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All Hopped Up and Ready to Go: Music from the Streets of New York 1927-77 Paperback – October 26, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Original edition (October 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039333483X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393334838
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #573,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

From the Brill Building to CBGB, from Washington Square Park to the Apollo Theater, New York has been the birthplace and center of an astonishing variety of musical trends. In his richly detailed study of 50 years of the city's most important music history, music journalist Fletcher vividly recreates the birth and evolution of jazz, folk, pop, punk and hip-hop as the strains of these musical styles emerged from the urban cacophony of New York. Drawing on interviews and archives of well-known stories, Fletcher nimbly explores the ways that various musical styles benefit from and grow out of their contact with their surrounding cultures. For example, the music scene of the Lower East Side was a direct product of the area's thriving movements in poetry, filmmaking, avant-garde music and experimental theater. Fletcher chronicles the beginnings of the folk movement in the sing-alongs in Washington Square Park and the opening of the Folklore Center on MacDougal Street in 1957, where musicians could hold hootenannies. Fletcher observes the folk scene on the wane as John Sebastian leaves Jim Kweskin's Jug Band and teams with Canadian Zal Yanovsky, formerly of the Mugwumps (which became the Mamas and the Papas), to form the rock band the Lovin' Spoonful, and provides one of the best brief histories of CBGB. Fletcher's terrific music history captures the teeming life of New York's thriving music scene. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Fletcher’s commentary melds very different cultures to shows interrelationships and how new genres built upon the foundations of predecessors... Anyone interested in popular music and the rich cultural heritage of New York—indeed, of all of the U.S.—should read this book.” (Booklist)

“Like Alastair Cooke’s America, All Hopped Up is an unapologetically opinionated overview of zeitgeists that sparked their own theme music.... An indispensable reference book for college students and a survival guide for modern musicians.” (Chronogram)

“In All Hopped Up and Ready To Go: Music from the Streets of New York 1927-77, Tony Fletcher has demonstrated extraordinary depth in his research and vibrancy in his writing. Not only was I fascinated by his stories of times and styles about which I knew little, but, in those areas in which I knew a lot, he has connected all the dots for me…oh, yeah, and it’s a damned good read.” (Mike Stoller)

“Thoroughly researched, engaging, and perceptive.” (Library Journal)

“In his richly detailed study of fifty years of the city’s most important musical history, music journalist Fletcher vividly recreates the birth and evolution of jazz, folk, pop, punk and hip-hop as the strains of these urban styles emerged from the urban cacophony of New York.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Fletcher tells the story well.... His gift is enthusiasm.” (The New York Times Book Review)

More About the Author

Tony Fletcher is the author of six non-fiction books, a memoir, and a novel. His biography of drummer Keith Moon has been named in many a Best Music Book list, and his biography of R.E.M., updated in 2013 as 'Perfect Circle,' has been published in over half a dozen countries. His 2009 study, 'All Hopped Up and Ready To Go: Music From The Streets of New York 1927-77,' published in 2009 by WW Norton, covered multiple musical genres and was internationally acclaimed. His most recent biography, 'A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of The Smiths' was published by William Heinemann in the UK, and by Crown Archetype in the US, and is now available in paperback. A memoir of his South London schooldays, 'Boy About Town,' is also now available in paperback through Random House in the UK and USA.

Fletcher gained his entry into music journalism by founding a fanzine at his London school in 1977; by the time Jamming! ceased publication in 1986, it was selling 30,000 copies a month. Along the way he interviewed the likes of Pete Townshend, Paul McCartney, Paul Weller and U2, as well as dozens of up-and-coming, predominantly independent post-punk acts.

A contributor over the years to a multitude of magazines, newspapers, radio and television shows, primarily in the UK and USA, Fletcher now lives with his family on a mountaintop near the village of Woodstock in New York State. There he runs, skis, maintains his web site www.ijamming.net, serves on his local school board, and plays Hammond B-3 and Rickenbacker in the Catskill 45s, a group that only performs songs from 45 calendar years ago.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I'd recommend this whether you have a deep knowledge of music or pedestrian.
Paul Boschi
The book has an unusual approach, revealing the roots of various NYC musical scenes by focusing on key players.
Mark Lerner
There are a lot of "golden ages" when it comes to the various music scenes in NYC.
Daniel Tandarich

