|"The Father of Rock Criticism" Paul Williams.|
Rock and roll was no poor stepchild of the other arts. Developing their ideas decades apart, what Williams and Farber shared was a dissatisfaction with the way their respective areas on critical concern, rock and roll, and film, were being treated, as subdivisions of other, more established art forms. Both decided to something about their respective gripes. Both men changed the way millions have come to see the world, at least in some small way.
Paul Williams brought to the world was a set of propositions that started an international conversation on the nature of popular culture and the defense of art that didn't originate in the university, the cathedral or a think tank. Paul's inspired enthusiasm for musicians and their message, his flashing insights, his visionary notion that art is the means with which we can transcend the brutally inane and experience genuine joy, was a subject too enticing to pass up. He was an influence on my writing and the writing of many longtime friends, and I find it astounding that the discourse he started in the 60s continues today, a contentious, cranky, frequently brilliant, opinionated conversation on the issue of what we find beautiful and why. On the subject of rock and roll and popular music, Paul Williams created a critical method where none had previously existed. That is a profound achievement, and it is one that influenced my life. Thank you, Paul Williams.