Last modified on 1 August 2014, at 18:44

Greil Marcus

Complete freedom meant — no one knew. It was most readily defined in the negative: not this gap between the heaven promised in the new advertisements and the everyday satisfactions I can buy.

Greil Marcus (born 1945) is an American author, music journalist and cultural critic notable for producing scholarly and literary essays that place rock music in a much broader framework of culture and politics than is customary in pop music journalism.

QuotesEdit

  • ...as I write, Johnny Rotten's first moments in "Anarchy in the U.K."–a rolling earthquake of a laugh, a buried shout, then hoary words somehow stripped of all claptrap and set down in the city streets–I AM AN ANTICHRIST–Remain as powerful as anything I know. Listening to the record today–listening to the way Johnny Rotten tears at his lines, and then hurls the pieces at the world; recalling the all-consuming smile he produced as he sang–my back stiffens; I pull away even as my scalp begins to sweat.
  • Complete freedom meant — no one knew. It was most readily defined in the negative: not this gap between the heaven promised in the new advertisements and the everyday satisfactions I can buy. Not the sense that when I leave my work for my family, and bring my family to a Sunday in the park, my leisure feels like work. Not this mad conviction that I’m a stranger in my own home town, that at work I feel like a machine, that in the park I feel like an advertisement, that at home I feel like a tourist.
  • The moments of perfect pleasure in Johnson's songs, and the beauty of those songs, remind one that it is not the simple presence of evil that is unbearable; what is unbearable is the impossibility of reconciling the facts of evil with the beauty of the world.
    • Marcus on Robert Johnson in Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music (1975, fourth revision May, 1997) p. 31
  • Van Morrison remains a singer who can be compared to no other in the history of modern popular music.
    • When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison (2010)

External linksEdit

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