This article first appeared in Issue 4 of Crawdaddy in July 1966.
Nobody used to take rock ‘n’ roll very seriously. The newsmagazines would get a kick out of printing the lyrics to “Surfin’ Bird,” the fans would debate over who was greater, Elvis or Fabian (who?), the deejays would play any record that was backed up by the old payola, and the listeners would be only too happy to run out and buy it (or so it would seem from the quality of the stuff that was around five years ago).
The newsmagazines haven’t changed (they’re probably jumping all over each other to get the lyrics to “They‘re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha Ha”). The fans now compare the Beatles and the Spoonful, and the alleged death of payola has only made the majority of the deejays more out of it than ever. But one thing has changed over the years, one minor detail: the music has gotten better.
So much better, in fact, that there are even people who are beginning to take rock ‘n’ roll very seriously indeed. Crawdaddy! is for those people; for anyone with an interest in discussing the most exciting and alive music in the world today, music that is alive not because of its heavy beat but because of its fantastic inventiveness, its ability to assimilate widely different styles of music, its freshness and awareness of a world other forms of music seem ready to desert.
Crawdaddy! is an experiment; some say it’s ahead of its time. I don’t think so. I think rock ‘n’ roll is mature enough now to support a Downbeat, a Sing Out!, of its own. I need your help; you as a reader and subscriber, as a possible distributor at your college or town, as an advertiser, as a contributor of articles and reviews, as an investor or angel. Write to me at the address below. Crawdaddy!, I repeat, is an experiment. If you really do take rock ‘n’ roll very seriously, you can make it succeed.