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Eight Miles High: Folk-Rock's Flight from Haight-Ashbury to Woodstock Paperback – May 1, 2003


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Eight Miles High: Folk-Rock's Flight from Haight-Ashbury to Woodstock + Turn! Turn! Turn!: The '60s Folk-Rock Revolution + Urban Spacemen and Wayfaring Strangers: Overlooked Innovators and Eccentric Visionaries of '60s Rock
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Backbeat Books (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879307439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879307431
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,102,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richie Unterberger is one of today's most prolific and respected writers on 20th century American popular music. Author of Turn! Turn! Turn, Urban Spacemen, and Unknown Legends, he is a senior editor for allmusic.com, the Internet's largest database of artist bios and album reviews.

More About the Author

Richie Unterberger has been writing about little-known and well-known rock and popular music of all kinds for more than 25 years. Of his eleven books, the most recent "Won't Get Fooled Again: The Who from Lifehouse to Quadrophenia,"" published by Jawbone Press in March 2011. It details the Who's amazing and peculiar journey in the years during the early 1970s in which they struggled to follow up "Tommy" with a yet bigger and better rock opera. Drawing on material from several dozen interviews and mountains of rare archival coverage and recordings, it's the definitive account of this fascinating period in the Who's career.

Also recently published is "White Light/White Heat: The Velvet Underground Day-By-Day." Issued by Jawbone Press in 2009, this is the most comprehensive book ever written about this legendary and innovative group. The 368-page volume details the group's recording sessions, record releases, concerts, press reviews, and other major events shaping their career with both thorough detail and critical insight. Drawing on about 100 interviews and exhaustive research through documents and recordings rarely or never accessed, it unearths stories that have seldom been told, and eyewitness accounts that have seldom seen print, from figures ranging from band members to managers, producers, record executives, journalists, concert promoters, and fans. The July 2009 issue of MOJO magazine hails it as "an impressive menas to reflect on the conundrum of what could be the ultimate cult band...detailed and anecdote-packed." Uncut magazine chose it as #4 in its list of the ten best music books of 2009.

In 2006, Backbeat Books published his seventh book, "The Unreleased Beatles: Music and Film," a mammoth 400-page, 300,000-word guide to the incredible wealth of music the Beatles recorded that they did not release, as well as musical footage of the group that hasn't been made commercially available. The book won a 2007 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Award for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research in the "Best Discography" division of the "Best Research in Recorded Rock Music" category.

His sixth book, "Eight Miles High: Folk-Rock's Flight from Haight-Ashbury to Woodstock" (Backbeat, 2003) , is the second book in a two-volume history of the 1960s folk-rock movement. "Eight Miles High" covers folk-rock from mid-1966 to the end of the 1960s, drawing on more than 100 first-hand interviews, as did its predecessor, "Turn! Turn! Turn!: The '60s Folk-Rock Revolution," which covers the history of folk-rock through mid-1966.

His book "Unknown Legends of Rock'n'Roll," published by Backbeat in 1998, profiled 60 underappreciated cult rock artists of all styles and eras. Its sequel, "Urban Spacemen & Wayfaring Strangers: Overlooked Innovators and Eccentric Visionaries of '60s Rock," was published by Backbeat in the fall of 2000. Both of these books draw extensively upon first-hand interviews with the musicians profiled, as well as interviews with many of their close associates. These volumes cover important artists that have rarely been covered in depth in print, and have often rarely had the opportunity to tell their stories and put forth their perspectives.

He is also author of "The Rough Guide to Music USA," a guidebook to the evolution of regional popular music styles throughout America in the twentieth century; "The Rough Guide to Jimi Hendrix"; and the first two editions of the travel guidebook "The Rough Guide to Seattle." Since 1993, he has been a prolific contributor to the All Music Guide, the largest on-line database of music biographies and album reviews, for which he has written thousands of entries. He is the co-author of "The Rough Guide to Shopping with a Conscience," published by the Rough Guides in early 2007.

He regularly presents events featuring rare rock films in the San Francisco Bay area and elsewhere, at public libraries and other venues. These include the main public libraries of San Francisco, Seattle, Portland Oregon, and San Jose, as well as the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Organizations interested in having him present such events can contact him through his website, www.richieunterberger.com. In summer 2011, he taught a course on the Beatles for the College of Marin's community education program, and will be teaching it again for the September 6-October 11 fall session.

He has also contributed travel and music pieces to various publications, including MOJO, Record Collector, Pulse, rollingstone.com, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the Rough Guide to Rock, The Rough Guide Book of Playlists, the East Bay Express, 100 Albums That Changed Music, the Oxford American, the Daily Telegraph, No Depression, Ugly Things, American Songwriter, and Perfect Sound Forever. He has written liner notes to several hundred CD reissues for the Collectors' Choice Music, Sundazed, Rhino, Shout Factory, Water, 4 Men With Beards, Sunbeam, Raven, Stax, Beatball, and Top Sail labels. He is among the journalists interviewed for recent film documentaries on the Byrds, Tim Buckley, Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention, the Doors, Neil Young, and the genesis of New York underground rock in the 1960s and 1970s. He has traveled to more than thirty countries, and is a passionate advocate of independent travel and alternative culture in general. He lives in San Francisco.

