Wednesday, July 25, 2001

Throwing the Book at the Boomers
This past weekend I read the most wonderful book almost in one sitting. John Strausbaugh, editor of the New York Press has written a smart, funny, and insightful book about the state of rock 'n' roll, how quickly the counterculture became a commodity, and how the Boomers who once led the revolution might have been the very architects of its demise. "Rock Til You Drop" starts as a screed against aging rockers a la the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen but quickly becomes an analysis of the commercialization of rock -- and how the rock "revolution" of the '60s as propelled by MC5, Jefferson Airplane, and other musical groups was never really meant to happen. Strausbaugh holds up several solid examples of how this happened: the Stones themselves, Rolling Stone magazine, and the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. If you have any interest whatsoever in music's role in politics or the politics of music, pick up Strausbaugh's book.

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