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All Hopped Up and Ready to Go: Music from the Streets of New York 1927-77 Paperback


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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: 2.4 x 3.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #543,844 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 seven non-fiction books and one 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. 'A Light That Never Goes Out: The Enduring Saga of The Smiths' was published in the UK by William Heinemann in September 2012, and by Crown Archetype in the USA in December 2012, with paperback editions following in the corresponding months of 2013. A memoir of his South London schooldays, 'Boy About Town,' was published in the UK by William Heinemann in July 2013, and is available in the USA as of September 2013.

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

4.9 out of 5 stars
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That said, this is an excellent read..
William Olmstead
Tony Fletcher has written a comprehensive and exhausting tome of the music from the streets of New York that any aficionado should have on their shelf.
Quixote010
Music and the fortunes of New York City trace their paths through the book.
Michael A. Duvernois

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 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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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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Format: Paperback
Tony Fletcher has written a comprehensive and exhausting tome of the music from the streets of New York that any aficionado should have on their shelf. Beginning with the big band sounds of the 30s and extending through the development of rap, Fletcher presents an interesting and inclusive picture of the evolution of practically every music genre as it transcended the Big Apple.

From Count Basie and Fletcher Henderson to Tito Punete; from The Ravens to Billie Ward and the Dominoes; from Leadbelly to Bob Dylan; from the Lovin' Spoonful to the Velvet Underground; from the Fugs to Blondie...Fletcher covers them all...but don't forget about the locations (the Savoy, the Loft); the promoters (Morris Levy, Alan Freed); the composers (Josh White, Leiber and Stoller); the DJs (Murray the K, Nicky Siano)...whew!!

"All Hopped Up and Ready to Go" isn't a listing of people and places. It's a well-written narrative that goes on and on with fascinating facts and stories surely to delight anyone wanting to know about the music instrument and its creators. There is certainly too much information here to digest, but it's a great and worthwhile read you are certain to go back to...if for no other purpose then to hear the songs and see the people he refers to on "YouTube"!!
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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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