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Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay: An Anthology Hardcover – October 17, 2000

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 672 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; First Edition edition (October 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393047008
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393047004
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 0.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #681,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

McKeen's anthology is a tease... but in a good way. All 94 selections will lead readers to the source of each writer's musical inspirationAfrom Elvis, Chuck Berry, Brian Wilson and Bob Dylan to Kiss, Prince, Nirvana and Marilyn Manson. Tantalizing people into listening to new music, as Guralnick points out in his introduction to Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 (reviewed above), is a sign of good rock 'n' roll prose. In "Rise of the Sacred Monsters," poet and onetime Creem magazine contributor Patti Smith projects her adolescent lust for The Rolling Stones. Readers' blood will rush in time with Smith's and be vicariously totaled by her crush. A personal favorite of McKeen's, which he uses in his writing classes at the University of Florida, is Yoko Ono's calm "Statement to the Press," in which she explains how she told son Sean about John's murder. Besides usual suspects Paul Williams, Dave Marsh, Greil Marcus, Robert Christgau, Nik Cohn and Lester Bangs, novelists Roddy Doyle, Don DeLillo, Irvine Welsh and Nick Hornby offer refreshing excerpts. Yet intelligent rock 'n' roll students will notice two significant holes in McKeen's coverageArap and hip-hopAand a heavy bias toward 1960s and 1970s soul men and women (not that they don't deserve the space). Like the Da Capo collection, McKeen's has Guralnick as a selling point and may catch some of the ripples of publicity from Almost Famous. But the focus here is on musical stars, not on fabulous writing; in the long run, this volume is destined for social history syllabi. 20 photos. (Nov.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Norton's long line of anthologies that go straight from the warehouse to the college classroom now extends to rock and roll. Said extension presents performers, critics, and others sounding off in sections on rock's definition; its ancestors; rock weirdness, which includes more than is manifested by its performers; rock superstardom; making, recording, and producing rock; rock's stylistic sibling, soul; rock critics; and tributes to deceased rock deities, such as Jimi, Elvis, Lennon, Cobain, and Doc Pomus (the guy who wrote "Save the Last Dance for Me," among multitudinous other hits). Contributors include performers Bob Dylan, Pete Townshend, Brian Wilson, Patti Smith, Tina Turner, and James Brown; critics Greil Marcus, Dave Marsh, Robert Christgau, and Lester Bangs; and writers Salman Rushdie, Terry Southern, Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion, Don DeLillo, and William Burroughs. From guys like this, lots of laughs as well as insight are expected--and delivered. Sure, the opinions aired are often outrageous, but that just makes this Norton anthology more attractive to nonstudent readers. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
OK, so we all know a lot about rock n roll, right? But when you read William McKeen's anthology of great rock writing, you realize that you have only scratched the surface. This book, in a word, rocks. McKeen clearly had a tough assignment: track down the best writing about rock n roll, and use those writings to define the elusive beast that is rock music. He succeeds on both accounts. Sure, there are the expected authors -- Lester Bangs, Peter Guralnick, Greil Marcus, Charlie Gillett, and Robert Palmer -- but also unexpected gems and defining lyrics from Patti Smith, Tom Wolfe, Don DeLillo and Terry Southern. Each section of the book illustrates a facet of rock n roll, and the usually bite-size chunks of writings make it easy to pick this book up anytime and blow through a couple of dozen pages without knowing time has passed. I guess my favorite aspect of the book, however, is that it touches a place deep inside of us that music also touches. Two stories stand our for me in this regard: Alan Lomax's account of his visit with blues legend Robert Johnson's mother, who relates her son's dying moments in stunning vividness (the dying Johnson, allegedly the victim of a lover's poison, gives his devil-cursed guitar to his mother and tells her to hang it on the wall "cause I done pass all that by." He dies while she was hanging it on the wall.) The final moment of goosebumps comes in the book's ultimate selection, the legendary producer Phil Spector's induction speech for the late Doc Pomus, who wrote "Save the Last Dance for Me," among other early rock gems. The writing in this book is stunning. The arrangement of chapters and selections by McKeen, a University of Florida journalism professor, borders on the genius also.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
The whole sweeping saga of rock and roll is here in one book. This book will endure as the best way to tell the history of rock and roll -- in the words of the people who played it, produced it, sold it and studied it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brett H. Pokorny on July 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I was lucky enough to have a class with William McKeen. I had mixed feelings when I first saw that the class's "textbook" was written by the course instructor, but enjoyed every last bit of it. I don't believe I have been more well-informed and simultaneously entertained by any other book I have ever read.
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By MAB on June 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a 'must-have' for all serious Rock'n'Rollers! Want the inside information and real life behind the music scene stories you want to read this NOW.
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More About the Author

For Hemingway and Fitzgerald, there was Paris in the twenties. Later generations had Big Sur, Greenwich Village and Woodstock.

But in the Seventies, there was Key West. That was where a generation of artists -- Thomas McGuane, Jim Harrison, Jimmy Buffett, Hunter Thompson and others -- found their style and artistic voice.

In Mile Marker Zero (Crown, 2011) William McKeen tells the story of these remarkable artists and how this two-by-four island at the end of the road shaped their lives. For hundreds of years, pirates and poets and pot smugglers and painters have called the wacky little town home. Here are the stories of a generation that nearly went crazy from the heat. Grab your margarita and lock up your children.

McKeen is the author of Outlaw Journalist (W.W. Norton, 2008), Highway 61 (W.W. Norton, 2003), Rock and Roll is Here to Stay (W.W. Norton, 2000) and several other books about American music and popular culture.

He's also completed an anthology of stories about growing up in Florida called Homegrown (University Press of Florida, 2012).

He teaches at Boston University and chairs its journalism department. He was a newspaper reporter and magazine editor before beginning his teaching career.

He is a father of seven children and lives with his wife Nicole, a magazine editor, on the rocky coast of Cohasset, Massachusetts.

Please visit

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