shock rock, cock rock

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Fri Dec 10 09:50:55 UTC 2004

On Fri, 10 Dec 2004 01:30:00 -0600, Mullins, Bill
<Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL> wrote:

>More from _Creem_ online archives
>"crank" slang for drugs/speed, not in OED?? 6/72
>"I mean, what's the difference between a vegetable babbling about how much
>crank he can hold and stay alive, and one locked into repeating a zealot
>litany with mindless persistence to every stranger coming down this side of
>the street?"

New York Times, Jun 21, 1970, p. 198
On the street and in the black market, speed is "splash," "crank,"
"rhythm," "meth" or "crystal" (the last term referring to the pure
powdered form of methamphetamine hydrochloride).

>"art-rock" not defined or cited in OED, but it shows up in a 1976 cite under
>"neoprimitive", 7/72
>" Almost as good as the one that Yes put up, playing a slick, flashy set of
>formica art-rock that wowed 'em to the rafters. "

New York Times, Aug 25, 1968, p. SM30
The progressive or art-rock school does, to be sure, continue to
experiment, and newish groups like The Doors are more venturesome in
pattern and theme than most of their American competitors.

>"rentacop" not in OED, 7/72
>" And when the human sea surged down the center aisle in a massive jam just
>as your set was beginning, I began to get my hopes up, especially when a
>dozen or so harried ushers and rentacops came scurrying from the open spaces
>at the sides of the stage and began to make a series of futile attempts to
>break up the bobbing Black Sabbath congregation by hand and accusing

MWCD11 dates it to 1971, but Newspaperarchive does much better:

Stevens Point (Wisconsin) Daily Journal, Sep 13, 1963, p. 4
The phrase is "rent-a-cop" - applied to security guards used at the
newspaper plant during the labor dispute - and now used by many people to
describe men performing similar duties at hotels, office buildings and
factories throughout Honolulu.

>"kraut-rock", 9/75
>"Everybody has been hearing about kraut-rock, and the stupnagling success of
>Kraftwerk's "Autobahn" is more than just the latest evidence in support of
>the case for Teutonic raillery, more than just a record, it is an

New York Times, Apr 7, 1975, p. 40
This is the first of the genuinely experimental "Kraut-rock" ensembles -
as the genre is universally if rather indelicately known - to have made a
real dent on the American market.

>"amped"  OED:"trans. To make (a person) very excited, agitated, or energetic
>through (or as if through) the consumption of amphetamines or another
>stimulant. Freq. with up. " 9/75
>"Perhaps you are wondering how I can connect the amped-up hysteria of
>compulsive pathogens such as Bruce, Dylan and Reed with the clean, cool
>lines of Kraftwerk."

There's an earlier "amped-up" (though not in the "excited" sense) in an
article Bangs wrote in the Dec. '71 issue of _Creem_ called "Do The Godz
Speak Esperanto?"  The text isn't available in the archive yet, but it's
collected in _Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung_ (p. 91):
"Who knows, they might even enter the mainstream, get bought and plugged
and amped-up and Circus-magazined and end up touring with the next British
five-man poetic-rockabilly-blues Sensation of the Year."

--Ben Zimmer

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