Catalogue


Tomorrow never knows : rock and psychedelics in the 1960s /
Nick Bromell.
imprint
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2000.
description
225 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0226075532
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2000.
isbn
0226075532
catalogue key
4030446
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Nick Bromell is associate professor of English and American literature at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"There was something rigorous and instructive in getting stoned and listening to music as if it really mattered," writes Nick Bromell in the first book to take seriously the "drugs and rock 'n' roll" side of the 1960s-a side too often eclipsed by oversimplifications of that decade's hedonism or political idealism. To truly understand those years, Bromell argues, we must go back to the primal scene in which listening to rock-the Beatles, Dylan, Doors, Hendrix-was fused with the experience of being high. What did young people hear? What did they feel and think and learn? Tomorrow Never Knows focuses not on the stars who produced the music or on the leaders of the counterculture, but on those who sat in their dorm rooms and group houses, smoked dope, and played albums. Weaving together memoir and musicology, history and politics, Bromell shows how millions of listeners mixed rock and psychedelics in a quest to make sense of themselves and their times. This combination was not mere escapism, he argues, but a vital public philosophy, one that we must do justice to in order to comprehend not just the past but the present. For the most enduring legacy of the '60s-and the reason we both celebrate and revile them today-may be that they inaugurated a profound instability, a sense that foundations are fictions and culture itself "just a lie." Indeed, psychedelics helped confirm the way adolescents already saw the world, Bromell argues, and that is why they were intrigued by the strange sounds of Revolver long before most of them had even heard of pot or acid. Bromell also suggests that '60s rock drew heavily on the blues not just because white kids admired African American styles of resistance, but because the blues gave musical expression to the double consciousness most of them felt as both insiders and outsiders in their own culture. Deftly teasing out the layered meanings of such songs as "All Along the Watchtower," "Ballad of a Thin Man," and "Strawberry Fields Forever," his book forces us to rethink what "pop music" can be and what listening to music can do. Tomorrow Never Knows describes, in vivid language, how music moved into new sonic configurations, how people's minds moved into new chemical configurations, and how this confluence of music and drugs expressed, reflected, and in many ways created the uncertainty, doubt, and drama seminal to contemporary culture. Tomorrow Never Knows is both a meditation on the ways the present remembers the past and an indispensable contribution to our understanding of the cataclysmic 1960s.
Flap Copy
"There was something rigorous and instructive in getting stoned and listening to music as if it really mattered ," writes Nick Bromell in the first book to take seriously the "drugs and rock 'n' roll" side of the 1960s-a side too often eclipsed by oversimplifications of that decade's hedonism or political idealism. To truly understand those years, Bromell argues, we must go back to the primal scene in which listening to rock-the Beatles, Dylan, Doors, Hendrix-was fused with the experience of being high. What did young people hear? What did they feel and think and learn? Tomorrow Never Knows focuses not on the stars who produced the music or on the leaders of the counterculture, but on those who sat in their dorm rooms and group houses, smoked dope, and played albums. Weaving together memoir and musicology, history and politics, Bromell shows how millions of listeners mixed rock and psychedelics in a quest to make sense of themselves and their times. This combination was not mere escapism, he argues, but a vital public philosophy, one that we must do justice to in order to comprehend not just the past but the present. For the most enduring legacy of the '60s-and the reason we both celebrate and revile them today-may be that they inaugurated a profound instability, a sense that foundations are fictions and culture itself "just a lie." Indeed, psychedelics helped confirm the way adolescents already saw the world, Bromell argues, and that is why they were intrigued by the strange sounds of Revolver long before most of them had even heard of pot or acid. Bromell also suggests that '60s rock drew heavily on the blues not just because white kids admired African American styles of resistance, but because the blues gave musical expression to the double consciousness most of them felt as both insiders and outsiders in their own culture. Deftly teasing out the layered meanings of such songs as "All Along the Watchtower," "Ballad of a Thin Man," and "Strawberry Fields Forever," his book forces us to rethink what "pop music" can be and what listening to music can do. Tomorrow Never Knows describes, in vivid language, how music moved into new sonic configurations, how people's minds moved into new chemical configurations, and how this confluence of music and drugs expressed, reflected, and in many ways created the uncertainty, doubt, and drama seminal to contemporary culture. Tomorrow Never Knows is both a meditation on the ways the present remembers the past and an indispensable contribution to our understanding of the cataclysmic 1960s.
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Booklist, November 2000
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Summaries
Main Description
Tomorrow Never Knows takes us back to the primal scene of the 1960s and asks: what happened when young people got high and listened to rock as if it really matteredas if it offered meaning and sustenance, not just escape and entertainment? What did young people hear in the music of Dylan, Hendrix, or the Beatles? Bromell's pursuit of these questions radically revises our understanding of rock, psychedelics, and their relation to the politics of the 60s, exploring the period's controversial legacy, and the reasons why being "experienced" has been an essential part of American youth culture to the present day.
Main Description
Tomorrow Never Knowstakes us back to the primal scene of the 1960s and asks: what happened when young people got high and listened to rock as if it really mattered--as if it offered meaning and sustenance, not just escape and entertainment? What did young people hearin the music of Dylan, Hendrix, or the Beatles? Bromell's pursuit of these questions radically revises our understanding of rock, psychedelics, and their relation to the politics of the 60s, exploring the period's controversial legacy, and the reasons why being "experienced" has been an essential part of American youth culture to the present day.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction: ""Living to Music""- Remembering Rock and Psychedelics in the '60s
""Something That Never Happened Before""- The Early Beatles and the Sense of an Ending
""Heartbreak Hotel""- At the Crossroads of White Loneliness and the Blues
""Something's Happening Here""- The Fusion of Rock and Psychedelics
""I Was Alone, I Took a Ride""- Revolver, Revolution, Technology
""Never Do See Any Other Way""- Sgt
Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
""Evil"" Is ""Live"" Spelled Backwards- The Radi
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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