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

4.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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  • Eight Miles High: Folk-Rock's Flight from Haight-Ashbury to Woodstock
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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.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Backbeat Books (May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879307439
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879307431
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #609,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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