TRIPS: Rock Life in the Sixties by Ellen Sander

TRIPS: Rock Life in the Sixties

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An instant replay of the '60's Rock-and-Roll scene stylized for all the self-conscious nostalgia it's worth. Ms. Sander belts it out: ""Those Were The Days, my friend, we thought they'd never end"" looking back from the blight of Nixon's America at what she regards as the Golden Era. From Greenwich Village coffee houses to the Fillmore West, from the Newport Folk Festival to Woodstock, she revisits all the landmarks, all the concerts, and all the major rock groups in that time when they were just scufflin' to put their thing together. Remember the Freedom Rides? Remember Dylan's motorcycle accident? Remember the Beatles on their first American tour? Remember JFK? Remember Idealism? You might be unwilling to define a decade or a generation by its taste in music but Sander intrepidly does just that, waxing sentimental about the entire pantheon of rock stars individually and collectively. All the oldies but goodies from Dylan's Mr. Tambourine Man to the Stones' Satisfaction get pumped full of social significance: Rock-and-Roll brought us sexual liberation, much grass, long hair, and good karma -- lotsa good karma, baby. But even granting that the music had something to do with the greening of America, Sander is too mesmerized by the lead guitar and the strobe lights to worry about anything like a sociological perspective. Some of the scenes she evokes are fun, to be sure -- if you read them as an enthusiastic fan's reminiscence of her teenybopper days. Otherwise her treatment of the '60's as a remote, magical epoch cloys.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1972
Publisher: Scribners