Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Mad Man

Will Elder (1921-2008), among the first cartoonists whose work appeared in that long-running magazine satirizing American popular culture, Mad, at its inception in 1952, has died at age 86 of Parkinson’s disease. Among Elder's other creations for the venerable magazine was the figure of the career criminal named "Mole" who was always tunneling into disaster. And in issue #27 (April 1956) the magazine offered for mail-in purchase a 5x7 black & white portrait of the “What, Me Worry?” kid, first drawn by Elder. He thus was the first artist to draw that magazine's iconic kid with the huge grin, although a couple of issues later (#30), artist Norman Mingo drew a color rendition, and "Alfred E. Neuman" was born. The original black & white portrait by Elder is now a valuable collector’s item, as it was offered for sale only in a couple of issues before Mingo's version replaced it.

An obituary can be found here, and an interesting interview over here. Daniel Clowes’ book, Will Elder: The Mad Playboy of Art, is widely available on the web, as is Elder's Chicken Fat, a collection of drawings, sketches, and cartoons. Among Elder's other famous creations is "Little Annie Fanny," the comic strip featuring a buxom blond that appeared in Playboy magazine; collections of these 'toons are also available in book form.

I suspect that rather than mourn his passing, Elder would prefer us to inject some humor into our day today--inject some humor "in a jugular vein."

Friday, May 16, 2008

Lumpy Pandemonium Ballet

At the beginning of this year I embarked on a peculiar, perhaps grossly self-indulgent experiment of trying to listen to all the rock and R&B albums released in the year of 1968--forty years ago--in the order, as best as I could determine, in which they were released. Why 1968? Because it was the year I seriously began to collect albums. I cannot claim that the following list of albums is exhaustive; rather, it consists of those albums I either had or I could easily get my hands on (eBay therefore came in handy on occasion). As might be expected, the experiment prompted me to fill in some gaps in my collection. I sat down over my Christmas break and compiled as comprehensive a list as I could make, then determined which albums I already owned (on vinyl LP or compact disc) and which I would need to acquire. As it turns out, I had a good number of them, although I purchased a few on CD because I wanted the liner notes and bonus tracks.

I must emphasize that this list is rather idiosyncratic, neither a "classic rock" list nor an attempt to listen to every pop album released that year. What follows is the order in which I have listened to the albums (with one exception, as indicated). This week, for instance, I have been listening to Frank Zappa's album Lumpy Gravy, which so far as I was able to determine, was released on LP on May 13, 1968--forty years ago this week. Next week I'll listen to Spooky Tooth's It's All About. Predictably, during the course of compiling this list I found that my memory was faulty: I mistakenly had albums released later in the year in the record bins earlier in the year (and vice versa). Happily, I must also admit to having discovered a few albums I'd overlooked all those years ago that have now become my favorites--Harry Nilsson's Aerial Ballet, for instance. In fact, I liked it so much I was motivated to acquire his previous album, Pandemonium Shadow Show (1967), which I learned was one of John Lennon's favorites and which has become, four decades late(r), one of mine. While I'd always very much liked Nilsson, I was most familiar with his later albums; I am delighted to have finally given these albums the careful listen they so richly deserve.

If any readers have the inclination to correct the information below, or suggest I acquire titles that I've so far overlooked, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'll periodically update the list and correct it, and of course add to it in future blogs. At the end of the month, if I remember, I'll post my June listening schedule. Consider it the aural equivalent of what book stores call a summer reading program. If there is a certain "classic" album missing from the following list, then you can be reasonably certain that it wasn't yet released by the end of May 1968 (e. g., Pink Floyd's A Saucerful of Secrets, released in June, or The Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeo, released in July).

Please note that some live albums, released two or three years after their original recording (or in some cases, decades later), have been reinserted into the proper sequence to reflect the time they were recorded. These titles are indicated in brackets [ ] after the group's name. Dates reflect US release unless indicated otherwise. Finally, some release dates were determined by the album's catalog number, admittedly not the best way to determine the release date, but a reasonably good indicator nonetheless.

