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Podcast

Rock N Roll Archaeology

An episodic overview of the history of Rock Music. Think of it as a college level Rock N Roll 101 course...or if you prefer, a multi-part audio documentary. We take in the music, culture and technology of the second half of the 20th Century to prove how significant and how much impact this art movement had to the times, while still resonating today. It’s carefully researched, fully scripted and highly produced...a little bit academic in tone, because we do our homework. But we throw in a lot of fun too: music, storytelling, commentary and quotes, lots of sound design. The series is presented in chronological order, and we take our time making these, really trying to get the history right. Rock N Roll Archaeology is the world's first HD Podcast and a proud part of Pantheon - the podcast network for music lovers. ... More...
February 7, 202430:03
To mark the 60th anniversary of The Beatles' inaugural performance on U.S. soil, we decided to do a quick compare-and-contrast. We’ll revisit that watershed moment in music and culture, and talk about something recent that actually comes close to matching that moment: the ongoing Eras Tour from Taylor Swift. Not “Bigger THAN The Beatles,” but in our not-so-humble opinion, “Biggest SINCE The Beatles.” Listen in and let us know what you think! www.rocknrollarchaeology.com/listen Producer and Host: Christian Swain Head Writer: Richard Evans Sound Designer: Jerry Danielsen Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
... More...
December 25, 202301:18:01
The Soul of the 1970s. First, Marvin Gaye kicked the door open with “What’s Going On,” and then Stevie Wonder barged in. The Wonder Years spanned 1971 to 1976; when the transcendent, diverse talent of Stevie Wonder was in its fullest flower. That five-album span is one of the most successful and impactful creative runs in the history of recorded music. Our podcast offers immersive storytelling, insightful commentary, and a stellar musical playlist. Join us as we delve deep into the lives and musical genius of these iconic Soul-Music luminaries. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7s4Vyw1FLb4XpJnANduFPs?si=14746e9dd53049b1 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
... More...
August 21, 202341:34
Welcome back to Rock N Roll Archaeology! Got another RNRA Short Podcast for you. This one is named after the Kinks song “Celluloid Heroes.” Rock N Roll goes to the movies (and television) in this one. We’ll take a look at three shows that feature fictional Rock bands: the movies “Almost Famous” and “This Is Spinal Tap,” and the television miniseries “Daisy Jones & The Six.” Visit our website for more about this and all our other podcast episodes, and for links to our Patreon and Social Media. Keep up the Rockin’! Dramatis Personae Kellen Reiche played Danny Failson Lynly Ehrlich played Liz Limer Jerry Danielsen played Joe Conrad Courtney M. Anderson played Heller Joseph Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
... More...
July 24, 202302:23
The Metallica Report is coming! Keep up with all things Metallica by going straight to the source for your news. This weekly report is hosted by Steffan Chirazi, long-time rock scribe and editor of the band’s online mag, So What!, and Renée Richardson, a well-known Bay Area radio personality who now oversees the band’s foundation, All Within My Hands.   Steffan and Renée will keep you in the loop each week with updates, features, and interviews. They’ll also get YOUR questions answered by those in the know. It’s your quick, weekly fix covering our most relevant topics of the day. The first report drops this Wednesday July 26! http://metallica.lnk.to/TheMetallicaReport Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
... More...
June 7, 202334:20
RNRA Shorts: Disco Demolition!  Take us back to the Distant Days of Disco, Summer of 1979. Steve Dahl, a brash young DJ at WLUP- FM (“Chicago’s Best Rock!”), has declared war on Disco.  On July 12, 1979, he took the fight to Comiskey Park, in between games of a doubleheader between the home-team Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers. Things…got out of hand.  Since then, the “Disco Demolition” at Comiskey has achieved no small amount of notoriety, and at least according to Steve Dahl, it was a turning point, the beginning of the end for Disco.  Was it really? Well, yes and no. In our view, the Disco trend was already on the decline; it had pretty much run its course. But there was a powerful backlash to Disco, that’s undeniable. What motivated that backlash? And what was the fallout from the actual event?  Let’s discuss! For sources and show notes, visit rocknrollarchaeology.com ! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
... More...
May 3, 202356:40
We want the airwaves, baby! Chapter 23 of Rock N Roll Archaeology tunes into radio and radio culture in America and elsewhere. There was a brief moment in the 70s and early 80s where FM Rock Radio was something pretty special.So what was that like, and where have all the good times gone? Some storytelling in this one, but it’s a little heavier on the commentary…and of course we’re featuring some killer songs, because that’s how we roll. “Begin the day with a friendly voice, a companion unobtrusive, Plays that song that’s so elusive” For full show notes and to support Rock and Roll Archaeology visit www.rocknrollarchaeology.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
... More...
January 17, 202325:23
Remembering the late great Jeff Beck, the guitarist’s guitarist. An innovator and an iconoclast with a bold experimental spirit, Jeff left his unique stamp on hundreds of great songs. Songs Jeff Beck: “Diamond Dust,” from Blow By Blow Jeff Beck: “Blue Wind,” from Wired The Yardbirds: “Stroll On,” from the soundtrack to Blow Up Jeff Beck with Bones UK: “The Revolution Will Be Televised” from Loud Hailer Jeff Beck: “Freeway Jam,” from Blow by Blow Bill Haley and The Comets: “Rock Around the Clock,” single released 1955 Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen: “Hot Rod Lincoln” from Lost in the Ozone Stevie Wonder: “Looking for Another Pure Love,” from Talking Book Jeff Beck, “Thelonius,” from Blow by Blow Jeff Beck, “Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers,” from Blow by BlowCredits Author Dennis Hartley voiced by Doug Herzog In Memoriam Chip Isaac tribute charity: Bay Area Border Relief. https://www.bayareaborderrelief.org/ Podcasts Rock N Roll Archaeology, Chapter 21: Guitarmageddon Rock N Roll Archaeology, Chapter 8: Meet the Beatles, Part 2 Deeper Digs in Rock: Bones UK Books Martin Power, Hot Wired Guitar:The Life of Jeff Beck, 2014 Online Sources The Alchemist: RIP Jeff Beck – Digby's HullabalooJeff Beck's favourite guitar solos How Jeff Beck made Stevie Wonder go No. 1 with 'Superstition' Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
... More...
October 30, 202228:19
Examining–and reconsidering–The Rocky Horror Picture Show. At the time, it was transgressive, outrageous; but now it seems a little bit tame. And…a bit problematic, when taken in a modern context. But it's still the ultimate midnight movie, and it's still…just a jump to the left!  Songs: RHPS Cast: “There’s a Light,” from the soundtrack album RHPS Cast: “The Time Warp,” from the soundtrack album Tim Curry: “I Do The Rock,” from Fearless RHPS Cast: “Sweet Transvestite,” from the soundtrack album Frank Zappa and the Mothers: “Cheepnis,” from Roxy & Elsewhere RHPS Cast: “Science Fiction Double Feature,” from the soundtrack album RHPS Cast: “Hot Patootie - Bless My Soul,” from the soundtrack album RHPS Cast: “Rose Tint My World,” from the soundtrack album RHPS Cast: “Super Heroes,” from the soundtrack Online Resources: First, we want to give a warm and appreciative shoutout to the blogger Alex Mell-Taylor; we leaned heavily on their post for this chapter:     Gently Ripping Apart ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ | by Alex Mell -Taylor Here’s a link to more by Alex Mell - Taylor at Medium.com. The Rocky Horror Wiki How I learned to stop worrying and love the Rocky Horror Picture Show Rock's Back Pages: It's only a movie The 50 Best Sci Fi Movies of the 1970s Golden Age of Science Fiction Books: 11 of the Era's Most Influential Titles Tim Curry The Rocky Horror Picture Show: A Cult Classic that Challenged Sexual Mores | The Artifice Rocky Horror Picture Show – a How-To Guide for Audience Participation We Live in the World ‘Rocky Horror’ Created Written by Richard Evans and Christian Swain Produced and hosted by Christian Swain Sound Design by Jerry Danielsen Partners: Rock's Backpages Voice Actors: Drew H as Alex Mell-Taylor
... More...
October 29, 202200:26:04

