Tuesday, May 26, 2009

By the Time We Got to Woodstock: Nixon's Coming

      The following is the first Imix from my forthcoming book, By the Time We Got to Woodstock: The Great Rock Revolution of 1969 (Backbeat Books, September).

The period starting in Washington, D.C. right after the election of Richard M. Nixon on November 4, 1968, and concluding with four deaths at Kent State in Ohio at the hands of the National Guard on May 4, 1970, was a time in the annals of rock ’n’ roll like no other, in which hope grappled with despair, wisdom debated foolishness, belief and incredulity shared meals at the same communal table, and the forces of darkness escalated their counterassault on the light-bearing counterculture as dusk fell on Aquarius.
After the crushing defeats and confusions of 1968, 1969 would be a year of radical and profound personal risks, changes, and choices in the way music was perceived, written about, experienced, exploited, played, and disseminated, containing key releases by artists of unparalleled promise and uncommon achievement working in dozens of sometimes overlapping genres with ferocious pride born of rabid competition and massive stakes.