Robert Christgau vs. Albert Goldman vs. John Lennon vs. James Wolcott vs. ’60s rock critics vs. etc.


November 17, 2009 by admin

In this corner, Dean Christgau:

In this corner, James Wolcott:

And the winner is?

2 thoughts on “Robert Christgau vs. Albert Goldman vs. John Lennon vs. James Wolcott vs. ’60s rock critics vs. etc.

  1. TheoCogswell says:

    I thought this was an interesting addition to the above YouTubes: Albert Goldman v. Hunter Davies: (part 1/2) (part 2/2)

  2. Richard Riegel says:

    Thanks for posting these video excerpts, Scott — I’ve watched them and dug their varied edifications several times already. It’s still not an either/or choice for me — I agree with Christgau that Albert Goldman really seemed to hate the rock’n’roll he so compulsively chronicled, yet James Wolcott’s sarcasm toward Greil Marcus’s growth industry of applied piety over Elvis’s “golden sarcophagus” obviously lights up a mysterious train of neurons all through my crit’s soul. The difference is that we all hate Goldman for one thing or another already, yet too few of us dare to question Marcus’s soaring-luftmensch fantasies. (I must confess that I’ve had a soft spot for Wolcott’s acid keyboard ever since Lester had him do a few album reviews for CREEM around 1975-76 — the one in which Wolcott cut Paul Simon’s golden pretensions to ribbons still glows in my mind lo these many decades later.)

    Thanks also to Theo for the supplementary vids. I don’t think I’d ever witnessed Albert Goldman’s public persona before. He does seem like a little prick here — I keep wanting him to shut up so that the good-humored Hunter Davies can get in a word or two. Of course, I can’t forget that philosopher Gary Lewis always warned us that clowns have feelings too, which may lead to the corollary that pricks can hit truths too. Now Wolcott has me all fired-up to read Goldman on Jimi Hendrix and Aretha Franklin, two members of my own pantheon when Elvis was still jumpsuited in Vegas.

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