Thursday, February 21, 2013
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
A new, and major, publisher wants me to update YSYWAR!
And, I'm going to do it.
This will only make sense to those who have read the book -- or alt least have a copy to look at, but here's what I have in mind:
Update Proposal – A Brief Sketch
I. My intent is to maintain the basic thematic content of the existing book, while incorporating significant musical and cultural developments since its publication. Namely,
- That America was and continues to be in the midst of a cultural revolution that is both driven by and exemplified by rock music.
- That the relationship between music and culture is best explained by a McLuhanesque interplay between the media and its varied messages.
- That the dynamics of revolutionary change are best understood by a creative use of an early Marxian style dialectic.
- And that the phenomenological depictions of the religious consciousness of Rudolf Otto and Paul Tillich help make sense of what is happening in the revolutionary interplay between music and culture.
II. I will also retain the first person POV in my writing.
III. Part One needs to be updated in two major ways to deal with historical developments:
- The year by year Suggested Typology of Chapter 3 has to be extended to the present.
- Similarly, the Chart, must be brought up to date
IV. Part Two also needs to be updated in two major ways in order to deal with new media:
- One chapter needs to be added to deal with the medium of CD’s.
- Another chapter is needed to deal with the Internet and the resulting importance of downloading individual songs to MP3 Players, iPods and similar devices.
V. Part Three requires one major rewrite concerning the perspective:
- Chapter 11 as it stands is more or less a forecast of things to come. Now, they have come! So the perspective must look backward – not forward.
- Material from the existing epilogue will be incorporated into this new, historically updated characterization of “The Reactualization.”
- I will keep the same notion – “The Shape of Things to Come.”
- There will be an updated paradigm as well (involving the whole current sweep of African-American music).
Note: Obviously, the recent presidential election will figure prominently in this update. And, yes, somewhere in all of this I will deal with “the Michael Jackson” phenomenon! ;-)
So...any comments or suggestions?????
Saturday, June 13, 2009
And here's my letter to the editor [just in case the LAT's doesn't publish it!!] ;-)
Erik Himmelsbach's excellent review of Elijah Wald's [dare I say] screed on The Beatles' alleged roll in the destruction of rock and roll is right on point -- especially when he points out that "Wald tries to have his cake and eat it...." Yes!
To sharpen his point -- Wald has contradicted himself: If popular acclaim is the key indicator of what should be regarded as important...then unless I've missed something I believe the Beatles are important -- in Wald's own terms. Of course, Wald may want to say something about the use and abuse of Black music. Ok. But what? That it was destroyed by The Beatles? If so, I haven't noticed it's destruction. And perhaps he'd better ask Fats Domino why he was so grateful to Pat Boone's cover-versions of his songs.
Yes times and technology change and music is affected by such things. But how this change occurs needs to be understood more critically.
Dare I suggest a book with which I am quite familiar?? It goes into the very nature of such change and proposes a theoretical basis for understanding it. Yes, it's my book: You Say You Want a Revolution: Rock Music in American Culture. Wald is partially correct -- there is a "destructive" quality to rock music [a "negation" if you will; however, it is part of an on-going dialectic resulting in an "affirmation" of something new. Remember "thesis, antithesis and synthesis"? I thought so!
After rereading Erik Himmelsbach's commentary I've come to the conclusion that he is actually being totally unfair to Elijah Wald -- Himmelsbach is employing reason; whereas, Wald has come to the discussion unarmed.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Accordingly, it is now in use as a major text in courses in American Culture and is frequently cited by others in various academic fields. Most recently, for example the book as well as the circumstances surrounding its "respectability" in the "academic community" are referred to in "What to Listen for in Rock: A Stylistic Analysis" By Ken Stephenson.  B. Lee Cooper and Wayne Haney's "Rock Music in American Popular Culture III: More Rock 'n' Roll Resources"  mentions Robert Pielke in the preface as one of the major contemporary analysts of the rock music phenomenon, and pointely cites "You Say You Want A Revolution" to illustrate.
Other references to this book include Deena Weinstein's "Heavy Metal: The Music and Its Culture,  Robin Sylvan's "Traces of The Spirit: The Religious Dimensions of Popular Music,  Janelle Wilson's chapter "Lost in the Fifties" in "The Narrative Study of Lives" edited by Lieblich and Josselson, James Perone's "Music of The Counterculture Era"  (Part of the American History Through Music series edited by David Brinkman), B. Lee Cooper's "Popular Music Perspectives: Ideas Themes and Patterns in Contemporary Lyrics"  and David Walley's "Teenage Nervous Breakdown: Music and Politics in the Post-Elvis Age"  One of the more unusual citations of this book is the one in "VeloNews: The Journal of Competitive Cycling" 
European scholars cite this work as well. The list includes the study of John Dean and Jean-Paul Gabilliet "European Readings of American Popular Culture"  and Nicola Nowak's "'The Times They Are A-Changin': Pop- und Rockmusik in den USA der fünfziger und sechziger Jahre" 
Finally, it is worth noting that this book is on the shelves of approximately 400 libraries throughout the world.
 Thompson Learning, Cincinnati, OH, 2001
 Yale University Press, 2002
 Haworth Press, Philadelphia, 1999
 Da Capo Press/Perseus Press, 2000
 New York University Press, 2002
 Sage Publications, 1997
 Greenwood Press 2004
 Popular Press, Bowling Green, Ohio, 1991
 Routledge, 2006
 "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" by Neal Rogers August 16, 2004
 Greenwood Press, 1996
 Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität (Institut für England- und Amerikastudien), 2003