shock rock, cock rock

Wilson Gray wilson.gray at RCN.COM
Sat Dec 11 03:28:44 UTC 2004

On Dec 10, 2004, at 2:30 AM, Mullins, Bill wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Mullins, Bill" <Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL>
> Subject:      Re: shock rock, cock rock
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> --------
> More from _Creem_ online archives
> "American Pie"
> cover blurb from 2/72:
> "Bob Dylan:  A Slice of American Pie"
> "downer rock", 6/72
> " That's the public myth. But it's not exactly Black Sabbath's myth,
> not
> really, and a consideration of the true vision inherent in their
> "downer
> rock" reveals that phrase for exactly what it is."
> "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?"
> "hole" syn for grave, not in OED?? 7/72
> "We went to one concert in America, I don't remember where it was...
> after
> the show, on the floor, there was about a thousand fucking syringes; I
> was
> amazed, I felt sick, I really felt ill to think I had just performed to
> people that were that one step nearer to the hole."
> "get off", sexual (?) sense, not in OED?? (it may be this sense that
> exists
> in the quotations for "gladeye") 7/72
> " Ozzy remembers, "We did a gig once, and they were all sitting down
> at the
> front shaking their fists and scowling at us... gettin' off on our
> downer
> music.""
> "centigrade", syn for figruative sense of temperature, 7/72
> "Wandering among them, you just noticed faces and bodies and clothes
> in the
> most normal way that you sometimes all but forget, this being one time
> you
> couldn't routinely read somebody's psychic centigrade on their face
> like
> some strange barometer."
> "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. "
> "pleasure palace" syn for civic arena or concert hall, not in OED, 7/72
> "Cobo Arena, where I saw Sabbath in Detroit, pretty well fits Ozzy's
> specifications of the non-ideal theatre. (It's the biggest pleasure
> palace
> in these parts, where they have hockey games and Big Time Wrestling on
> off
> weeknights and only the very biggest draws in rock 'n' roll can fill
> it.) "
> "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
> flashlight."
> "skeezix", 9/75
> "Some skeezix from one of the local dailies was up here the other day
> to do
> a "human interest" story on the phenomenon you're holding in your
> hands, and
> naturally our beneficent publisher hauled me into his office to answer
> this
> fish's edition of the perennial: "Where is rock going?""

FWIW "Skeezix" ca. 1918 was the name of a character in the soap-opera
comic strip "Gasoline Alley." "Skeezix" was also the name of a monster
in the "Uncle Wiggly" children's stories. The spelling "skeezicks" is
in the OED.

-Wilson Gray

> "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
> indictment."
> "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."
> "bullet" as in a mark denoting an item of a list ("number one with a
> bullet"), this sense not in OED, 2/76
> "Last Accomplishment: Exchanging rubber bullets for bullets in the
> trades,
> keeping precise track of their overdubs."

What about the song, "Eighteen With A Bullet," by Pete Wingfield. It
was literally "#18 with a bullet" on the
"Hot 100" chart for November 22, 1975.

-Wilson Gray

> "K-Y canyon" 6/76
> " In fact, he almost lost his hilt in a K-Y canyon last week, but
> that's
> another story."

And what does "hilt" mean in this context?

-Wilson Gray

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