Examining–and reconsidering–The Rocky Horror Picture Show. At the time, it was transgressive, outrageous; but now it seems a little bit tame. And…a bit problematic, when taken in a modern context. But it's still the ultimate midnight movie, and it's still…just a jump to the left! 

Songs:

  • RHPS Cast: “There’s a Light,” from the soundtrack album
  • RHPS Cast: “The Time Warp,” from the soundtrack album
  • Tim Curry: “I Do The Rock,” from Fearless
  • RHPS Cast: “Sweet Transvestite,” from the soundtrack album
  • Frank Zappa and the Mothers: “Cheepnis,” from Roxy & Elsewhere
  • RHPS Cast: “Science Fiction Double Feature,” from the soundtrack album
  • RHPS Cast: “Hot Patootie - Bless My Soul,” from the soundtrack album
  • RHPS Cast: “Rose Tint My World,” from the soundtrack album
  • RHPS Cast: “Super Heroes,” from the soundtrack

Online Resources:

First, we want to give a warm and appreciative shoutout to the blogger Alex Mell-Taylor; we leaned heavily on their post for this chapter:    

Written by Richard Evans and Christian Swain

Produced and hosted by Christian Swain

Sound Design by Jerry Danielsen

Partners: Rock's Backpages

Voice Actors: Drew H as Alex Mell-Taylor

... More...
September 23, 202200:25:50

Bands in the van, and a band at the crossroads. In this episode of RNRA Shorts, we’ll get into the early days of Pink Floyd, and the latest from a Pink Floyd member: Nick Mason’s 2022 Saucerful of Secrets tour. 

Written by Richard Evans and Christian Swain, Sound Design by Jerry Danielsen.  

Sponsors and Partners

Songs

  • Pink Floyd, “Echoes,” from Meddle
  • Pink Floyd, “See Emily Play,” from Piper at the Gates of Dawn
  • Pink Floyd, “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” from A Saucerful of Secrets
  • Pink Floyd, “Interstellar Overdrive,” from Piper at the Gates of Dawn
  • Pink Floyd, “Bike,” from Piper at the Gates of Dawn
  • Pink Floyd, “Fearless,” from Meddle
  • Pink Floyd, “One of These Days,” from Meddle
  • Pink Floyd, “Jugband Blues,” from A Saucerful of Secrets
  • Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets: “Arnold Layne,” from Live at the Roundhouse

Books

  • Mason, Nick. Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd Chronicle Books LLC. Kindle Edition. 
  • Cutler, Sam. You Can't Always Get What You Want: My Life with the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead and Other Wonderful Reprobates . ECW Press. Kindle Edition. 

Films, Documentaries, and TV Shows

Online Sources

... More...
September 23, 202228:05
Bands in the van, and a band at the crossroads. In this episode of RNRA Shorts, we’ll get into the early days of Pink Floyd, and the latest from a Pink Floyd member: Nick Mason’s 2022 Saucerful of Secrets tour.  Written by Richard Evans and Christian Swain, Sound Design by Jerry Danielsen.   Sponsors and Partners Nick Mason's Saucerful Of Secrets Rock’s Backpages Songs Pink Floyd, “Echoes,” from Meddle Pink Floyd, “See Emily Play,” from Piper at the Gates of Dawn Pink Floyd, “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” from A Saucerful of Secrets Pink Floyd, “Interstellar Overdrive,” from Piper at the Gates of Dawn Pink Floyd, “Bike,” from Piper at the Gates of Dawn Pink Floyd, “Fearless,” from Meddle Pink Floyd, “One of These Days,” from Meddle Pink Floyd, “Jugband Blues,” from A Saucerful of Secrets Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets: “Arnold Layne,” from Live at the Roundhouse Books Mason, Nick. Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd Chronicle Books LLC. Kindle Edition. Cutler, Sam. You Can't Always Get What You Want: My Life with the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead and Other Wonderful Reprobates . ECW Press. Kindle Edition. Films, Documentaries, and TV Shows “What Drives Us,” Directed by Dave Grohl, 2021 "Omnibus" Syd Barrett: Crazy Diamond (TV Episode 2001) - IMDb Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (Short 1973) - IMDb Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets: Live at the Roundhouse (2020) - IMDb Online Sources Pink Floyd | Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Why Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason Finally Went Solo at 75 – Rolling Stone How Pink Floyd Carried on With 'A Saucerful of Secrets' Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets Concert Setlist at Zagrebački velesajam - Paviljon 9, Zagreb on May 31, 2022
... More...
August 12, 202200:25:21

