Text and Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll - The Beats and Rock Culture

Author(s): Simon Warner


Texts and Drugs and Rock'n'Roll considers the myriad ways in which two different artistic worlds found common ground in the final third of the 20th century. The rock musicians who came to the fore at the heart of the 1960s and a radical community of writers who had originally made their mark in the 1950s forged friendships and alliances that would challenge the traditional divide between popular music and the realm of the literary. The period would witness the two greatest musical acts of the day - the Beatles in the UK and Bob Dylan in the US - developing associations with various leading names from the Beat community: initially with its most voluble figurehead Allen Ginsberg and later with novelist William Burroughs, poets Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Michael McClure and others. A host of key acts who would emerge in the later 1960s and beyond - from the Doors to the Velvet Underground, David Bowie to Patti Smith, the Clash to Tom Waits, U2 to Nirvana - would follow in the footsteps of Lennon, McCartney and Dylan and demonstrate a similar inclination to acknowledge and maintain a connection to this literary community, and a number of the Beat writers would also continue to participate in this relationship with enthusiasm. In this expansive and multi-faceted study, pop scholar Simon Warner endeavours to understand why this connection was forged and how it managed to survived the vicissitudes of cultural - and sub-cultural - change at a time when society's motors accelerated at an extraordinary pace. The book includes portraits of some of significant yet less celebrated players in the Beat-rock story, such as poet David Meltzer - the first Beat to meet Dylan - Steven Taylor, Ginsberg's guitarist and Fugs member for decades, poet rocker Jim Carroll and British musician and artist Genesis P-Orridge who enjoyed a long-term association with Burroughs. There are also extended interviews with some seminal Beat characters, along with obituaries, conversations, and a series of Q&As with a string of individuals with close connections to the Beat-rock crossover.


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A highly readable history of the innumerable links between two of the most revolutionary artistic movements of the last 60 years.

At long last an electrifying exploration of the Beat Generation writers and the wild guitarists and poetic songwriters who transformed world culture. Bravo to Simon Warner for breaking down all the sound barriers and for bridging the musical and literary geniuses of our time. Hail Hail Text and Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll, a book that's bound to be around for a long time.- Jonah Raskin, author of Rock and Roll Women: Portraits of a Generation and American Scream: Allen Ginsberg's "Howl" and the Making of the Beat Generation Text, Drugs and Rock 'n'Roll is a well-researched and fascinating investigation into therelationship between rock music and the Beats, and the ways in which thisinteraction inspired a mode of expression that was to find common ground in thefinal third of the twentieth century. Warner offers readers a wealth ofinformation onthe Beats' rebellious and variedlifestyles, poetry and novels and how and why they influenced both iconic andlesser known musicians from the 1960s counterculture, through punk, heavymetal, and grunge. Extended interviewswith seminal figures, conversations, obituaries, and a series of Q&As withindividuals with close connections to the Beat-rock crossover add to the authorityof this groundbreaking and timely text, while evidencing the growing importanceof interdisciplinary studies for academics, researchers, students andmainstream readers alike.- Dr Sheila Whiteley, Professor Emeritus, the University of Salford, Greater Manchester and Visiting Research Professor, the Bader International Study Centre, Queen's University (Canada), East Sussex. An exhaustive and always illuminating account of the Beats' profound and still-registering impact on radical pop from Dylan to hip hop. Warner has left no stone unturned in tracing his inter-generational lines of influence, and his overview of the subject is commanding.--Barney Hoskyns, author of Lowside of the Road: A Life of Tom Waits Impressively comprehensive and frequently fascinating... Text and Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll succeeds because its eclecticism and its boldness in bringing genres together - it includes not only scholarly essays, but also interviews, reviews and obituaries - is consistent with the qualities he identifies in the Beats' artistic productions and their links with popular culture, as well as his own desire to break free of "disciplinary rigidity". -- James Peacock European Beat Studies Network From whatever perspective you care to approach it - socio-cultural, literary, historical, counter or pop-cultural - there's no escaping the fact that Simon Warner's weighty tome is one impressive piece of work. Near encyclopaedic in the depth and range of its analysis and treatment of its subject, Text and Drugs and Rock'n'Roll has much to recommend it . [I]t's the sheer multiplicity of angles that Warner approaches his subject from that makes this such an illuminating read. -- Grahame Bent Shindig! 20131118

Simon Warner is Senior Teaching Fellow at the University of Leeds, UK.