Elvis Presley, Elvis’ Gold Records, Volume 4 - 1/2
The Byrds, The Notorious Byrd Brothers- 1/3
The Kinks, Live at Kelvin Hall - 1/12
The Bee Gees, Horizontal
Autosalvage, Autosalvage
Blue Cheer, Vincebus Eruptum
Steppenwolf, Steppenwolf
The Electric Prunes, Mass in F Minor
Canned Heat, Boogie with Canned Heat - 1/21
Aretha Franklin, Lady Soul - 1/22
Spirit, Spirit - 1/22
Van Dyke Parks, Song Cycle - 1/29

Mason Williams, The Mason Williams Phonograph Record
Blood, Sweat & Tears, Child is Father to the Man
Dr. John the Night Tripper, Gris-gris
Iron Butterfly, Heavy
Tomorrow, Tomorrow
Graham Gouldman, The Graham Gouldman Thing
The Rascals, Once Upon a Dream - 2/19
Otis Redding, The Dock of the Bay - 2/23
Fleetwood Mac, Fleetwood Mac - 2/24

Laura Nyro, Eli and the Thirteenth Confession - 3/3
The United States of America, The United States of America - 3/6
The Mothers of Invention, We're Only In It For the Money
Vanilla Fudge, The Beat Goes On
Cream, [Live Cream] [4/70]
The Move, Move [listened to out-of-sequence, just recently]
The Electric Flag, A Long Time Comin’
Joni Mitchell, Song For a Seagull
Incredible String Band, The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter
The Association, Birthday
The Yardbirds, [Live Yardbirds: Featuring Jimmy Page] - 3/30 [5/71]

Simon & Garfunkel, Bookends - 4/3
Moby Grape, Wow/Grape Jam - 4/3
The Zombies, Odessey & Oracle - 4/9 [UK date]
Janis Joplin w/ Big Brother and the Holding Company, [Live at the Winterland ’68, 4/12-13] [1998]
Jimi Hendrix Experience, Smash Hits [UK date]
The Rose Garden, The Rose Garden
Scott Walker, Scott 2
The Monkees, The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees - 4/22
Stephen Stills, [Just Roll Tape, 4/26] [2007]
Sly & The Family Stone, Dance to the Music - 4/27
Scott Walker, Scott 2 - 4/27
The Mamas & Papas, The Papas & The Mamas - 4/29

Jefferson Airplane, [Live at the Fillmore East, 5/3-4] [1998]
The Collectors, The Collectors
Quicksilver Messenger Service, Quicksilver Messenger Service
Frank Zappa, Lumpy Gravy - 5/13
Spooky Tooth, It’s All About
The Small Faces, Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake - 5/24
Max Frost And The Troopers, Shape of Things to Come 5/29
[Faux band from AIP’s Wild in the Streets, released 5/29/68]

Again, corrections and/or emendations are welcome (please provide source of your information if you find my dating faulty). I'll try to post June's listening schedule before the end of the month.

List emended 8 September 2008

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bozo Dionysus

For what perverse reason do “classic rock” radio stations always play the Doors’ “Riders on the Storm” whenever it’s raining? I awoke to find it raining here this morning, and sure enough, as I sat down to check my email after having turned on the radio, like clockwork the DJ played “Riders on the Storm.” The song is instantly recognizable, of course: the opening crash of thunder, the tinkling of the keyboard imitating falling raindrops, and, inevitably, the sinister lyric about the “killer on the road” whose “brain is squirmin’ like a toad.” As poetry it is of a badness not to be believed; there is no group in rock history that so insistently challenges the issue of whether musical quality and canonical status go hand in hand as do the Doors.

I can think of no other band of the so-called “classic rock” era so inevitable, and so dubious, as the Doors. Neither could the incomparable Lester Bangs, certainly the wittiest and most iconoclastic of American rock critics. His temperament was such that he couldn’t tolerate the solecism of the rock star, and if ever there were the sort of rock star who excelled at impropriety and obnoxiousness, it was Jim Morrison, characterized by Bangs in an essay published in 1981 as “Bozo Dionysus.” Bangs’ essay, “Jim Morrison: Bozo Dionysus a Decade Later,” was written in response to his having read Jerry Hopkins’ and Danny Sugerman’s Morrison biography, No One Here Gets Out Alive. Having read the book, Bangs concluded that Morrison “was apparently a nigh compleat asshole from the instant he popped out of the womb until he died in the bathtub in Paris....,” as illustrated by incidents such as when he was a kid rubbing dog shit in his little brother’s face, or his later, pathetic, “cock-flashing incident” in Miami in 1969, an action, Bangs observed, that was motivated out of “the same desperation that drives millions of far less celebrated alcoholics.”

