Tim Sommer writes:
Often, even our most garish, drugged and drunken souls are implicitly political, because the first time we screamed that we were lovers of the Dolls or the Doors or KISS was the first time we took a stand that we knew would piss someone off. Soon, we would be willing to take a stand about how we love, or how we defend our bodies and our choices. Before we learned to care, rock ’n’ roll gave us an opinion to care about.
No one ever came out of the closet because they saw Paul Simon or Tom Petty on the cover of a magazine. No one ever got spat at because they loved the Cars. No one decided to move to New York City and discover the nightworlds because Don Henley smirked from a newsstand. Rock ’n’ Roll was often the first station on our voyage of discovery, dissent, and happiness. So let’s tell the whole story. (…)
It exists in our hearts. It lives on in the way music has changed our lives, led us to the ones we love, found us our best friends, brought us back to long-dead cities and century-old streets. It lives on when we remember what we felt inside of us, a feeling we couldn’t quite name in a place we couldn’t exactly point to, when we first saw or heard Bowie or the Clash or the Dead or the Speedies. Rock ’n’ Roll is the road map that led us to our own hearts and that directed others to our hearts.
And no goddamn Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is ever going to take that away.