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Rock Concert: An Oral History as Told by the Artists, Backstage Insiders, and Fans Who Were There by [Marc Myers]

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Rock Concert: An Oral History as Told by the Artists, Backstage Insiders, and Fans Who Were There Kindle Edition

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews


Praise for Rock Concert:

Rock Concert tracks the growth of rock-and-roll audiences across the United States from small, dynamic shows after World War II to the televised double-stadium spectacle of Live Aid.”—Washington Post

“With his new book Rock Concert, veteran journalist Marc Myers has marshalled an army to tell the free-wheeling story of the growth of this entertainment staple. Like Legs McNeil’s punk history classic, Please Kill Me and Frank Mastropolo’s recent, Fillmore East: The Venue That Changed Rock History, Myers’ book is a well-ordered oral history weaving through decades of fascinating facts and anecdotes.”—NYS Music

“If your partner loves rock, gift them this book. Or, read it yourself and then impress them with your in-depth knowledge of the history of rock concerts.”—The Zoe Report

“‘You had to be there.’ This account of the rise and evolution of rock through the lens of live performances that brings in DJs, performers, and music journalists takes you there to supply the context and legacy.”—Globe and Mail

“Highly informative…from club gigs in the early 1950s to The Beatles in the early-mid 1960s; from Woodstock in 1969 to Live Aid in 1985; from branding to amplification/lighting; from media coverage to ticketing, Myers and many industry commentators expertly tick them off, one by one.”—Irish Times

“Though its scope and subject matter is wide, Rock Concert is one of the best books on music to come out recently, and its pure first-person, direct quote narrative is the ideal format to tell the story.... Every page offers a new revelation.”—Houston Press

“Entertaining. . . Myers’ book is not a simple hagiography of rock concerts; it’s a story of the development of the rock concert itself, from the 1950s to the 1980s. . . . Reading Myers’ anatomy of a rock concert (his earlier book is Anatomy of a Song) is bound to carry readers back to their memories of their favorite concerts and to encourage them to consider why those memories are so enduring.”—No Depression

“Live performances—and plenty of them—have gone a long way to boost rock ’n’ roll’s popularity over the decades. There are also an increasing number of books about rock stars past and present, but few to none have viewed rock’s burgeoning appeal exclusively through the lens of live performance. Rock Concert by music journalist and historian Marc Myers aims to fill that void and does so with considerable insight and aplomb…Music fans of any age and genre will find a lot of insightful information here. Whether it makes you long for rock ’n’ roll’s good old days—including Woodstock’s now historic mudslide—will depend on your own experiences and the memories Myers’ text arouses.”—Milwaukee Shepherd Express

“Providing excellent context, [Myers has] assembled a narrative whose themes include politics, geography, economics, class, and race, as well as the music itself. And while he necessarily covers familiar territory—the Elvis phenomenon, Dylan plugging in, Woodstock, Altamont—he comes at those watershed episodes from fresh angles, as we hear throughout from promoters, fashion designers, roadies, photographers, and so on...The oral-history approach can be a kick when the voices are engaging, as they frequently are in Rock Concert.”Air Mail

“Myers deftly weaves a compelling narrative that documents decades of music and cultural history…This book places the live concert in context with the broader story of popular music; its insider perspectives have an immediacy that will appeal to a broad swath of music fans.”—Library Journal

“In Rock Concert: An Oral History as Told by the Artists, Backstage Insiders, and Fans Who Were There, music writer Marc Myers (Anatomy of a Song) gathers insights from nearly 100 people who have had something to do with making live rock happen over the years. Collectively, their observations tell the story of the rock concert—Angus Young's shorts and all.”—Shelf Awareness

“Engrossing…Starting with the emergence of R&B in the late 1940s and ending with 1985’s Live Aid benefit, [Myers] vividly recreates what went on behind the scenes, onstage, and in the crowds with intimate accounts from the people who were there… Eminently entertaining, this is sure to delight rock fans of all persuasions.”—Publishers Weekly

“A multifaceted account of the rise of the rock show from the birth of the genre until Live Aid in 1985…A revealing, absorbing book for those who keep their old ticket stubs close at hand.”—Kirkus Reviews

Praise for Marc Myers and Anatomy of a Song:

