Tomorrow Never Knows Rock and Psychedelics in the 1960s
- List Price: $25.00
- Binding: Hardcover
- Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
- Publish date: 11/01/2000
"There was something rigorous and instructive in getting stoned and listening to music as if it really mattered", writes Nick Bromell. His book is the first to take seriously the "drugs and rock 'n' roll" side of the 1960s -- a side too often eclipsed by oversimplifications of that decade's hedonism or political idealism. To truly understand those years, Bromell argues, we must go back to the primal scene in which listening to rock -- the Beatles, Dylan, Doors, Hendrix -- was fused with the experience of being high. What did young people hear? What did they feel and think and learn?
Tomorrow Never Knows focuses not on the stars who produced the music or on the leaders of the counterculture, but on those who sat in their dorm rooms and group houses, smoked dope, and played albums. Weaving together memoir and musicology, history and politics, Bromell shows how millions of listeners mixed rock and psychedelics in a quest to make sense of themselves and their times. This combination was not mere escapism, he argues, but a vital public philosophy, one that we must do justice to in order to understand not just the past but the present. For the most enduring legacy of the '60s -- and the reason we both celebrate and revile them today -- may be that they inaugurated a profound instability, a sense that foundations are fictions and culture itself a lie. As Bromell shows, this vision was expressed in complex ways in a body of music that has forced us to rethink what "pop music" can be.
Tomorrow Never Knows is both a meditation on the ways the present remembers the past and an indispensable contribution to our understanding of the cataclysmic 1960s.