This past week, Chuck Marohn and Justin Burslie of Strong Towns gave their Curbside Chat in the beloved San Diego neighborhood of Hillcrest. Chuck’s visit was possible through a fun collaboration between Walt Chambers of Great Streets San Diego, Ben Nicholls, Executive Director of the Hillcrest Business Association, and myself. Forty of San Diego’s most engaged built environment professionals filled the room with a happy-hour sense of electricity in the air.
Chuck then proceeded to ground that spark.
By the early to mid 1970s, something was wrong with rock and roll.
It no longer fought the system. Worse than that, it had become the system. Bloated. Detached. Pretentious.
Performer and audience, once fused in a mutual quest to stick it to the man, now existed on separate planes — an increasingly complacent generation sucked into the service of pomp and circumstance. And the shared experience of joyful rebellion? Replaced by pompous, weed-soaked, middle-earth mysticism.
Rock and roll needed to get back to basics. What country pioneer Harlan Howard characterized as “three chords and the truth.” Enter punk rock.