Page 21 - Studio International - February 1971
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emerged in recent American politics, the one   discontent, and finally revolt.      Without a Cause, 1955, with Marlon Brando
           black and the other white, have singled out   Presley's career began in the middle fifties   and James Dean, respectively. Warhol's
           Presley and the music he represents as one of the   and spans a decade, a considerable period of time   portrait of Brando, and his earlier dedication of
          key symbols indicative of a younger generation's   (by today's standards) for a popular musical   a drawing to Dean,9  are explicit references to the
           hostility and rejection of materialism, racism   figure to hold the attention of a highly critical   awareness of the new values in the process of
          and the inequalities which now characterize   audience concerned with genuine expression of   being forged.
          one of the wealthiest nations in the world.?   emotive content. Presley's musical personality   For this reason the actors Warhol chooses to
             In essence, Rock and Roll is a lineal descendant   is complex, and his sexy physical presentation   portray, with the exception of Troy Donahue,10
          of Negro Rhythm and Blues, and implicit in   quickly earned him the nickname of 'Elvis the   are very different from the women. And Brando,
          Rock and Roll's audience is an egalitarianism and   Pelvis'. Radio, as well as records, was the   Dean and Presley are in turn different from
          a consequent identification with disadvantaged   medium of this new music. But Presley was the   Donahue; in his treatment of Brando and
          groups (though among white suburban        first Rock artist to have an equally strong career   Presley, Warhol acknowledges this. Both are
          audiences of the fifties this connection was   in movies and his depiction in the Elvis series,   portrayed in a situation whereby they are being
          tenuous and as yet tentative, to be sure). From   with heavily-greased black hair, sideburns and a   conditioned by their roles, whereas Donahue is
          its inception Rock and Roll was the music of the   surly facial expression, is typical of the new   presented straightforwardly, as himself. Brando,
          young, and in its sense of immediacy and the   male images that were gradually to supplant the   Dean and Presley are authentically creative,
          manner in which its syntax and vocabulary   crew-cut conventions of the fifties and all they   and not merely products of Hollywood's fantasy
          voiced the concern of the young, it linked and   represented.                        or commercialism. All three had originative
          bound a disaffiliated generation in common   The attitudes underlying Rock and Roll, its   lives, and therefore are strong personalities; all
          cause.8  Basically, it is a music of rejection, and   rejection of the established cultural mores, and   three raised—at one level or another—important
          (along with renewed interest in folk music in the   the disaffiliation and alientation underscoring   questions as to the quality of life in America and
          late fifties and early sixties, and the emergence   the split between generations in America, had   the nature of its freedoms. Implicit in their
          of folk-rock) it opened the pathways, a few years   already been clearly expressed in several movies,   attitude is a condemnation of society and its
          later, to a more formidable expression of    in particular The Wild Ones, 1951, and Rebel    ways; they project an image of the necessity


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