The Rock History Reader

The Rock History Reader

Theo Cateforis

Language: English

Pages: 416

ISBN: 0415892139

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Rock History Reader is an eclectic compilation of readings that tells the history of rock as it has been received and explained as a social and musical practice throughout its six decade history. The readings range from the vivid autobiographical accounts of such rock icons as Ronnie Spector and David Lee Roth to the writings of noted rock critics like Lester Bangs and Chuck Klosterman. It also includes a variety of selections from media critics, musicologists, fanzine writers, legal experts, sociologists and prominent political figures. Many entries also deal specifically with distinctive styles such as Motown, punk, disco, grunge, rap and indie rock. Each entry includes headnotes, which place it in its historical context.

This second edition includes new readings on the early years of rhythm & blues and rock ‘n’ roll, as well as entries on payola, mods, the rise of FM rock, progressive rock and the PMRC congressional hearings. In addition, there is a wealth of new material on the 2000s that explores such relatively recent developments as emo, mash ups, the explosion of internet culture and new media, and iconic figures like Radiohead and Lady Gaga.

With numerous readings that delve into the often explosive issues surrounding censorship, copyright, race relations, feminism, youth subcultures, and the meaning of musical value, The Rock History Reader continues to appeal to scholars and students from a variety of disciplines.




















their elevated borrowings of classical music, eclectic stylistic pastiche, and fascination with ornate synthesizer technology rarely endeared them to critics. For a generation of rock journalists who had been raised on the revolutionary, rebellious values of the 1960s American counterculture, progressive rock’s upper-class pretensions seemed an ill fit. John Rockwell echoes many of these populist sentiments in his “art rock” chapter summary for the 1976 Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock

that’s what I did. William Burroughs: I always thought a punk was someone who took it up the ass. RT75018.indb 172 11/14/06 12:59:59 PM 31 The Subculture of British Punk Dick Hebdige The academic study of popular music took a quantum leap in the mid-1970s thanks to the influential research emanating from the University of Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS). Turning their gaze toward Britain’s diverse youth groups, CCCS sociologists like Dick Hebdige attempted to

grain of a mainstream culture whose principal defining characteristic, according to Barthes, is a tendency to masquerade as nature, to substitute ‘normalized’ for historical forms, to translate the reality of the world into an image of the world which in turn presents itself as if composed according to ‘the evident laws of the natural order’ (Barthes, 1972). As we have seen, it is in this sense that subcultures can be said to transgress the laws of ‘man’s second nature’.3 By repositioning and

coming on like electric velvet. Kesey spoke softly over the microphone. They were into the still of the hurricane, the pudding. RT75018.indb 109 11/14/06 12:59:36 PM RT75018.indb 110 11/14/06 12:59:37 PM 20 “The Country Boom” Barret Hansen From the 1950s rockabilly strains of Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins to the more recent alt-country sounds of Wilco and Ryan Adams, rock has long been infused with a strong country music presence. In the following excerpt from his 1969 article “The

fortunate. *  *  * So far, the Burrito Brothers have been the most successful; their album, The Gilded Palace of Sin has won them a fair amount of national recognition. In terms of musicianship, the Burrito Brothers come off a good deal better than the Byrds did on Sweetheart. The singing is generally stronger (though still hardly in Buck Owens’ league) and Sneeky Pete does very nice things with his steel guitar. In addition to doing the exquisite whines and howls that make up the contemporary

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