Content warning: Here at RNRA, we don’t hide our views. At all. But when it comes to politics, we try not to be in-your-face about it either. Our little slogan is “Just tell the story, and the point will get made.”This time though, we’re a little more overt, we’re letting it rip just a little bit. This particular burr has been under our saddle for a while now.Now: on with the show. 

Summer Time is Shorts Time! RNRA Shorts, that is!

So…here’s a thing. Sometimes we visit Right Wing World online, that’s usually how it starts.On these expeditions we’ll sometimes run into some whinging about “Woke Progressives” cancelling right wing culture and entertainment, or just griping in general about perceived left/liberal bias in popular culture.They’re not totally wrong about that. They’re right, just for the wrong reasons, and we’ll explain why.It’s not just complaining they do. We also see a lot of co-opting and outright stealing. And when they take Rock music and culture and dishonestly try to repurpose it, try to make it serve the conservative agenda, well…unintentional hilarity ensues.So we’ll do some roasting, but we’ll also do some thinking out loud, talk a little about the how and why, and even delve into the deeper history of…the Art of the Steal.

Enjoy!

Sponsors and Partners

BetterHelp
Rock’s Backpages
Boldfoot

Songs

Parliament Funkadelic: “One Nation Under A Groove”
Thomas Dolby: “Pulp Culture”
Ted Nugent: “Stranglehold”
Ted Nugent: “Hey Baby”
They Might Be Giants: “Your Racist Friend”
Neil Young: “Rockin’ in the Free World”
Woody Guthrie: “This Land is Your Land”
Trey Parker and Matt Stone: “America, Fuck Yeah”
Toby Keith: “Courtesy of the Red White and Blue”
Living Colour: “Cult of Personality”
Stevie Wonder: “He’s Misstra Know It All”
Green Day: “American Idiot”

Sources

Apocalypse Now: “Mangoes and Tigers” Scene (Retrieved from YouTube)
Roy Edroso Breaks it Down Substack (Paywalled. Roy writes a lot about this issue, and we think he’s really astute–and hilarious.)
The Five Most Repellent Things Ted Nugent Has Ever Done | Rocks Off
Music News: Why can't musicians get politicians to stop playing their songs?
The President’s Shock at the Rows of Empty Seats in Tulsa - The New York Times
American Cringe: Why can’t the contemporary right make art?
Episode 5: The Ballad of Bob and J.R. — Pantheon Podcasts
A Defence of Poetry

Voice Talent 

Darryl Alber as blogger Cameron Summers

... More...
August 11, 202227:36
Content warning: Here at RNRA, we don’t hide our views. At all. But when it comes to politics, we try not to be in-your-face about it either. Our little slogan is “Just tell the story, and the point will get made.”This time though, we’re a little more overt, we’re letting it rip just a little bit. This particular burr has been under our saddle for a while now.Now: on with the show.  Summer Time is Shorts Time! RNRA Shorts, that is! So…here’s a thing. Sometimes we visit Right Wing World online, that’s usually how it starts.On these expeditions we’ll sometimes run into some whinging about “Woke Progressives” cancelling right wing culture and entertainment, or just griping in general about perceived left/liberal bias in popular culture.They’re not totally wrong about that. They’re right, just for the wrong reasons, and we’ll explain why.It’s not just complaining they do. We also see a lot of co-opting and outright stealing. And when they take Rock music and culture and dishonestly try to repurpose it, try to make it serve the conservative agenda, well…unintentional hilarity ensues.So we’ll do some roasting, but we’ll also do some thinking out loud, talk a little about the how and why, and even delve into the deeper history of…the Art of the Steal. Enjoy! Sponsors and Partners BetterHelp Rock’s Backpages Boldfoot Songs Parliament Funkadelic: “One Nation Under A Groove” Thomas Dolby: “Pulp Culture” Ted Nugent: “Stranglehold” Ted Nugent: “Hey Baby” They Might Be Giants: “Your Racist Friend” Neil Young: “Rockin’ in the Free World” Woody Guthrie: “This Land is Your Land” Trey Parker and Matt Stone: “America, Fuck Yeah” Toby Keith: “Courtesy of the Red White and Blue” Living Colour: “Cult of Personality” Stevie Wonder: “He’s Misstra Know It All” Green Day: “American Idiot” Sources Apocalypse Now: “Mangoes and Tigers” Scene (Retrieved from YouTube) Roy Edroso Breaks it Down Substack (Paywalled. Roy writes a lot about this issue, and we think he’s really astute–and hilarious.) The Five Most Repellent Things Ted Nugent Has Ever Done | Rocks Off Music News: Why can't musicians get politicians to stop playing their songs? The President’s Shock at the Rows of Empty Seats in Tulsa - The New York Times American Cringe: Why can’t the contemporary right make art? Episode 5: The Ballad of Bob and J.R. — Pantheon Podcasts A Defence of Poetry Voice Talent  Darryl Alber as blogger Cameron Summers
... More...
July 5, 202201:09:53

We start with a tragedy, then a cautionary tale of the world not ready for a band. We then find more positive inspiration from an artist who delivers a huge seller. We end with a legend.  

