Introduction

When music scholar and qualified sausage stuffer Professor Ricky Stratocaster published his first book, The Influence of Early Etruscan Agriculture in the Songs of Bruce Springsteen, reaction was polarised, like the audience at a surprise Meatloaf gig, or an elderly electric eel dropped into a magnetic field. It wasn't that his revelations were particularly incendiary or even interesting - it was merely the boldness with which he compiled an 800-page volume on a subject that was quite evidently bullshit.

Professor Stratocaster, currently the visiting Professor of Funk at the Kentucky Institute of Twangology, developed his gift for expounding authoritatively without resorting to actual evidence at an early age. Or at least, that's what he says - like an over-possessive Scrabble player, it's difficult to take his word. As he puts it, it's very easy to be right. Too easy. If what you want is hard undisputable facts you just have to Google it. But writing absolute rubbish requires considerably more research to ensure that you don't inadvertently stumble across a truth.

Stratocaster's most vocal detractors are quick to take issue with his approach. Consequently, the Professor's reaction to negative criticism is generally best described as 'violent', and his umbrage at bad reviews is usually expressed in the form of a pugilistic challenge. That said, being a somewhat slight chap and not even remotely a 'fighty' person, such encounters are normally met with mild hilarity, in the same way that one might express amusement at a duck with a wellington boot on its head, or a confused bishop with his mitre caught in a revolving door. For instance, after taking offence at a review in The Guardian he challenged its author to a duel. The reviewer refused to take him seriously and declined to appear at the appointed hour, so Stratocaster went round to his house and threw stones at his bedroom window until the fellow stuck out his head and told him to piss off. Deciding that he had made his point, Stratocaster did indeed piss off, but feeling that he still needed to vent his frustration he had a go at the 75-year-old woman sitting behind him on the bus home. That woman beat the crap out of him, which is no surprise since history records that this is how most of Professor Stratocaster's expeditions have ended.

This volume, The History of Rock, charts the development of rock and roll from its origins in the Mississippi Delta blues right up to the modern day, all without touching on anything that might be seen as being even remotely plausible. It is the result of over four years of diligently dodging the truth and many long nights spent painstakingly stripping away any statements which could accidentally be mistaken for fact. As the Professor has suggested many times in the past, Truth is Beauty but sometimes what the world needs is a big dose of ugly. And, if anybody disagrees, he is happy to meet with them at dawn next Tuesday, at a location of their choosing, when the matter can be decided in a proper gentlemanly fashion.

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