Preface Rock and rock'n'roll: A short note to the reader Introduction i) How the Beats met rock: Some history and some context ii) Charting the Beats: Background and impact iii) Beat and rock: A survey of association iv) The Beats' own recordings: A selective discography Chapter 1 - Sifting the shifting sands: Allen Ginsberg, 'Howl' and the American landscape in the 1950s Interlude A - Lawrence Ferlinghetti: A survivor surveys Interview 1 - David Amram, jazz musician and Beat composer, including the Pull My Daisy soundtrack Chapter 2 - Chains of flashing memories: Bob Dylan and the Beats, 1959-1975 Interview 2 - Michael McClure, poet and author of The Beard Chapter 3 - Muse, moll, maid, mistress? Beat women and their rock'n'roll legacy Chapter 4 - Raising the consciousness: Re-visiting Allen Ginsberg's 1965 trip to Liverpool Q&A 1 - Michael Horovitz, poet, publisher and British Beat Interview 3 - Larry Keenan, photographer of 'The Last Gathering of the Beats' in San Francisco in 1965 Obituary 1 - Peter Orlovsky, 'Member of the Beat Generation, poet and lover of Allen Ginsberg' Interlude B - All Neal: Cassady celebrated in downtown Denver Q&A 2 - Mark Bliesener, rock band manager and a founder of Neal Cassady's memorial day in Denver Chapter 5 - The British Beat: Rock, Literature and the British Counterculture in the 1960s Interview 4 - Pete Brown, British poet and rock lyricist for Cream Q&A 3 - Jonah Raskin, Ginsberg biographer and cultural historian Chapter 6 - The Sound of the Summer of Love? The Beatles and Sgt. Pepper, the hippies and Haight-Ashbury Q&A 4 - Levi Asher, founder of acclaimed Beat website Literary Kicks Interview 5 - Ronald Nameth, Beat film-maker and director of the film of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable Chapter 7 - The Meltzer chronicles: Poet, novelist, musician and historian of Beat America Review 1 - Book: David Meltzer, Beat Thing Interview 6 - Bill Nelson, British rock guitarist and Beat follower Q&A 5 - Jim Sampas, notable Beat record producer including Kerouac: Kicks Joy Darkness Chapter 8 - Versions of Cody: Jack Kerouac, Tom Waits and the song 'On the Road' Chapter 9 - Feeling the bohemian pulse: Locating Patti Smith within a post-Beat tradition Chapter 10 - Jim Carroll: Poetry prodigy, post-Beat and rocker Obituary 2 - Jim Carroll, 'Poet and punk musician who documented his teenage drug addiction in The Basketball Diaries' Chapter 11 - All cut up? William Burroughs and Genesis P-Orridge's beatnik past Interview 7 - Steven Taylor, Ginsberg's guitarist and member of the Fugs Chapter 12 - Steven Taylor: A Beat Englishman in New York Q&A 6 - Pete Molinari, British singer-songwriter with Beat leanings Chapter 13 - Return to Lowell: A visit to the Commemorative and Kerouac's grave Review 2 - Film: One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur Review 3 - Album: One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur Q&A 7 - Chris T-T, British political singer-songwriter Obituary 3 - Tuli Kupferberg, 'Key figure in the US 1960s counterculture' Q&A 8 - Kevin Ring, editor of the magazine Beat Scene Review 4 - Album: On the Road: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Appendix - Jack & Neal on record Bibliography, Discography, Filmography, Broadcasts, Personal Communication and Interviews

General Fields

  • : 9781628926279
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Academic USA
  • : July 2014
  • : July 2014
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Simon Warner
  • : Paperback
  • : 544