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They’re vital, at least, for those not wanting to apply the brain to Mr. Cain.

1.) It sounds like  John Presnall is right about that documentary by Crowe on Pearl Jam, but I now have a slight interest in it, because the apparently poor choice of rockumentary material might indicate something about Almost Famous . . . in that movie, after all, the Steelwater (sounding like, ha ha, still-water) band was deliberately made a pretty damn uninteresting collection of 70s hard-rock clichés, and yet they become the focus for the kid’s article and adventure. So Crowe seems to have an interest in hard rock lameness, and of the sort that goes beyond what you can lampoon, as in This is Spinal Tap .

2.) It is depressing, though, that probably a hundred worthy indie rock or American music artists, or heck, even young classical artists, are passed by as good movie material instead of an old mediocre band like Pearl Jam (I’m actually trying to be nice by saying that—they simply never were to my tastes) . . . but I suspect Crowe and I are joined in thinking that rock is an important cultural phenomenon even if it one of lesser artistic merit. Although I’m pretty sure I go further than he does in my willingness to say its been a largely negative phenomenon.

3.) Why does John think Almost Famous is not a fine movie? When Penny Lane says, “it’s all happening,” it seems to me that a moment that captured what Crowe had hit upon, the key part of the rock mystique that kept it going. And who couldn’t love the character sketch of the kid’s mom? So say more, Mr. Presnall! Don’t let these Pearl Jam fans get you down!

4.) I will now reveal my own rock-movie heresy by saying that I always thought Wayne’s World was overall lame. SNL lameness at length.

5.) BUT, it does have two utterly great scenes: a) the singing of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” in the car, and b) and the “We’re Not Worthy!” scene. For what the humor of that second scene nervously hides is that it is Aerosmith and yeah, Rock in General, that is not worthy of all the attention and adulation they do in fact get.

P.S. Rolling Stone visitors, John and I are sorry to say bad things about Pearl Jam, but it’s part of our ongoing little web-session on saying all the bad things that need to be about Rock in General. We’re conservatives, after all, and we think the time has come for Rock to reckon with its fairly mixed legacy. But we hope you’ll come back and mix it up with us from time to time. If you’re interested, here’s one of my attacks on the hard rock style, and here’s a broader attack on rock’s self-importance, oh, and finally, here’s where I say something kind of nice about rock.

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