The Corner

In Defense of Christian Rock

We posted an interview I did with Jon Leaf, author of a new book on the Sixties, on Friday. Here’s one e-mail in response:

Subject: Midnight Cowboy and Rock

K-Lo – I liked the interview with Jonathan Leaf and will definitely buy his book but two things grabbed me.

As a college student (Film/radio/TV in the early 1980s) I read the original Midnight Cowboy script by Waldo Salt. I was pretty conservative back then and don’t recall there being much to indicate any homosexual relationship between Rizzo and Buck. There may be much more in the novel but the script and the movie just don’t make the case, in my opinion. But I could be wrong.

I won’t go further into all the various directions the movie encompasses.

I definitely think Leaf overgeneralizes in his condemnation of Christian rock. I feel he’s mistaking method for content. That much early rock ‘n roll was associated with loose morals and sex is undebatable however a lot wasn’t and all one has to do is look at something like, say, Schoolhouse Rock, to realize that the instrumentation and beat of a song are one thing (method) while the lyrics (content) are a separate item. The wailing guitar work of Junior Kimbrough is most certainly sensual but what can anyone say about Schoolhouse Rock? Not exactly “drop your knickers” material.

It also smacks just a little too much of treating the citizens of Squaresville as actually real rather than the caricatures that they so often were… Except Leaf seems to want to be the mayor of Squaresville.