29 April 2007


She Was a Punk Before You Were a Punk

This is for those few who were grousing at the A.V. Club not too long ago when someone reviewed Aretha's "Live at the Fillmore West" (I still have the Record Club of America vinyl) complaining about her covering of Bread's "Make It With You," and other popular songs of the time. For those who'd complain about Sid's singing "My Way." For those who think that somehow a song can be so full of intrinsic goodness/badness that any performance of the song can bring neither disgrace nor redemption to that piece, a point of view that sometimes seems pervasive, if not perverse.

For those who think that way, here's your sign (courtesy of Matt Welch. And you really need to go there for "the rest of the story"):

Let's hear it for Patti Smith, an American original, a universal (and I don't use that word lightly) treasure.

For myself, the trick is deciding what you like on your own terms, having been open-minded enough to know that those terms are honestly yours, not someone else's or what someone else has told you to think. That trick is the trick of freedom.

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