By Ellen Willis
From the New Yorker’s inimitable first pop tune critic comes this pioneering selection of essays via a conscientious author whose political realm is either radical and rational, and whose leading preoccupations are with rock ’n’ roll, sexuality, and exceptionally, freedom. right here Ellen Willis usually captures the joys of track, the disdain of authoritarian tradition, and the rebellious spirit of the ’60s and ’70s.
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Additional resources for Beginning to See the Light: Sex, Hope, and Rock-and-Roll
It contained only two Dylan compositions, both nonpolitical. Dylan began publishing his topical songs in Broadside. Like his contemporaries, he was more propagandist than artist, his syntax often barbarous, his diction crude. Even so, his work stood out—it contained the most graphic descriptions of racial atrocities. But Dylan also had a gentler mood. Road songs like "Song to Woody" strove—not too successfully—for Guthrie's expressive understatement and simple, traditional sound. " Set to a melody adapted from a spiritual, it combined indignation with Guthriesque simplicity and added a touch of original imagery.
At the July 1965 Newport Folk Festival he appeared with his electric guitar and was booed off the stage. Alan Lomax, America's foremost authority on folk song, felt Dylan had chucked his artistry for a big audience and forsaken a mature culture for one that was evanescent and faddish. ' " Defiantly, Dylan exacerbated the furor, insisting on his contempt for message songs and his indifference to causes, refusing to agonize over his wealth or his taxes ("Uncle Sam, he's my uncle! "). In one notorious interview he claimed he had written topical songs only to get published in Broadside and attract attention.
We had. Friends began to admit, with smiles, that they'd seen Bobby; he was rewriting his book; he was about to sign a contract with MGM Records. The new rumor was that the accident had been a cover for retreat. After Blonde on Blonde, his intensive foray into the pop demimonde, Dylan needed time to replenish his 3 OUT OF THE VINYL DEEPS imagination. According to a less romantic version, he was keeping quiet till his contracts expired. The confusion was typical. Not since Rimbaud said "7 is another" has an artist been so obsessed with escaping identity.
Beginning to See the Light: Sex, Hope, and Rock-and-Roll by Ellen Willis