Synopses & Reviews
Easy Riders, Rolling Stones
delves into the history of twentieth century American popular music to explore the emergence of 60s andldquo;road music.andrdquo; This musicandmdash;which includes styles like blues and RandBandmdash;andmdash;andshy;andshy;took shape at pivotal moments in history and was made by artists and performers who were, in various ways, seekers after freedom. Whether journeying across the country, breaking free from real or imaginary confines, or in the throes of self-invention, these artists incorporated their experiences into scores of songs about travel and movement, as well as creating a new kind of road culture.and#160;
Starting in the Mississippi Delta and tracking the emblematic routes and highways of road music, John Scanlan explores the music and the life of movement it so often represented, identifyingand#160; andldquo;the roadandrdquo; as the key to an existence that was uncompromising. He shows how the road became an inspiration for musicians like Jim Morrison and Bob Dylan and how these musicians also drew stimulus from a Beat movement that was equally enthralled with the possibilities of travel. He also shows how the quintessential American concepts of freedom and travel influenced English bands such as the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. These bands may have been foreigners in the US, but they also found their spiritual home thereandmdash;of blues and rock andlsquo;nandrsquo; rollandndash;andndash;and glimpsed the possibility of a new kind of existence, on the road.
Easy Riders, Rolling Stonesand#160;is an entertaining, rich account of a key strand of American music history, and will appeal to both road music fans and music scholars who want to andldquo;head out on the highway.andrdquo;
"...crucial to our understanding of late-20th-century pop music and all the more impressive for its exhaustive research. Preston Lauterbach's book--spirited, studious, surprising, occasionally hilarious--is absolutely persuasive on its subject." Stephen M. Deusner
"Lauterbach spins the tale with enormous vitality and it's terribly fun to read. He masterfully explains the complex logistics of the entertainment industry, and studs the book with fascinating, little-known characters. . . . The reader will finish with an overwhelming urge to turn up the volume." Kate Tuttle
A definitive account of the birth of rock 'n' roll in black America, this book establishes the Chitlin' Circuit as a major force in American musical history. Combining terrific firsthand reporting with deep historical research, Preston Lauterbach uncovers characters like Chicago Defender columnist Walter Barnes, who pioneered the circuit in the 1930s, and larger-than-life promoters such as Denver Ferguson, the Indianapolis gambling chieftain who consolidated it in the 1940s. Charging from Memphis to Houston and now-obscure points in between, The Chitlin' Circuit brings us into the sweaty back rooms where such stars as James Brown, B. B. King, and Little Richard got their start. With his unforgettable portraits of unsung heroes including King Kolax, Sax Kari, and Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Lauterbach writes of a world of clubs and con men that has managed to avoid much examination despite its wealth of brash characters, intriguing plotlines, and vulgar glory, and gives us an excavation of an underground musical America.
"A well-researched valentine to a lost world of seedy con men, promoters and club owners, the power brokers and hustlers who made the 'circuitry spark.' "--Eddie Dean, Wall Street Journal
"Lauterbach spins the tale with enormous vitality and it's terribly fun to read. He masterfully explains the complex logistics of the entertainment industry, and studs the book with fascinating, little-known characters. . . . The reader will finish with an overwhelming urge to turn up the volume."--Kate Tuttle, Boston Globe
"A major achievement and an important contribution to American musical history."--Booklist, starred review
"Opens new doors in pop-music scholarship as well as American (and African-American) cultural history."--Michaelangelo Matos, A.V. Club
"[T]he genius prequel to an oft-told epic."--New Orleans Times-Picayune
"This sprawling, fascinating history drops readers into a chaotic, dangerous, utterly vanished world."--John Repp, Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Lauterbach's tribute . . . is welcome and overdue." --Jonathan Yardley,
For generations, "chitlin' circuit" has meant second tier--brash performers in raucous nightspots far from the big-city limelight. Now, music journalist Preston Lauterbach combines terrific firsthand reportage with deep historical research to offer a groundbreaking account of the birth of rock 'n' roll in black America.
About the Author
is senior lecturer in sociology and cultural studies at Manchester Metropolitan University and the author of Memory: Encounters with the Strange and the Familiar
; Van Halen: Exuberant California, Zen Rock andlsquo;nandrsquo; Roll
; and On Garbage
, all published by Reaktion Books.and#160;