Stories Done: Writings on the 1960s and Its Discontents

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Simon and Schuster, Nov 18, 2008 - Music - 352 pages
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The 1960s and 1970s represent a rare moment in our cultural history -- music was exploring unprecedented territories, literature was undergoing a radical reinvention, politics polarized the nation, and youth culture was at the zenith of its influence. There has never been, nor is there likely to be, another generation that matches the contributions of the artists of that time period.

In this poignant book, journalist Mikal Gilmore weaves a narrative of the '60s and '70s as he examines the lives of the era's most important cultural icons. Keeping the power of rock & roll at the forefront, Gilmore gathers together stories about major artists from every field -- George Harrison, Ken Kesey, Johnny Cash, Allen Ginsberg, to name just a few. Gilmore reveals the truth about this idealized period in history, never shying away from the ugly influences that brought many of rock's most exciting figures to their knees. He examines how Jim Morrison's alcoholism led to the star's death at the age of twenty-seven, how Jerry Garcia's drug problems brought him to the brink of death so many times that his bandmates did not believe the news of his actual demise, how Pink Floyd struggled with the guilt of kicking out founding member Syd Barrett because of his debilitating mental illness. As Gilmore examines the dark side of these complicated figures, he paints a picture of the environment that bred them, taking readers from the rough streets of Liverpool (and its more comfortable suburbs) to the hippie haven of Haight-Ashbury that hosted the infamous Summer of Love. But what resulted from these lives and those times, Gilmore argues, was worth the risk -- in fact, it may be inseparable from those hard costs.

The lives of these dynamic and diverse figures are intertwined with Gilmore's exploration of the social, political, and emotional characteristics that defined the era. His insights and examinations combine to create a eulogy for a formative period of American history.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Darcia - LibraryThing

Mikal Gilmore, who many might know as a longtime writer for Rolling Stone, has a gift with words. In this book, he brings us a collection of stories from figures that were central to the ... Read full review

Stories Done: Writings on the 1960s and Its Discontents

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

When Lester Bangs died in 1982, rock music criticism died with him. Few have equaled his sheer output or the fierceness of his forceful flights of prose. Gilmore, whose writings have appeared ... Read full review


Holy Man published 1997
The Death of the Most Dangerous
The End of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead published 1995
Ken Keseys Great American Trip published 2001
HaightAshbury in the Summer of Loss published 2007
Within and Without
The Virtues of Waste
Bonds of Music and Elegy
The Long Shadow of Led Zeppelin published 2006
The Madness and Wonder of Pink Floyd published 2007
Not ThereThen There previously unpublished
Leonard Cohens Life of Depression from 2002 previously
Acknowledgments and Memoriam

The Mystery Inside John Lennon published 2005
September When It Comes published 2004
Bob Marleys Hell on Earth published 2005

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About the author (2008)

Mikal Gilmore is a journalist and music aficionado who has written for Rolling Stone magazine since the 1970s. His first book, Shot in the Heart, is a National Book Critics Circle and L.A. Times Book Prize-winning memoir about his older brother Gary, the first man to be executed in Utah after pleading guilty to murder.

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