"In these pieces . . . songwriters and performers speak in their own voices . . . Because of Myers's skill as an interviewer, their pride and enthusiasm come blasting through. Each story is a pleasure to read and will deepen your listening experience . . . Myers bears down hard on these songs and the artists rise to the standards he sets."—New York Times Book Review

"A first-rate playlist . . . A rich history of both the music industry and the baby boomer era."—Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Marc Myers's Anatomy of a Song [is] a winning look at the stories behind 45 pop, punk, folk, soul and country classics . . . A smart, gracious book. His interviews yield some fascinating details."—Washington Post

"[A] splendid volume."—Guardian

"A music lover's dream book."—Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Anatomy of a Song . . . reads like a dream karaoke playlist. Not a dud in sight."—Huffington Post

"Who would've ever guessed the inspiration behind Gladys Knight's soul-stirring "Midnight Train to Georgia" was 70s pinup queen Farrah Fawcett? That's just one of the fascinating song histories revealed in the new book Anatomy of a Song."—New York Post

"The short, sharp chapters breeze by like a particularly well-curated jukebox . . . Fast, fun and informative."—Houston Press

"The most revealing and entertaining compilation of short stories on popular music we have seen this decade."—Goldmine

"Anatomy of A Song. . . gets the lowdown on about forty years of hits straight from the artists' mouths . . . It's always cool to hear how the musical sausage gets made, especially when it's made by geniuses in the field. But Myers also does an outstanding job of unearthing the moments of humor and heartbreak that accompanied the creation of these songs."—American Songwriter

"Myers . . . uncovers the fascinating backstories behind many legendary songs that changed the trajectory of music . . . Culling together anecdotal revelations about happy accidents, deliberately vague lyrical choices and unexpected lapses of confidence, the book manages to both demystify and humanize so many of its iconic subjects . . . Filled with surprises for music fans and aspiring songwriters alike."—BMI Music

"Who doesn't like to listen to musicians tell their stories about the genesis of a song? Or to hear them laugh at the deep meaning that listeners often invest in it when for them it was, well, just a song about a breakup? Myers' book has something for everyone"—No Depression

"The critical ability of Marc Myers shows in his selection of topics and his persistence in hunting down the right people to talk about their songs. But his talent as a writer shows in his willingness to get out of the way and let them talk about their songs . . . Myers pushes his subjects to recollect what had really happened that day in the studio, that moment when the song first came to mind, that instant when the radio began to play it."—Washington Free Beacon

"Countless fun facts dot Anatomy of a Song."—Billboard

"Myers' book succeeds as a collection because he reveals the paradox of popular music: the magical change that transpires once the personal becomes public . . . Perhaps the greatest gift of Anatomy of a Song is its range . . . This is a book that encourages you to go back into your record collection, to the hits you think you remember well."—Las Vegas Weekly

"Myers' . . . work is archival. It is important. It is illuminating."—Under the Radar

"A detailed look at 45 iconic popular songs . . . This will entice general readers and music lovers alike. In his introduction, Myers calls the book an 'oral history jukebox' and popular-music fans everywhere will want to be ready with a pocketful of dimes."—Booklist

"A compelling compendium of behind-the-scenes shop talk that will excite even the most casual music geek."—Bookreporter

"A cultural history of the elusive hit single, focused on artists' recollections and studio alchemy . . . The book's strength lies in thoughtful, wry reflections from artists including Elvis Costello, Jimmy Cliff, Stevie Wonder, Booker T. Jones, Dr. John, and Debbie Harry. An entertaining record of the soundtrack of the baby boomer era."—Kirkus Reviews

"Music fans will enjoy the behind-the-songs stories."—Publishers Weekly

--This text refers to the hardcover edition.

About the Author

Marc Myers is a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal, where he writes about music and the arts. He is the author of the critically acclaimed books Anatomy of a Song and Why Jazz Happened, and posts daily at, a three-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association’s award for Jazz Blog of the Year. --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08YS359LF
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Grove Press (November 9, 2021)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ November 9, 2021
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 34068 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 314 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 0802157912
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 142 ratings

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Marc Myers is a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal, where he writes about music and the arts, and the popular "House Call" column. He is the author of the critically acclaimed books "Anatomy of a Song," "Why Jazz Happened" and "Rock Concert: An Oral History." He also appears monthly on SiriusXM's Feedback and posts daily at the award-winning He can be reached at

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
142 global ratings

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