With names like Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Keith Moon, Billie Holiday, Gram Parsons, the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Patsy Cline, the Sex Pistols, Iggy Pop, Snoop Dogg, Kiss, and Courtney Love, the cast of characters is as spectacular as their lifestyles were notorious. They flouted convention; they defied the establishment. They flung TVs out of hotel windows and drove Rolls Royces into swimming pools. They shot up, they burned out, they came down. For more than fifty years their excesses, scandals, heartbreaks, and tragedies made headline news. And their music changed the rhythms of nations on both side of the Atlantic. Sometimes shocking, always fascinating, this mammoth volume comprises a history of the industry and the artists who reinvented popular music as rock 'n' roll.
In Day-Glo color this chronicle traces the evolution of rock music out of the jazz rhythms of the twenties and the blues of the thirties into the phenomenon of the postmodern rock megastar. It illuminates the power of rock performers onstage and their effect on the three generations of audiences that have shrieked and fainted and applauded in theaters, arenas, open fields, and stadiums across America and around the world. It also explores the lives of rock artists offstage and outside the recording studio -- revealing many of their outrageous secrets. Add to all that, specially commissioned pieces from top names in the business like Ray Davies, Nick Lowe, and Tom Waits, and you have a Mammoth that's a must for music fans everywhere.