Janis Joplin dies just before releasing her magnum opus, “Pearl.” A band called Fanny is ready to rock, but a culture poisoned by the patriarchy isn’t yet ready to accept them. Carole King makes Tapestry, a sincere, modest, and deeply personal album that hits huge and becomes a milestone for women. We complete the story with a profile of one of the giants of 20th Century Music, Joni Mitchell. We discuss her artistic and commercial peak in the early 70s with “Blue,” “For the Roses,” and “Court and Spark.” We admire all of these women for kicking down the door, and we celebrate the progress we’ve made since them, but there is still a long way to go. 

Now for some general remarks about the research and writing.

To the best of our ability, we tried to center women in this chapter. We’ll leave it to the listener to decide how we did with that.

There’s a diversity of opinion about this, but we think it’s fair to say the second wave of feminism hits the crest during the period we are covering, and it is not at all a coincidence that women really start to make big and important contributions to Rock Music right around this time too. 

Roe vs Wade was decided right around here, about fifty years ago. We are painfully aware of the US Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe, stripping many millions of American women of their fundamental human rights to bodily autonomy and medical privacy.

As we move forward with our chapters, we will document that half century of regressive backlash and how it got us here; it’s part of the story. Like we often say, Rock N Roll reflects back on, interacts with, and affects the larger society. And vice versa. In the late Sixties and early Seventies, it seemed like the progress would be permanent, and that more progress was on the way. Some of us were naive enough to believe that. We would do well now to remember the words of the anti slavery activist Frederick Douglass, way back in 1857: 

This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. 

Songs

  • Janis Joplin: “Move Over,” from Pearl, 1971
  • Janis Joplin: “Mercedes Benz,” from Pearl, 1971
  • Janis Joplin: “A Woman Left Lonely,” from Pearl, 1971
  • Janis Joplin: “Buried Alive in the Blues,” from Pearl, 1971
  • Janis Joplin: “Pearl,” from Pearl, 1971
  • Janis Joplin: “Get it While You Can,” from Pearl, 1971
  • Janis Joplin: “Me & Bobby McGee,” from Pearl, 1971
  • Fanny: “Blind Alley,” from Fanny Hill, 1972
  • Fanny: “Hey Bulldog,” from Fanny Hill, 1972
  • Fanny: “Ain’t That Peculiar,” from Fanny Hill, 1972
  • Fanny: “Cat Fever,” from Charity Ball, 1971
  • Fanny, “Butter Boy,” from Rock and Roll Survivors, 1974

Collage of Carole King Songs: 

  1. One Fine Day - Chiffons
  2. Will You Love Me Tomorrow - The Shirelles
  3. The Locomotion - Little Eva
  4. I’m Into Something Good - Herman’s Hermits
  5. Pleasant Valley Sunday - The Monkees
  6. Up on the Roof - Drifters
  7. Don’t Bring Me Down - The Animals
  8. Take Care Good Care of My Baby - Bobby Vee
  9. Chains - Beatles
  10. Just Once in My Life - Righteous Brothers. 
  11. Go Away Little Girl - Steve Lawrence
  12. Oh No Not My Baby - Dusty Springfield
  13. One Fine Day - Carole King
  • Carole King: “You’ve Got a Friend,” from Tapestry, 1971
  • Carole King: “I Feel the Earth Move, from Tapestry, 1971
  • Carole King: “It’s Too Late,” from Tapestry, 1971
  • Carole King: “Beautiful,” from Tapestry, 1971
  • Carole King: “So Far Away,” from Tapestry, 1971
  • Carole King, “Tapestry,” from Tapestry, 1971
  • Joni Mitchell, “California,” from Blue, 1971
  • Joni Mitchell, “The Circle Game,” from Clouds, 1970
  • Joni Mitchell, “All I Want,” from Blue, 1971
  • Joni Mitchell, “You Turn Me on I’m a Radio, from For The Roses, 1972
  • Joni Mitchell, “Free Man in Paris,” from Court and Spark, 1973
  • Joni Mitchell, “Raised on Robbery,” from Miles of Aisles, 1974
  • Joni Mitchell (with The Band), “Coyote,” from The Last Waltz, 1978
  • Herbie Hancock (with Wayne Shorter, and Corrinne Bailey Rae), “River” from River: The Joni Letters, 2007
  • Joni Mitchell: “Help Me,” from Court and Spark, 1973

Voice Talent

  • Richard Evans as L.A. County Coroner
  • Stephanie Pena as Alice Echols
  • Stephanie Meyers as the voice of Creem Magazine
  • Amanda Morck as Meredith Ochs
  • Christy Alexander Hallberg as the voice of the IMA mission statement
  • Carole King as Herself
  • Erin Alden as Tanya Pearson
  • Lynley Ehrlich as Carol Hanisch
  • Thessaly Lerner as Judy Kutulas
  • Holly Cantos as the voice of the New York Times

Online Resources

Rock’s Back Pages

Coroner's Report, archived at janisjoplin.net 

ABC Nightly News Report, from October 4th, 1970

Deeper Digs in Rock: 'Rock N Roll Woman: The Fifty Fiercest Female Rockers' with Meredith Ochs

The Institute for the Musical Arts

1416 N. La Brea Ave, Hollywood

50 years ago, the Sylmar earthquake shook L.A., and nothing’s been the same since

Women of Rock Oral History Project

"That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be": Baby Boomers, 1970s Singer-Songwriters, and Romantic Relationships

Carol Hanisch The Personal is Political

New York Times “Albums as Mileposts in a Musical Century”

