocking) the world. It's obviously heavily influenced by Boogie Woogie and follows some blues progressions, so far from revolutionary it's simply the next obvious step.
But can it last?
Well, folks, hard to say. I haven't seen teens this excited since Harlem in the '30s, but while swing took the world by storm for a while it soon found itself fading into the background as newer sounds like Beebop took hold. I'd suspect the same with Rock & Roll. But hell, folks, let's have fun while it lasts!
Check out the energy on this song, "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry. Try to sit still to this one, I dare you!
[in honor of our own Johnny B. Goode!]
And the sound's working its way into the mainstream with folks like Bill Haley here. It's lost some of the jump to appeal to middle American values (i.e. "boring"), but Bill still keeps the place hoppin'.
And let's not forget that new sensation Elvis Presley:
Whoa, mama! Look at the girls swoon! Good thing they only filmed from the waist up or the nation's televisions might have exploded. (Of course we'll see if they're still swooning when he's old, sweaty, and fat!)
These sounds are even spreading across the world. We have word of some lads from England that are breaking into the Rock & Roll scene. They're cute and fun kids, but to be honest with lyrics like "She loves you, yea, yea, yea" they're not exactly leading a musical revolution here.
But whatever the long-term chances of this new music genre, it's bringing some much needed energy to what's threatening to be a very square post-war decade. So jump up and live a little!
With atomic armageddon looming over us 24/7/365 it's probably best if we get all the livin' that we can out of life now, since it all might not be there tomorrow.
So until then, enjoy a Harvey Wallbanger.
Harvey Wallbanger Cocktail:
Pour Vodka and Galliano into a tall Highball glass (~10 oz). Top up with Orange juice. Garnish with orange wheel and maraschino cherry.