It’s been a while since we stirred up the hornet’s nest with a question. And honestly, I don’t even remember if we did this one before. If I did, perhaps it’s time I hang up the TAP title and retire. For now, we’ll ask the question anyway.
Rock music has been around for some time now. With roots in the ’50s, Rock music itself is over 50 years old. And personally, I don’t know how that makes me feel. Oddly, there were vastly different kinds of music in the ’30s, and ’40s, before the ’50s gave birth to the rock band. Since, while styles have changed, the basic concept of Rock and Roll has not. Call that comforting, or not, I’m glad that the phenomena is still accessible even after all of these years. It certainly could have been something else entirely.
With a multitude of bands to draw from, there have been some classic performers. Rock and Roll was often more than just the music it produced. It was also a style, a choice, a defining movement. It allowed bands and its performers to set trends, to create the next style of music, to set the tone for the next generation of listeners. Unfortunately, many of them failed. Some only had a brief lifespan. But some…some changed it all forever. Some became the face and representative of Rock and Roll. Some became it’s very embodiment.
All of us can easily point to one individual person as the quintessential face of Rock. We may have a short list as well to choose from, but when you remove all of the subtleties, there is usually one. for me, that is Keith Richards.
Honestly, I can think of no other one person that has so become the face of Rock and Roll. Yes, there are many that come close, to be sure. But if you blend in all of the many things that constitute a Rock star, then Keith is surely it. It is his swagger, his bold experimentation, his influence, his ‘cool’ factor, his persona, his ability to craft a song, and to lead a band. Yep, Keith Richards for me.
So, roll this around in your head a bit, and comment on who you think the end-all, be-all Rock and Roll poster boy (or girl) is. I’d actually be surprised if Keith didn’t take this bit of a poll by some kind of storm.