Rip It Up: The Black Experience in Rock N Roll
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About this book
When Mos Def, platinum-selling New York-based rapper, decided to make a foray into rock 'n roll he called his band "Jack Johnson." The name choice was a telling one: Johnson was the first black world heavyweight boxing champion, a man who has been described as "fighting not only for his own dignity but also to knock white America off its haughty perch." The band Jack Johnson continues the tradition of setting the story straight by challenging the notion that rock is an exclusively white domain. Collecting the stories of Jimi Hendrix, Arthur Lee and Love, Prince, the punk band Bad Brains, and more obscure black members of "white" bands, along with original interviews with Slash from Guns n' Roses, Little Richard, Lenny Kravitz, and others, it becomes clear that the true story of blacks in rock has remained largely untold for far too long. This is essential reading for any rock fan, presenting the history of rock from an angle unseen until now.
Kandia Crazy Horse is among the most knowledgable music writers -- and the most unprejudiced -- in the United States. As a writer, superb lecturer/ teacher, recently occupying the prestigious Princeton chair bestowed on such stringent luminaries as Greil Marcus, she values the late and the living: James Brown and the Drive-by Truckers. If you were, unlike Diann and me, fortunate enough to be in DC a year or so ago and thus able to catch her talk at the Smithsonian celebration of the Apollo Theatre, count yourself lucky. If you weren't, seek out her book, her easily Google-able journalism, and relish, savor, glut yourself.