Deeper Digs in Rock: Reckless Daughter - A Portrait of Joni Mitchell

Jonimitchell.com

Joni Mitchell, Woman of Heart and Mind

Books

  • Joan Didion, “Slouching Towards Bethlehem”
  • Alice Echols: “Scars of Sweet Paradise” 
  • Carole King: “Natural Woman”
  • Meredith Ochs: “Rock And Roll Woman: The Fifty Fiercest Women Rockers”
  • Sheila Weller: “Girls Like Us”
  • Jerry Wexler: “Rhythm and the Blues” 
  • David Yaffe: “Reckless Daughter”

Documentaries and Films

Fanny: The Right to Rock

... More...
July 5, 202201:12:08
We start with a tragedy, then a cautionary tale of the world not ready for a band. We then find more positive inspiration from an artist who delivers a huge seller. We end with a legend.   Janis Joplin dies just before releasing her magnum opus, “Pearl.” A band called Fanny is ready to rock, but a culture poisoned by the patriarchy isn’t yet ready to accept them. Carole King makes Tapestry, a sincere, modest, and deeply personal album that hits huge and becomes a milestone for women. We complete the story with a profile of one of the giants of 20th Century Music, Joni Mitchell. We discuss her artistic and commercial peak in the early 70s with “Blue,” “For the Roses,” and “Court and Spark.” We admire all of these women for kicking down the door, and we celebrate the progress we’ve made since them, but there is still a long way to go.  Now for some general remarks about the research and writing. To the best of our ability, we tried to center women in this chapter. We’ll leave it to the listener to decide how we did with that. There’s a diversity of opinion about this, but we think it’s fair to say the second wave of feminism hits the crest during the period we are covering, and it is not at all a coincidence that women really start to make big and important contributions to Rock Music right around this time too.  Roe vs Wade was decided right around here, about fifty years ago. We are painfully aware of the US Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe, stripping many millions of American women of their fundamental human rights to bodily autonomy and medical privacy. As we move forward with our chapters, we will document that half century of regressive backlash and how it got us here; it’s part of the story. Like we often say, Rock N Roll reflects back on, interacts with, and affects the larger society. And vice versa. In the late Sixties and early Seventies, it seemed like the progress would be permanent, and that more progress was on the way. Some of us were naive enough to believe that. We would do well now to remember the words of the anti slavery activist Frederick Douglass, way back in 1857:  This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.  Voice Talent Richard Evans as L.A. County Coroner Stephanie Pena as Alice Echols Stephanie Meyers as the voice of Creem Magazine Amanda Morck as Meredith Ochs Christy Alexander Hallberg as the voice of the IMA mission statement Carole King as Herself Erin Alden as Tanya Pearson Lynley Ehrlich as Carol Hanisch Thessaly Lerner as Judy Kutulas Holly Cantos as the voice of the New York Times Online Resources Rock’s Back Pages Coroner's Report, archived at janisjoplin.net  ABC Nightly News Report, from October 4th, 1970 Deeper Digs in Rock: 'Rock N Roll Woman: The Fifty Fiercest Female Rockers' with Meredith Ochs The Institute for the Musical Arts 1416 N. La Brea Ave, Hollywood 50 years ago, the Sylmar earthquake shook L.A., and nothing’s been the same since Women of Rock Oral History Project "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be": Baby Boomers, 1970s Singer-Songwriters, and Romantic Relationships Carol Hanisch The Personal is Political New York Times “Albums as Mileposts in a Musical Century” Deeper Digs in Rock: Reckless Daughter - A Portrait of Joni Mitchell Jonimitchell.com Joni Mitchell, Woman of Heart and Mind Books Joan Didion, “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” Alice Echols: “Scars of Sweet Paradise” Carole King: “Natural Woman” Meredith Ochs: “Rock And Roll Woman: The Fifty Fiercest Women Rockers” Sheila Weller: “Girls Like Us” Jerry Wexler: “Rhythm and the Blues” David Yaffe: “Reckless Daughter” Documentaries and Films Fanny: The Right to Rock
... More...
March 15, 202200:23:52

Welcome back to RNRA Shorts! This time, it’s Filth Through The Ages, and let’s meet some unlikely Free Speech Warriors. Yes, we said it, and we will die on this hill: The Juggalos Are Alright.


Psst, hey! Got a topic suggestion? Let us know!  


Songs

Frank Zappa: “Stinkfoot,” from Apostrophe’, 1974

Insane Clown Posse: “My Axe,” from Bizzar, 2000

Insane Clown Posse: “Hokus Pokus,” from The Great Milenko, 1997

Insane Clown Posse: “To Catch A Predator,” from Bang! Pow! Boom! Nuclear, 2010

Insane Clown Posse: “Boogie Woogie Wu,” from The Great Milenko, 1997

Insane Clown Posse: “What Is A Juggalo,” from The Great Milenko, 1997

AC/DC: “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” from Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, 1976

Insane Clown Posse with Perpetual Hype Engine: “Let’s Go All The Way,” from Bizzar, 2000 


Books

Nathan Rabin: You Don’t Know Me But You Don’t Like Me, 2013


Documentaries and Videos

American Juggalo (Recommended!)

Trailer for “The United States of Insanity” (Just released on 12/10/2021, also recommended!) 

ICP Press Conference Video from 9/16/2017 (Behind Time Magazine’s paywall, but the first three views are free.)


Online Resources

Insane Clown Posse’s Official Website

Catullus

The First Amendment Right to be a Juggalo

The FBI Memorandum on Juggalos in pdf format (This one is a real piece of work!)

