Rock and roll is the crossing of the cowboy and the dandy. If you grew up on Westerns and Sherlock Holmes, your destiny was rock and roll. And if the outwardness and aggression of the cowboy had a historical counterpart, it was, not surprisingly in retrospect, the inwardness and languor of the dandy. Dandy foppishness relieves and controls what strength there is in cowboy panache. Each leavens the other. You can see both at play in the semiotics as well as the music of rock and roll. Little Richard, Jimi Hendrix, Prince -- all balance in a single style the cowboy's strength, the dandy's charm; the cowboy's rage, the dandy's melancholia. Like Elvis before him, Dylan, too, combines country with urban -- a double lineage of Woody Guthrie and white folk on the one hand and Muddy Waters and the blues on the other. With their cowboy boots and dandy scarves, how like Oscar Wilde in Colorado [where he visited once] both Dylan and Elvis are! Simply put, the blend of cowboy and dandy is suddenly unavoidable in rock and roll. Group monikers like Guns 'N Roses or the Sex Pistols [or Iron Butterfly] only formalize what is already at play in the prehistory of a discourse so overdetermined as to produce both the Beatle boot and an extended meditation on the leopard-skin pillbox hat.