What makes the Doors so inevitable as rain? Although he was writing early in 1981 in the context of a Doors resurgence (repeated a decade later with the release of Oliver Stone’s film), I think Lester Bangs is correct when he observes:

... can you imagine being a teenager in the 1980s and having absolutely no culture you could call your own? Because that’s what it finally comes down to, that and the further point which might as well be admitted, that you can deny it all you want but almost none of the groups that have been offered to the public the past few years begin to compare with the best from the Sixties. And this is not just Sixties nostalgia—it’s a simple matter of listening to them side by side and noting the relative lack of passion, expansiveness, and commitment in even the best of today’s groups. (Main Lines, Blood Feasts, and Bad Taste: A Lester Bangs Reader, p. 215)

Bangs has a point, and I can provide anecdotal evidence to substantiate it. Several semesters after I started teaching college twenty-seven years ago, I had a student in my class who had the distinction of having been born at the Woodstock festival in 1969—there were two babies born at Woodstock, and he was one of them. (Not that it meant anything to him. His stepfather told me this, not the kid—at the time—to whom I’m referring.) He was a punk rocker with an aggressive, “fuck you” attitude—died hair, safety pins in the ears, the whole apparatus. He dressed like a Hell’s Angel—motorcycle boots, leather pants and jacket, always a black T-shirt with an image or writing on it. The overall effect was comic, however, because of his age—because he was so young, he was a sort of ludicrous pastiche of a Hell’s Angel, especially when he wore a bandanna, and became a sort of Kewpie doll version of a Hell's Angel. He liked to hang out but didn’t have very much money, so he used to get the owner of the record store to play albums for him, and he would pass judgment based on only a couple of listens. He liked the Sex Pistols and the early Clash, and he liked American groups such as The Ramones and Black Flag. Most importantly, he loved Iggy Pop. He didn’t like later Clash albums such as Sandinista! (1980), because while he claimed to be apolitical, he was actually conservative; he didn’t like the Left-leaning, liberal posturing of that album. And he despised Combat Rock (1982), saying the Clash were sell-outs.

He had very little to say about Sixties groups (with the exception of The Stooges, of course), but he did, though, express great love for the music of the Doors. If you stop to think about it, he was growing in his mother’s womb when Jim Morrison drunkenly flashed his flaccid cock on stage in Miami in March 1969; he wasn’t yet two years old when Morrison died. He would have been around eleven years old when Hopkins’ and Sugerman’s Morrison biography was published and became a best-seller. And he would have been twenty-one when Oliver Stone’s The Doors was released, and I’m very sure the depiction of Jim Morrison in that film made a huge impression on him, as it did others of his generation.

Can you imagine being a teenager in the 1980s and having absolutely no culture you could call your own? Lester Bangs asked, rhetorically, and it was absolutely the right question to ask in order to explain why the Doors had a resurgence beginning in the 1980s. To answer the question is to understand why Iggy Pop is so beloved by that same generation of teenagers. “Surely he [Morrison] was one father of New Wave, as transmitted through Iggy and Patti Smith,” Bangs observed, although he goes on to say, “but they have proven to be in greater or lesser degree Bozos themselves” (219).

Why the appellation “Bozo Dionysus”? I think what Bangs is getting at is the disjunction between what Morrison sought to do and what he actually did: “Jim Morrison had not set out, initially, to be a clown,” but that’s what he became when his literary ambitions were frustrated. By the time of infamous flashing event in Miami, he was too drunk on stage to do anything but do something pathetic, which he, sure as rain, did. He had become redundant by the time L. A. Woman was released in 1971 (for some, however, he had nothing left to say after the Doors’ first album) and like many failed poets, found solace in booze. Perhaps he sought to find a literary renewal in Paris, but all he found was more drugs and, inevitably, alcohol.

The irony is that the song for which the Doors perhaps are most famous, “Light My Fire,” was written not by Morrison but by Robby Krieger (unless you count the lyrics, of course), but I think Lester Bangs is right when he claims that the one great song Morrison had in him was “People Are Strange”:

People are strange when you’re a stranger
Faces look ugly when you’re alone
Women seem wicked when you’re unwanted
Streets are uneven when you’re down

The song’s evoking of a subjective disorientation and dislocation was the effect Morrison frequently sought, but seldom achieved; the song happens to be on what seems to me to be the best, as in listenable, Doors album, Strange Days (1967). Later albums, such as The Soft Parade (1969), fail, primarily because the band was by then engaged in self-parody, and no one can do parody any better than the artist does of himself: think of the “When I was back there in seminary school” and “You cannot petition the Lord with prayer!” rant that begins the muddled “The Soft Parade”—self-parody at its best, and therefore an embarrassment for the listener.