... More...
March 15, 202228:07
Welcome back to RNRA Shorts! This time, it’s Filth Through The Ages, and let’s meet some unlikely Free Speech Warriors. Yes, we said it, and we will die on this hill: The Juggalos Are Alright. Psst, hey! Got a topic suggestion? Let us know!   Songs Frank Zappa: “Stinkfoot,” from Apostrophe’, 1974 Insane Clown Posse: “My Axe,” from Bizzar, 2000 Insane Clown Posse: “Hokus Pokus,” from The Great Milenko, 1997 Insane Clown Posse: “To Catch A Predator,” from Bang! Pow! Boom! Nuclear, 2010 Insane Clown Posse: “Boogie Woogie Wu,” from The Great Milenko, 1997 Insane Clown Posse: “What Is A Juggalo,” from The Great Milenko, 1997 AC/DC: “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” from Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, 1976 Insane Clown Posse with Perpetual Hype Engine: “Let’s Go All The Way,” from Bizzar, 2000  Books Nathan Rabin: You Don’t Know Me But You Don’t Like Me, 2013 Documentaries and Videos American Juggalo (Recommended!) Trailer for “The United States of Insanity” (Just released on 12/10/2021, also recommended!)  ICP Press Conference Video from 9/16/2017 (Behind Time Magazine’s paywall, but the first three views are free.) Online Resources Insane Clown Posse’s Official Website Catullus The First Amendment Right to be a Juggalo The FBI Memorandum on Juggalos in pdf format (This one is a real piece of work!)
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February 22, 202200:17:14

A quick look at an intriguing relationship: Joni Mitchell and Prince. 

Enjoy! Oh, hey! Got a topic idea for RNRA Shorts? 

Shoot us an email: rocknrollarchaeologyproject@gmail.com

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February 22, 202219:29
A quick look at an intriguing relationship: Joni Mitchell and Prince.  Enjoy! Oh, hey! Got a topic idea for RNRA Shorts?  Shoot us an email: rocknrollarchaeologyproject@gmail.com
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July 28, 202101:39:06

The fuse was lit in 1966. Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Keith Moon came together to record a proto-metal classic. After the session an offhand quip from Keith Moon sticks with Jimmy Page. 

Then we meet The G; the imposing Peter Grant. Led Zeppelin’s fearsome tough-guy manager was a key reason why Zep dominated the rock landscape in the early 70s. 

Well away from Swinging London, in the grimy industrial town of Birmingham, Black Sabbath comes together. We’ll also take a look at one of the greatest Jam Bands ever, Deep Purple. 

Then on to probably the single saddest story in all of Rock History, the final days of Jimi Hendrix. 

Jimi towers over all of it, the late, lamented godfather of Heavy Rock--Rock that centers around the guitar and celebrates blazing virtuosity on that instrument. 

Gone but not forgotten: the Guitarmageddon explosion has reverberated way beyond the Seventies--all the way up to the present day. 

Far more than any other movement or genre within Rock music...Metal, Heavy Rock, Jam Rock, pick your label...it’s got legs. It changes and grows, continues to reinvent itself, and it sticks around. 

Still with us, still going strong, still powered by fans.  

Voice Actors

  • Jemma Sconce as Sophia DeBoick 
  • Bryan Reesman as Gauntlet.com
  • Tony MIchaelides as Martin Power
  • Jerry Danielsen as Oxford Dictionary
  • Courtney Anderson as Gregg Tate
  • Peter Ferioli as Stephen Hyden
  • Mistress Carrie as Consequence of Sound
  • Charles Cross as Charles Cross
  • Rich Price as David Fricke
  • Dave Sloan as Jon Landau


Full show notes at http://pantheonpodcasts.com/rock-n-roll-archaeology

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July 28, 202101:42:06
The fuse was lit in 1966. Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Keith Moon came together to record a proto-metal classic. After the session an offhand quip from Keith Moon sticks with Jimmy Page.  Then we meet The G; the imposing Peter Grant. Led Zeppelin’s fearsome tough-guy manager was a key reason why Zep dominated the rock landscape in the early 70s.  Well away from Swinging London, in the grimy industrial town of Birmingham, Black Sabbath comes together. We’ll also take a look at one of the greatest Jam Bands ever, Deep Purple.  Then on to probably the single saddest story in all of Rock History, the final days of Jimi Hendrix.  Jimi towers over all of it, the late, lamented godfather of Heavy Rock--Rock that centers around the guitar and celebrates blazing virtuosity on that instrument.  Gone but not forgotten: the Guitarmageddon explosion has reverberated way beyond the Seventies--all the way up to the present day.  Far more than any other movement or genre within Rock music...Metal, Heavy Rock, Jam Rock, pick your label...it’s got legs. It changes and grows, continues to reinvent itself, and it sticks around.  Still with us, still going strong, still powered by fans.   Voice Actors Jemma Sconce as Sophia DeBoick  Bryan Reesman as Gauntlet.com Tony MIchaelides as Martin Power Jerry Danielsen as Oxford Dictionary Courtney Anderson as Gregg Tate Peter Ferioli as Stephen Hyden Mistress Carrie as Consequence of Sound Charles Cross as Charles Cross Rich Price as David Fricke Dave Sloan as Jon Landau Full show notes at http://pantheonpodcasts.com/rock-n-roll-archaeology Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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January 15, 202100:55:13

Rock N Roll as the First Draft Of History

We begin in the midwest college town of Kent, Ohio, in the late spring of 1970. We’ll meet three future rockers--students at Kent State University, barely out of their teens--who will be changed forever by what they witness. We’ll check in on Motown, where the fluffy pop “Sound of Young America” is still alive, but there's a big change coming, a movement towards a tougher, more topical sound. We’ll foreshadow that just a little--lots more to come in a later chapter. Rock N Roll is now Rock, and it is mainstreamed now, big and getting bigger. It set out to subvert the dominant paradigm, now it is the dominant paradigm. It can be downright paradoxical at times; defined by its own contradictions. We come back to the campus for the shattering events of May 4th. They inspire a unique musical response, something we really haven’t seen since then.  

