The Who2 Blog

Does All Modern Music *Really* Come From the Blues?

A commenter sounds off to Andrew Sullivan:

“Oh PLEASE.  Stop with the over-simplification that all American music forms comes from the Blues. Ragtime per Wiki: ‘It was a modification of the march made popular by John Philip Sousa, with additional polyrhythms coming from African music.’ And Rock n Roll?  Stairway to Heaven doesn’t sound like Blues to me.  

Right on! 

I loved Keith Richards‘ biography, Life, but I sure got tired of hearing him talk about blues as the root of everything. “He knows his Big Bill Broonzy,” that’s his highest compliment for any guitarist. ‘Cause if you’re going to make true music, you have to know the obscure blues artists.  It got as irritating as Ayn Rand going on about “true” architecture in The Fountainhead.

If Keith Richards is giving his opinion about music, my only comment should probably be “Hey, everybody, listen up!”  But in truth I think “Oh, c’mon, it can’t all have come from the blues.”  

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