Four-Chord, Three-Chord, Two-Chord, It’s All Rock and Roll to Me

Daniel: Your post about Michele Bachmann and the number of chords in “American Girl” reminds me of a story Andrew Lloyd Webber once told me about meeting John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival on an airplane (an anecdote I recounted in my biography of the composer):

ALW: “You’re the greatest three-chord band in the world.”

JF: “Andrew, we’re a two-chord band.”

In fact, I think you can make the argument that “Proud Mary” is essentially a one-chord song — it’s certainly constructed around an implicit pedal point — but the Corner is probably not the place for a music theory class.

Most Popular


Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More