Written by Richard Evans and Christian Swain

Hosted and Produced by Christian Swain

Sound Design by Jerry Danielsen

Voice Actors

  • Holly Cantos as the voice of the Kent State Official History
  • Dr. Stephen Arnoff as the voice of Prof. Charles Reich
  • James O’Laughlin as the voice of Jimmy McDonaugh
  • Eric Nash as the voice of Kevin C. Smith
  • David Browne as the voice of David Browne


Songs

  • Randy Newman: “Burn On” from Sail Away, 1972
  • James Gang: “Funk 48” from Yer’ Album, 1969
  • The Stooges: “1970” from Fun House, 1970
  • Rare Earth: “Hey Big Brother” single released in 1970
  • Graham Nash: “Chicago” from Songs for Beginners, 1971
  • Edwin Starr: “War” from War & Peace, 1970
  • Eric Burdon and War: “Spill The Wine” from Eric Burdon Declares War, 1970 
  • Frank Zappa and The Mothers: “Nanook Rubs It” from Apostrophe, 1974
  • John Lennon and the Plastic Ono: “Working Class Hero” from Plastic Ono Band, 1970
  • Jackson 5: “I Want You Back” Single released in 1969
  • Marvin Gaye: “Inner City Blues” from What’s Goin’ On, 1971
  • War: “Slippin’ Into Darkness” from All Day Music, 1971
  • CSN&Y: “Carry On” from Deja Vu, 1970
  • Neil Young & Crazy Horse: “Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown” from Tonight’s the Night, 1974
  • Neil Young: ”The Needle And The Damage Done” from Harvest, 1972
  • Elton John: “Burn Down The Mission” from Tumbleweed Connection, 1970
  • Ten Years After: “I’d Love To Change The World” from A Space In Time, 1970
  • CSN&Y: “Find The Cost Of Freedom” single released in 1970
  • CSN&Y: “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” from Four Way Street, 1971
  • CSN&Y: “Ohio” single released in 1970
  • Led Zeppelin: “What Is And What Should Never Be” from Led Zeppelin II, 1969


Books

  • David Browne: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
  • Bob Burroughs: Days of Rage
  • Robert Giles: When Truth Mattered
  • Todd Gitlin: The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage
  • Chrissie Hynde: Reckless: My Life as a Pretender
  • Jimmy McDonough: Shakey: Neil Young’s Biography
  • Rick Perlstein: Nixonland
  • Charles Reich: The Greening of America
  • Neil Sheehan: A Bright Shining Lie
  • Kevin C. Smith: Recombo DNA
  • Hunter S. Thompson: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas


Online Sources


Podcasts

Films and Documentaries

  • The Murder of Fred Hampton, Directed by Howard Alk, 1971


This show is part of Pantheon Podcasts.

@PantheonPods

Listen in HD only at www.rocknrollarchaeology.com

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January 15, 202100:55:14
Rock N Roll as the First Draft Of History We begin in the midwest college town of Kent, Ohio, in the late spring of 1970. We’ll meet three future rockers--students at Kent State University, barely out of their teens--who will be changed forever by what they witness. We’ll check in on Motown, where the fluffy pop “Sound of Young America” is still alive, but there's a big change coming, a movement towards a tougher, more topical sound. We’ll foreshadow that just a little--lots more to come in a later chapter. Rock N Roll is now Rock, and it is mainstreamed now, big and getting bigger. It set out to subvert the dominant paradigm, now it is the dominant paradigm. It can be downright paradoxical at times; defined by its own contradictions. We come back to the campus for the shattering events of May 4th. They inspire a unique musical response, something we really haven’t seen since then.   Written by Richard Evans and Christian Swain Hosted and Produced by Christian Swain Sound Design by Jerry Danielsen Voice Actors Holly Cantos as the voice of the Kent State Official History Dr. Stephen Arnoff as the voice of Prof. Charles Reich James O’Laughlin as the voice of Jimmy McDonaugh Eric Nash as the voice of Kevin C. Smith David Browne as the voice of David Browne Songs Randy Newman: “Burn On” from Sail Away, 1972 James Gang: “Funk 48” from Yer’ Album, 1969 The Stooges: “1970” from Fun House, 1970 Rare Earth: “Hey Big Brother” single released in 1970 Graham Nash: “Chicago” from Songs for Beginners, 1971 Edwin Starr: “War” from War & Peace, 1970 Eric Burdon and War: “Spill The Wine” from Eric Burdon Declares War, 1970  Frank Zappa and The Mothers: “Nanook Rubs It” from Apostrophe, 1974 John Lennon and the Plastic Ono: “Working Class Hero” from Plastic Ono Band, 1970 Jackson 5: “I Want You Back” Single released in 1969 Marvin Gaye: “Inner City Blues” from What’s Goin’ On, 1971 War: “Slippin’ Into Darkness” from All Day Music, 1971 CSN&Y: “Carry On” from Deja Vu, 1970 Neil Young & Crazy Horse: “Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown” from Tonight’s the Night, 1974 Neil Young: ”The Needle And The Damage Done” from Harvest, 1972 Elton John: “Burn Down The Mission” from Tumbleweed Connection, 1970 Ten Years After: “I’d Love To Change The World” from A Space In Time, 1970 CSN&Y: “Find The Cost Of Freedom” single released in 1970 CSN&Y: “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” from Four Way Street, 1971 CSN&Y: “Ohio” single released in 1970 Led Zeppelin: “What Is And What Should Never Be” from Led Zeppelin II, 1969 Books David Browne: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young Bob Burroughs: Days of Rage Robert Giles: When Truth Mattered Todd Gitlin: The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage Chrissie Hynde: Reckless: My Life as a Pretender Jimmy McDonough: Shakey: Neil Young’s Biography Rick Perlstein: Nixonland Charles Reich: The Greening of America Neil Sheehan: A Bright Shining Lie Kevin C. Smith: Recombo DNA Hunter S. Thompson: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Online Sources The Cuyahoga River James Gang on Tour Port Huron Statement Jerry Casale at Kent State Kent State University Official History More Resources on the The Kent State Massacre Assassination of Fred Hampton Assassination of Fred Hampton--Gov’t Docs Podcasts WTF With Marc Maron: Episode 942, interview with Joe Walsh Deeper Digs in Rock With Christian Swain: Interview with David Browne Films and Documentaries The Murder of Fred Hampton, Directed by Howard Alk, 1971 This show is part of Pantheon Podcasts. @PantheonPods Listen in HD only at www.rocknrollarchaeology.com
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July 8, 202001:56:14

This episode is dedicated with love to the memory of our dear friend Dennis Gordon. Dennis was the big booming voice on our show “bumpers” that would begin and end each chapter of Rock N Roll Archaeology. Thank you Dennis, we miss you. May the Four Winds blow you safely home. 