I again refer to Lester Bangs, who claimed that, like it or not, Jim Morrison was one of the fathers of contemporary rock. In Lacanian, that is, psychoanalytic terms, his claim can be understood as saying that Morrison's function is that of the objet petit a, the lure around which the drive circulates, the absence around which the rock community explains its history to itself. In other words, if Jim Morrison didn't exist, we would have to invent him.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Robert Rauschenberg, 1925-2008: Artist of the Abject

Although his work is derided by many critics, Robert Rauschenberg, who died this past Monday, May 12 at the age of 82, eventually may become known as one of the most important American artists of the twentieth century. Primarily known for his “combines”— combinations of three-dimensional objects and paint—for me, Rauschenberg is best remembered as an artist of the abject. Abject commonly means “excessively humble,” or sometimes “contemptible,” but in this case I'm also using "abject" to refer to common, everyday waste, thrown away quotidian objects, “cast offs”—in short, “refuse.”

Perhaps his most famous work is Monogram (pictured), depicting a stuffed Angora goat standing atop a platform consisting of a collaged painting and amid objects such as a police barrier, a shoe heel, and a tennis ball. Oddly, the goat has a used automobile tire wrapped around the middle of its body. I read where Rauschenberg, raised as a Christian fundamentalist in Port Arthur, Texas, said as a child he suffered a severe emotional trauma as a result of his father killing his pet goat for food. He no doubt loved that goat, and in some sense, consciously or unconsciously, modeled his own creative method after a goat’s behavior, for after all, a goat finds everything, even the most banal refuse, interesting—and potentially edible. Rauschenberg said he would roam the streets near his studio in New York for things that he would subsequently incorporate into his art. We can therefore conceive of his entire creative output—and I mean this very seriously—as inspired by the relentlessly foraging behavior of that old, beloved goat. A goat is eclectic in its tastes; it finds everything equally interesting, even the most abject of objects.

I should mention that critic Robert Hughes finds Monogram to have an entirely different meaning, the title itself serving as a statement of personal identity. Hughes observes:

... the wonderful Monogram, the stuffed Angora goat Rauschenberg found in an office supply store on 23rd Street in the early 1950s and encircled with a car tyre. One looks at it remembering that the goat is an archetypal symbol of lust, so Monogram is the most powerful image of anal intercourse ever to emerge from the rank psychological depths of modern art. Yet it is innocent, too, and sweet, and (with its cascading ringlets) weirdly dandified: a hippy goat, a few years before the 1960s. Fifty years after its creation, it remains one of the great, complex emblems of modernity, as unforgettable (in its way) as the flank of Cézanne’s mountain, the cubist kitchen table or the wailing woman in Guernica.

While it is true that the goat is a conventional phallic symbol, it is also true that by the late 1950s, when Monogram was being created (1955-59), the most potent symbol of America—this at a time before Lady Bird Johnson’s “Beautify America” campaign a few years later—was a car tire. Used car tires were ubiquitous common objects that proliferated everywhere, like Wallace Stevens’ jars; there were, literally, mountains of them all around the country. While Hughes may well be correct in his interpretation of the meaning of Monogram, I should say that, in contrast to Hughes, for me the most famous emblem of modernity, and one of the most influential works of the twentieth century, is Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain—an inverted urinal. Rauschenberg’s artistic works have frequently been characterized as blurring the line between art and modern life, and there is no more common emblem of modern life, as Jacques Lacan observed, than the public toilet. Hence Rauschenberg might well have understood that the definitive art work of the twentieth-century was a toilet—that is to say, an abject object.

So if, by chance, someday you hear the work of Rauschenberg being scorned, or perhaps the derisive observation that it impossible to determine whether his works belong in a thrift shop or an art museum, just think of the insatiable foraging activity of that miserable goat--who loved all things abject--killed for food, whose behavior became the inventive model for one of the more important artists--certainly the least pretentious--of the twentieth century.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


In yesterday’s blog I referred to Georges Bataille’s notion of “expenditure,” exploring the implications of Bataille’s observation that human cultures engage in wasteful, non-productive expenditure, performing unacknowledged sacrifices to shared cultural values that are nonetheless ignored, degraded, or repressed. As an example of this repressed loss and wasteful expenditure, consider the roughly 43,000 deaths, referred to as “accidents,” that occur each year on American highways—unacknowledged sacrifices to the freedom of the highway, to the deeply held value Americans call the open road. According to statistics available through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), traffic deaths on national highways are remarkably consistent from year to year. According to the NHTSA, for the years 2002-2006, fatalities on American highways were as follows:

2006: 42,642
2005: 43,510
2004: 42,836
2003: 42,884
2002: 43,005
Average for period 2002-06: 42,975

A remarkably stable statistical figure (and hence not subject to huge fluctuation—the range from highest to lowest over the five-year period listed above is only 868) Americans are content to sacrifice 43,000 people a year in order to maintain the value that Gregory Ulmer, in his article “Abject Monumentality” (Lusitania 1, 1993) describes as “the ability to go anywhere, anytime.” He goes on to say that this cultural value, to go where we want, when we want, at anytime we want, is what we

actually believe in and are willing to die for. As such, it provides the basis for coherence in the community, and is a secularized equivalent of the roughly 5,000 individuals who were sacrificed at the wedding of the Aztec leader, Moctezuma in [the fifteenth-century]. (“Abject Monumentality” 11)

Although called “traffic accidents,” these deaths are hardly anomalous. The harsh fact is, 43,000 Americans are born each year condemned to inherit an accursed share, destined to die in honor of the value that Katie Mills, in her book The Road Story and the Rebel (Southern Illinois University Press, 2006) calls the deeply held American value of “automobility,” a value that I prefer to name by the neologism autonomobility, a portmanteau containing the words “automobile,” “autonomy,” and “mobility.”

As a follow-up to yesterday’s blog, consider the deaths of popular musicians that have occurred by means of the automobile—Johnny Horton, Harry Chapin, Eddie Cochran, Marc Bolan (T. Rex)—and those whose careers were irreparably damaged because of a car crash, for instance, Carl Perkins, Gene Vincent, and Allen Collins (guitarist for Lynyrd Skynyrd) to name a few (and although she died in plane crash, Patsy Cline was earlier severely injured in a car crash, forcing her to wear a wig low on her forehead to cover the huge scar caused by her head slamming into the windshield). The picture above is a photo taken at the scene of James Dean’s fatal car crash in 1955, but one should also consider the deaths of Judy Tyler (Elvis’s co-star in Jailhouse Rock), Soledad Miranda, Princess Diana, Princess Grace (Grace Kelly), Jayne Mansfield, Lisa Lopes, Albert Camus, Jackson Pollock, Margaret Mitchell, Isadora Duncan, Sam Kinison, author David Halberstam, race car driver Dale Earnhardt, Sr., and General George S. Patton. All of these individuals, although celebrities, died in honor of the deeply held value we believe in, that of autonomobility. We should not degrade their deaths by calling them "accidents," but rather sacrifices in honor of a way of life.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Land of Toys

In America, if not much of the western world, the rock star is a symbol of success. Television programs are dedicated to showing the rock star’s lavish, extravagant home—his living room, his kitchen, his swimming pool, his backyard, his stables, and so on. One is presumably interested in the rock star’s special kind of conspicuous consumption--his expensive collection of automobiles, his many motorcycles, his woefully expensive hobbies--because these objects all exemplify various types of material acquisition, an external token of success. Perhaps it is time to devote a collection of rock songs to the life of the rock star, a collection of songs to be sold as a single compact disc, to be titled, perhaps, Life in the Pleasure Dome. The cover image might consist of a picture of Elvis taken in the last six months of his life.

What is called an opulent lifestyle is in fact the wasteful expenditure of something to honor a particular set of cultural values. In the case of the rock star—actually, all stars, movie, television, and otherwise—the particular cultural values are those of extravagant, wasteful expenditure and material acquisition. The two go hand in hand. Drawing upon the theory of sacrifice as explored in Georges Bataille’s The Accursed Share (1949) and his essay, “The Notion of Expenditure” (1933), Life in the Pleasure Dome will be dedicated to celebrating the fundamental American cultural principle of wasteful expenditure as exemplified by the rock star. In the aforementioned works, Bataille explores what he calls “the principle of loss.” Bataille considers sacrifice as a form of non-productive expenditure rather than of (productive) “limited economy.” A “limited economy” attempts to maintain a zero-sum balance of profit and loss, while in contrast wasteful expenditure consists of “considerable losses.” Examples of unproductive, wasteful expenditure include:

luxury, mourning, war, cults, the construction of sumptuary monuments, games, spectacles, arts, perverse sexual activity (i.e., deflected from genital finality)—all these represent activities which...have no end beyond themselves. (118)

