Dear Starship

Re: We Built This City on Rock ‘n’ Roll

I have just listened to your “Soft Rock Anthem” and it appears that you expect me to believe that you have successfully completed possibly the most ludicrous design project in the history of architecture, as outlined within it.

Any construction, be it as little as a shed, requires a solid bedrock, typically the embedding into at least three feet or so of soil. A building of significant weight, however, will require very deep foundations, in order to transfer a load from the edifice through an upper weak layer of mud to a stronger deeper layer. There are different types of deep foundations including helical piles, impact driven piles, drilled shafts, caissons, piers, and earth stabilized columns, and the naming conventions vary between different engineers. Said piles are normally of steel, reinforced and pre-tensioned and/or reinforced concrete. Airwaves are most certainly not a suitable platform; your boast to have “built this city on rock and roll” is therefore utterly preposterous.

I apologise unreservedly if you have managed to mount a metropolis upon some twelve bar “blues”, and would be much obliged if you could guide me, perhaps via the world wide web's “Google Earth” or the Automobile Association's superb “route finder” service, to this no doubt wondrous spectacle.

I await your reply in the pre-paid envelope provided.


Derek Philpott



To: Mr. Derek Philpott

My Dear Fellow:

Are you a complete and utter fool? Anybody with a modicum of common sense realizes that when The Troggs sang “Wild Thing”, Andover was born; When the Beatles crooned “Love Me Do”, Liverpool became center stage; and where would Memphis be today without Elvis's “Hound Dog”? So, it is plainly obvious that our cities were clearly, undoubtedly built on Rock'n'Roll!

Allow me to further elucidate... cases in point: When Elton “Crocodile Rocked” us, the majestic Pinner rose up out of bland Middlesex; When Gary Glitter “Rock'n'Rolled” us (Parts 1 and 2), obscure Banbury stood proud from Oxfordshire; And when Noddy Holder and Slade wailed “Cum on Feel The Noize”, Walsall dominated our rockin' minds. Surely you recall – all these places (“cities”, if you will) were mere non-descript Pagan settlements, devoid of meaning, until Rock'n'Roll put them on the map in glorious recognition! Furthermore, dare I say it, when the Archies rocked us with the epic “Sugar Sugar” (8 weeks at No.1, I hasten to add), Riverdale was re-born – strong and proud; And, as you must know, when we let Robbie Williams “Entertain Us”, the previously sleepy Stoke-on-Trent exploded to become our Rock Capitol of the world! And, for God's sake, sir, everybody knows that the Bay City Rollers defined the psychedelic sound of San Francisco! Staying with psychedelia for a moment, it's also common knowledge that “Chocolate City”, George Clinton's and Parliament's Opus,became the very city where Cadbury's Confectionary dynasty was launched. Powerful stuff!

So, this radical idea that a city is built on bricks and mortar truly beggars belief! Let us not forget my own humble achievement: When I penned my part of “We Built This City”, Southampton (my birthplace) became the yardstick by which all other rock'n'roll cities would be measured!!

Lastly, I began this letter essentially by suggesting that you're as thick as a brick, which now leads me to my final, overwhelming piece of evidence: When Jethro Tull famously traded-in his Agricultural Seed Drill for a small-bodied Martin Guitar, Luton was truly enshrined.

Think upon that! … I rest my case.

Yours, humbly confused,






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