Rebels Wit Attitude: Subversive Rock Humorists

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Counterpoint Press, 2008 - Music - 341 pages
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Rock music has been the principal outlet of youth rebellion for more than half a century, and though rock rebels have been idolized and profiled extensively, their humor has not been at the center of attention. In Rebels Wit Attitude, music writer Iain Ellis throws a spotlight on the history of humor in rock music, and its use as a weapon of anti-establishment rebellion. The performers who are the subjects of Ellis’ study are not merely musicians or comedians—they are artists whose works exude defiance and resistance. Discussing the work of iconic figures as diverse as Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, the Beastie Boys, and Madonna, Ellis reveals how issues of politics, ethics, race, and gender, among others, have energized their expressions of rock (and) humor. Rebels Wit Attitude is an entertaining look at some of the greatest rebels in American rock culture and a fascinating history of humor and dissent.

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I have only read a couple pages and this is one very killer stuff to read. I love the wording of it and it gets so deep on the subject of Rock & Roll. Love this!!!! Can't wait to read it all!!! Not sure how to keep it so I can finish reading it :(. Read 2 pages from the total.

Review: Rebels Wit Attitude: Subversive Rock Humorists

User Review  - Larry-bob Roberts - Goodreads

I was browsing this at a store. It looked like an interesting concept, but it seemed to be missing a chapter on queer humor in music -for instance, could write about stuff like fake homos the Frogs vs. Pansy Division. Read full review


Subverrsion Rock Humor
Subversive Rock Humors Defining Features
Youth Orientation
Primal Emotions
Dumb Wit
Seekers and Trailblazers
Three Chords and an Attitude
Gil ScottHeron
Wham Glam
Alice Cooper
ProtoPunk Prototypes
New York Dolls
Modern Lovers
Bored in the USA
The Ramones

Here and Now
Artistic Debts and Futures
Who? Where? When? Why?
Evolution to Revolution
From Race Music to RB to Rock Roll
Chuck Berry
Little Richard
Bo Diddley
White Boys Who Stole the Rhythm Blues
Jerry Lee Lewis
Bawdy Women
Big Mama Thornton
Wanda Jackson
Novelty Humor
The Coasters
THe Comic Craze and Other Visual Spectacles
Screamin Jay Hawkins
The Days The Music Died
Humor Grows Up and Away
Seriously Folk
Bob Dylan
Phil Ochs
Girl Power
The ShangriLas
MidSixties Turning Points
Country Joe the Fish
Bubblegum Pops Up
The Rock CounterCounterculture
The Mothers of Invention
The Fugs
The Velvet Underground
Retreats into the Future
Radical Cynicism
Lost in LA
Warren Zevon
Randy Newman
Fight the Powers
Talking Heads
Out of the Ashes
Postmodern Regenerations
Dead Kennedys
Rap Breaks
Ice T
Beastie Boys
Metal on Metal
Novelty Update
Weird Al Yankovic
This is Radio College
XTreme Humor
Extreme Takeover
Rock in Flux
Slack Attacks
The Years of the Woman
Missy Elliott
A Riot of Their Own
Urban RhapsodieS
Nightmares on Metal Street
Marilyn Manson
Pop Goes the Punk
Roots Rerouted
PostIrony and Identity Humor
Camping Out
Rock On
Countrys Crossroads
Indie Intellectuals
Back to the Future

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Iain Ellis teaches English and youth culture studies at the University of Kansas and writes for PopMatters. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

Bibliographic information