Easy Riders, Rolling Stones: On The Road In America, From Delta Blues To 70s Rock by John ScanlanEasy Riders, Rolling Stones: On The Road In America, From Delta Blues To 70s Rock by John Scanlan

Easy Riders, Rolling Stones: On The Road In America, From Delta Blues To 70s Rock

byJohn Scanlan

Paperback | November 15, 2015

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Easy Riders, Rolling Stones delves into the history of twentieth century American popular music to explore the emergence of 60s “road music.” This music—which includes styles like blues and R&B——­­took shape at pivotal moments in history and was made by artists and performers who were, in various ways, seekers after freedom. Whether journeying across the country, breaking free from real or imaginary confines, or in the throes of self-invention, these artists incorporated their experiences into scores of songs about travel and movement, as well as creating a new kind of road culture. 

Starting in the Mississippi Delta and tracking the emblematic routes and highways of road music, John Scanlan explores the music and the life of movement it so often represented, identifying  “the road” as the key to an existence that was uncompromising. He shows how the road became an inspiration for musicians like Jim Morrison and Bob Dylan and how these musicians also drew stimulus from a Beat movement that was equally enthralled with the possibilities of travel. He also shows how the quintessential American concepts of freedom and travel influenced English bands such as the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin. These bands may have been foreigners in the US, but they also found their spiritual home there—of blues and rock ‘n’ roll––and glimpsed the possibility of a new kind of existence, on the road.
Easy Riders, Rolling Stones is an entertaining, rich account of a key strand of American music history, and will appeal to both road music fans and music scholars who want to “head out on the highway.”
John Scanlan is senior lecturer in sociology and cultural studies at Manchester Metropolitan University and the author of Memory: Encounters with the Strange and the Familiar; Van Halen: Exuberant California, Zen Rock ‘n’ Roll; and On Garbage, all published by Reaktion Books. 
Title:Easy Riders, Rolling Stones: On The Road In America, From Delta Blues To 70s RockFormat:PaperbackDimensions:248 pages, 8.25 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:November 15, 2015Publisher:Reaktion BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1780235291

ISBN - 13:9781780235295

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Table of Contents


1. Early Delta Blues
2. Journeys into the Past: Delta Myths and Realities
3. Robert Johnson’s Crossroads
4. Journeys into the Future: From Blues and Rock’ n ’Roll to Dylan
5. Jim Morrison’s Highway to Oblivion
6. Rolling Stones, Through the Looking-Glass
7. Live in Front of Your Naked Eyes and Ears
8. Led Zeppelin: Travelers of Time and Space


Photo Acknowledgements

Editorial Reviews

“Scanlan delivers a beautifully rich and finely researched account of how America’s endless highway has influenced and manifested itself in key artists’ work. . . . Scanlan draws from known documentation but displays an innate feel for his subject as he throws up insightful theories about the more direct times before social media, when artists could be covered at close range by chroniclers of the time. . . . It’s rare to find a tome which makes you ponder then punch the air in agreement, but this highly recommended work is as much an endangered species as its subjects.”