We can consider rock music as one of the “arts” Bataille mentions above. For Bataille these various activities constitute a group “characterized by the fact that in each case the accent is placed on a loss that must be as great as possible in order for that activity to take on its true meaning,” that is, a loss that must be both considerable and extravagant. (118)

Stated in another way: For any cultural activity to have real value, the loss must be maximized—excessive. For example, the value of diamond jewels to their owner is determined by how great is the loss in terms of financial expenditure: the more unreasonable and extravagant the expenditure, the greater the value of the diamond jewels. Bataille writes: “Jewels must not only be beautiful and dazzling (which would make the substitution of imitations possible): one sacrifices a fortune, preferring a diamond necklace; such a sacrifice is necessary for the constitution of this necklace’s fascinating character” (“Expenditure” 119). The same principle justifies the inevitable continuation of warfare: as losses, i.e., deaths and maimings, increase, a nation’s stake in a war escalates. As the deaths remorselessly accumulate, the easier it becomes to justify the war’s continuation because the stakes have grown higher. By the continuation of the war, the nation consequently becomes increasingly indebted to those who have died and have been severely maimed in battle; the acknowledgment of this mounting debt ensures that the soldiers’ sacrifices are not in vain, or have become a form of unproductive expenditure.

And yet, despite the fact that extravagant, unreasonable wasteful expenditure is an essential activity of American culture—extravagant luxuries premised on over-consumption such as the heating of huge homes and supplying fuel for gas-guzzling SUVs; millions of gallons of water to keep lawns green; sports and spectacles (e.g., “half-time” shows of “Super Bowls”); NASCAR races dedicated to the consumption of vast quantities of expensive fuel; gambling (the emblem of which is Las Vegas, dedicated to the massive consumption of coal for electric lights and slot machines); prostitution; pornography; and especially warfare—the types of wasteful expenditure (of which a just few are listed here) are consistently denied, degraded, or repressed.

The function of the CD collection Life in the Pleasure Dome is to recognize the repressed or degraded categories of loss, to honor an unacknowledged or repressed set of values that are such an essential, defining feature of American life and culture—success as wasteful expenditure, the indulgence in perverse sexual activity, and the appetite for Romantic self-destruction.

The songs can be conveniently grouped under the following thematic headings (an individual song might fit more than one grouping):

Wasteful Expenditure: The life of the rock star is celebrated because the rock star is an emblem of success: fame and fortune. Success requires a life of excessive, wasteful expenditure, of conspicuous over-consumption, one that consists both of unreasonable financial expenditures as well as vast consumption of natural resources.

Self-destruction: The Romantic myth of the self-destructive artist, one who lives a life of excess (primarily of drugs and alcohol), one of chronic dissipation—“It’s better to burn out than it is to rust.”

Failure: Failure is the anti-myth of success. If the star is a symbol of success, the anti-myth is the failed attempt at stardom, hence the reason why the failed rock star, or the fallen and flabby former rock star, is so contemptible to many Americans.

Perverse Sexual Activity: The sexual excess of the sexually fetishized rock star is exemplified by the phenomena of the “groupie,” the courtesan, the sexually available female whose provocative promiscuity must be both celebrated and degraded at the same time.

1. So You Want to be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star (1966) – The Byrds 2:05
2. Lodi (1969) – Creedence Clearwater Revival 3:11
3. Working Class Hero (1970) – John Lennon 3:51
4. Superstar (1971) – The Carpenters 3:51
5. The Mud Shark (1971) – Frank Zappa and the Mothers 5:22
6. Ladies of the Road (1971) – King Crimson 5:32
7. Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide (1972) – David Bowie 2:58
8. Star Star (1973) – The Rolling Stones 4:25
9. We’re an American Band (1973) – Grand Funk Railroad 3:26
10. Workin’ for MCA (1974) – Lynyrd Skynyrd 4:47
11. Turn the Page (1975) – Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band 5:05
12. Beth (1976) – Kiss 2:45
13. Life’s Been Good (1978) – Joe Walsh 8:57
14. Burnin’ For You (1981) – Blue Oyster Cult 4:30
15. Money For Nothing (1985) – Dire Straits 8:26
16. Rock Star (1994) – Hole 2:41
17. Rockstar (2005) – Nickelback 4:12 (Total time: 76:03)

Consider the above the liner notes for a CD you yourself burn.