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It's Still Only Rock 'n' Roll

November 22, 1987

Hilburn is right.

He does need a new name for the kind of music he gets excited about. Because for the most part, it's not real rock 'n' roll. What is rock 'n' roll?

Rhythm. The beat. The riff. The hook. Improvisation. Simple melodies and harmonies. A loud, hot, sweaty, somewhat aggressive, somewhat rebellious type of music.

Rock 'n' roll has never been about "meaningful" lyrics! What was so meaningful about the lyrics of "Hound Dog"? "I Want to Hold Your Hand"? "California Girls"?

Rock critics listen to the words. Kids listen to the music. Critics write about lyrics or a band's image because (as many people have observed) critics apparently do not have the ability to write about music .

In doing so they continue to display their ignorance about one of the most enduringly popular forms of rock, that has spawned one of L.A.'s most exciting music scenes, and from which have come some of the best and most influential rock guitar players ever, most notably Eddie Van Halen: hard rock/heavy metal.

Long live rock 'n' roll.

KEVIN McFARLAND

Glendale

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