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By William Olmstead on November 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great overview of New York musical history from the Twenties to the Seventies. It covers jazz, folk, doo wop, rock, punk, etc. My only complaint of this great book is that it is more about the music business than the individual artists. There is however information about the artists but I could have used more. That said, this is an excellent read..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark Lerner on December 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
A real treat for any music fan or musician. The book has an unusual approach, revealing the roots of various NYC musical scenes by focusing on key players. The subtitle is telling: "Music from the Streets of New York." It's not an exhaustive history of Afro-Cuban jazz, the folk revival, punk, or disco. Rather it shows you how those genres (and others) were formed in and by the city. It sketches a lot of fascinating connections between musicians and industry folks, and once a genre has really taken hold and a few groups have had hits, the book moves on, because that's when the story becomes less of a local phenomenon and more of an international one (and in most cases, a familar story).
I looked forward to the chapters on Brill Building pop, Greenwich village folk, and punk; I was pleasantly surprised to find out how much the other chapters, particularly the early ones, captured my interest. Fletcher doesn't fall prey to the hyperbole that I find brings down a lot of music writing, but he writes with enthusiasm and wit. I was moved to check out some of the acts that I wasn't familiar with.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Tandarich on February 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are a lot of "golden ages" when it comes to the various music scenes in NYC. Many of us did not have the privilege of standing stage-side when the likes of the Velvet Underground, the Ramones, DJ Kool Herc, Dizzy Gillespie, the Stillettos, or Blondie first took an audience under their spell. With a reading of All Hopped Up and Ready to Go, one no longer needs to feel that they missed out. Tony Fletcher goes right to the source on the many different music scenes and he speaks with individuals who were on the front lines of many a music battle as well as the more underground players. Mr. Fletcher weaves one musical storyline into another as the tales of these musicians bleed over into the lives of the next takers of the rhythmic baton. For this reader, the early disco houses and the burgeoning rap scene gave tons of knowledge. And I can never get enough of the punk scene centered around CBGBs and Max's Kansas City. You can tell the author loves his subject and that makes it all the more fascinating for us. Highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
Firstly let me acknowledge my bias - I love a variety of music and I love New York - and so this book is one I automatically gravitated to. And it doesn't disappoint. Although some of the styles of New York music that Fletcher covers here have been out of my orbit and although I lived in New York directly after the period he covers, his writing style is so fluid and the content so thoroughly researched that the genres that are new to me are just as interesting as the ones that are familiar. The Bebop, Latin Jazz in the beginning had a lot of names that I was totally ignorant about and induced a little feeling of learning stuff I'm glad I won't be tested on but Fletcher's skill in evoking the feeling of NYC of the period helps bring the musicians alive. Of course then getting to the music of my interest which includes the Brill pop, the Greenwich Village folk scene, the Velvets, the Glitter and Punk scenes and to some extent Disco I found the book one I couldn't put down and readily devoured it. I even found the birth of Hip Hop fascinating and an important story to learn. His fluent and witty writing style has you wishing that he could take you off on tangents with more anecdotes about certain genres but of course as is New York itself there are probably a million stories to tell.
I must note a lovely touch in this internet age is the link mentioned in the book [...] where you can go and listen to snippets of the music as you read about them. Nice, very, very nice.
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Format: Paperback
Music and the fortunes of New York City trace their paths through the book. From the excitement of the skyscrapers and high society, the depression and war, the cold war prosperity, white flight and urban decay, and first hints of renewal, alongside the Apollo Theater, Charlie Parker, Atlantic Records, Tito Puente, the new folk music, the Ronettes, Janis Ian, the Velvets, Patti Smith, New York Dolls, and Talking Talks feature in the narrative. I got the book mostly out of interest in the latter part of the story, the downtown scene that lead to NYC punk, but learned a lot, and gained a healthy appreciation for, the earlier generations of musicians who had also emerged downtown. It's a thick book, well written, and focused on individuals through which to carry the story. We see Bob Dylan arrive in the city, the signing of the Talking Heads to Sire Records, the Latin Jazz craze of dueling Titos, and the first audience walking out as the Velvet Underground played "Heroin."
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By Just Mike on June 2, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a lifelong New Yorker and music lover. I grew up just a stone's throw from some of the places described in this book. I enjoyed reading it from this perspective. It is fast-paced and hard to put down, and it contains a lot of interesting bits of information, some of which I had not heard elsewhere. But while I recommend the book on the whole, I thought it had some serious flaws and major omissions. No, not nit-picky omissions of the kind that are inevitable when anyone sets out to write a fifty-year overview of anything, MAJOR omissions. Like the entire '50's and '60's Blue Note era of hard-bop and post-bop. Yes, the classic Blue Note albums were mostly recorded at Rudy Van Gelder's studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, but that's a technicality; the music was and is very closely associated with New York, and is very New York in feeling. It was part of the soundtrack of the lives of those of us who grew up here in the post-WW II years. Yes, many jazz players were not born here, but neither were folks like Bob Dylan, Debbie Harry, and Patti Smith, who get (and deserve) plenty of ink here. But a whole chapter and then some on "glam and glitter," and not a word about Art Blakey, Horace Silver, or McCoy Tyner? C'mon. And while the book begins promisingly with Mario Bauza and Dizzy Gillespie (also non-New Yorkers), on the whole it really gives very short shrift to Latin music beyond the mambo era. Barely a mention of the Palmieri brothers? Of Fania Records? How much more New York and street can you get than Willie Colon? Grupo Folklorico Y Experimental Nuevayoriqueno recorded the seminal "Concepts in Unity" at CBS studios in NYC in 1975, the roots of Manny Oquendo's Libre and Jerry Gonzalez's Fort Apache band. Not even a mention, let alone a chapter? Not nit-picky.Read more ›
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