There is more information about Richie Unterberger and his books on his website, www.richieunterberger.com.

Customer Reviews

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Another great book about the origins of todays rock n' roll!
emmdee
Unterberger instead seems to divide the book into chapters based on geographic area, and, quite possibly, whatever comes into his head at any given moment.
paulkramer
I highly recommend this book, and look forward to the next Unterberger tome.
Stephen F Mulcahy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Stephen F Mulcahy on June 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
I found this to be a fine continuation of the story of folk rock. It's just as good as Unterberger's first book about folk rock, called Turn Turn turn. I highly recommend it to fans of Unterberger's other writing, as well as anyone who likes folk, folk-rock, or sixties /early seventies music in general.
Unterberger writes with an opinionated but reader- friendly style. His writing lacks the bombast, snobbery, and smug attitude that we often find with some of the old guard of music critics. Unterberger tends to see things in a more open- minded,inclusive way than many of the famous writers like Christgau and Dave Marsh, and Jann Wenner and the other rolling stone writers, who seem to have picked the obvious choices of the era and a few pets like Springsteen and Jackson Browne when considering who is worthy of respect and worth hearing for the era. Nothing against those talented guys, but let's face it: they are where they are in large part because of their annointing by scribes with friends in high places. Everyone else is either dismissed as irrelevant or trash to those writers. Unlike Christgau,Unterberger doesn't waste time with poisonous diatribes. Unlike Marsh he doesn't stick to boring, predictable lists generally comprised of overplayed hits. it's all subjective, true, but anyone with the audacity to list the best Beatles single of all time at a lowly #29 simply should not be read, period! Unterberger lets you know where he stands on a musician or group but doesn't try to force his opinion on you. One can picture getting into a friendly argument with Unterberger , the way guys in bars debate who is worthy of enshrinement in a sports hall of fame, and that's something I have trouble imagining with some of these other writers.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Phil Rogers on December 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
Richie Unterberger is a well known, oft-published, and very skillful writer. Part of his skill manifests when he has a negative opinion about something - he (as if by magic) makes it seem that everyone who mattered back then shared this opinion, consensus-like. Not so much in 'Turn Turn Turn!: The '60s Folk-Rock Revolution' as in 'Eight Miles High: Folk-Rock's Flight from Haight-Ashbury to Woodstock', this tendency very often produced woeful results at best - the trouble being that it usually it wasn't the way he's saying it was. One might consider that his tastes are quite narrow - I'd hazard to characterize them, after a fashion, as (mildly to wildy) sectarian, that is to say, canonical - in other words his judgements seem to bear the stamp of those who are and were "in the know".

I am also supposing that he arrived at a good number of these original opinions by reading certain critics whom he favors, as he himself was barely out of the toddler stage when the music was happening that he writes about. At least that's how much of 'Eight Miles High' seems to read, like he's quoting a series of sound bites he picked up various places, and are still simmering in the back-burner of his brain.

This is not to say that 'Eight Miles High' isn't a valuable resource, encyclopedic in its scope - but it can be difficult to look past the hurried and/or glib judgements that threaten at many points to stink up what otherwise seems like a valiant and meritorious effort.

I imagine hopefully that there won't be this sort of a problem with his new book on Beatles music.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Carter on July 26, 2009
Format: Paperback
Frankly, I date the acceptance of Folk-Rock and/or Psychedelic Rock to July, 1966, when the Airplane played the Berkeley Folk Festival, sharing a stage with Pete Seeger and Shlomo Carlebach. And The Airplane's best album was "Takes Off". Speaking as one of the many folk who remember the era, to get through this, and several other books on the era, you have to (a) realize your memory applies to what you saw/did/heard, but it is just your own impression filtered through decades of context, and (b) remember not to get too tightly wound around somebody else's apparent need to take an experiential time and wrap it into some predetermined framework.

The book captures some of the feeling of the time (much of which, if you remember, was pretty bloody judgmental in certain respects), and I submit that makes it worth reading. Definitive? Show me the agreed-to definitions for any of this stuff, and I'll be happy to apply them. But whoever has them hasn't showed up yet.

Grab a chord, and come along for the ride.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. O'Rourke on February 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
Eight Miles High

This is a great resource for fans of the late 50s early 60s musical period. Being interested in the US music scene of the period and living in Australia means that the availability of material on this period is almost non-existent. This book gives a excellent background to the music scene and importantly investigates forgotten players who played and influenced others at that time. For example, this book provided background on people such as Dino Valenti, along with others who have faded from the pages of music history but wrote songs and music that influenced other more well-known musicians during the sixties. I am really pleased with this book and recommend it to others.

Anne
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