Welcome back to the second half of our big chapter telling the big story of a big year in Rock. If you haven’t done so already, we highly recommend you listen to Episode 18 before you delve into this one! 

We tell the story of 1969 by telling the story of four concerts: The Beatles on the Roof, The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park was the first part. Part Two will take us to the peak, to the apotheosis of Woodstock...and to the abyss at Altamont. And we’ll go to some other places in between too. 

1969 is the year Rock N Roll goes global, and we’ll get into that a little, and set up later discussions of great topics like Rock behind the Iron Curtain and the growing influence of Reggae and World Beat. 

Then we’ll take you to Woodstock, and call off the roster, with lots of great music and commentary.  

The first mythical Rock tour--the Rolling Stones ‘69 tour of America, is up next. That will take us to the final show of the tour, on a dark December night in California, where everything that can go wrong, will go wrong, and the consequences will be tragic. 

We close out with some thoughts on the year and on the decade we’ve just completed, and on what comes next.

This show is part of Pantheon Podcasts.

@PantheonPods

Listen in HD only at www.rocknrollarchaeology.com

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July 8, 202001:56:15
This episode is dedicated with love to the memory of our dear friend Dennis Gordon. Dennis was the big booming voice on our show “bumpers” that would begin and end each chapter of Rock N Roll Archaeology. Thank you Dennis, we miss you. May the Four Winds blow you safely home.  Welcome back to the second half of our big chapter telling the big story of a big year in Rock. If you haven’t done so already, we highly recommend you listen to Episode 18 before you delve into this one!  We tell the story of 1969 by telling the story of four concerts: The Beatles on the Roof, The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park was the first part. Part Two will take us to the peak, to the apotheosis of Woodstock...and to the abyss at Altamont. And we’ll go to some other places in between too.  1969 is the year Rock N Roll goes global, and we’ll get into that a little, and set up later discussions of great topics like Rock behind the Iron Curtain and the growing influence of Reggae and World Beat.  Then we’ll take you to Woodstock, and call off the roster, with lots of great music and commentary.   The first mythical Rock tour--the Rolling Stones ‘69 tour of America, is up next. That will take us to the final show of the tour, on a dark December night in California, where everything that can go wrong, will go wrong, and the consequences will be tragic.  We close out with some thoughts on the year and on the decade we’ve just completed, and on what comes next. This show is part of Pantheon Podcasts. @PantheonPods Listen in HD only at www.rocknrollarchaeology.com
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November 18, 201901:38:05

We’re putting down a marker with this episode, and the follow-up: the highest highs and the lowest lows of the entire Rock Era occurred in 1969. It’s a year so big, we had to cut it in two, in order to serve it up properly. 

We start in January, with The Beatles on The Roof, a 42-minute outdoor concert that definitely warmed up the neighborhood of Mayfair, London, England. Then we catch up with their friends and rivals, The Rolling Stones.  

The Stones broke out HUGE in 68 and 69, the beginning of an incredible five-year run: from Beggars Banquet on through to Exile On Main Street. Peak Stones, the sweet spot for the World’s Greatest Rock N Roll Band. 

Brian Jones is out, Mick Taylor is in. We talk about how that happened, and how it impacted the Stones’ sound and attitude. Another influence starts seeping in: American Country Music, thanks to Keith’s new best buddy, Gram Parsons. 

Brian’s tragic--and still unexplained--demise changes the Hyde Park Concert from a coming-out party into a memorial service. Emotion and conviction carry the day, and Hyde Park sets a very high and hopeful bar; it’s an early example of How To Successfully Pull Off A Really Big Concert. 

During that “Moon-Crazy Summer” of 1969, NASA pulls off something really big. It’s the single greatest feat--so far--of human exploration: The Apollo 11 mission to the moon and back. We look at the moon landing through the Rock N Roll lens; we’ll talk about space travel, science fiction, and fantasy...in books, film, television, and most of all, in Rock Music. 

Then David Bowie, with his lifelong knack for being ahead of his time, said take your protein pills and put your helmet on. 

And we did. 

And in just a short time we got used to it, became a little jaded about it. 

That comes later. Here and now in the summer of 1969; stardust, golden, billion year old carbon...got to get ourselves back to the garden. 

We’ll open Part Two at Yasgur’s Farm in upstate New York, and we’ll light a candle in the rain.

Head over to Pantheon Podcasts for full show notes.

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November 18, 201901:14:55
We’re putting down a marker with this episode, and the follow-up: the highest highs and the lowest lows of the entire Rock Era occurred in 1969. It’s a year so big, we had to cut it in two, in order to serve it up properly.  We start in January, with The Beatles on The Roof, a 42-minute outdoor concert that definitely warmed up the neighborhood of Mayfair, London, England. Then we catch up with their friends and rivals, The Rolling Stones.   The Stones broke out HUGE in 68 and 69, the beginning of an incredible five-year run: from Beggars Banquet on through to Exile On Main Street. Peak Stones, the sweet spot for the World’s Greatest Rock N Roll Band.  Brian Jones is out, Mick Taylor is in. We talk about how that happened, and how it impacted the Stones’ sound and attitude. Another influence starts seeping in: American Country Music, thanks to Keith’s new best buddy, Gram Parsons.  Brian’s tragic--and still unexplained--demise changes the Hyde Park Concert from a coming-out party into a memorial service. Emotion and conviction carry the day, and Hyde Park sets a very high and hopeful bar; it’s an early example of How To Successfully Pull Off A Really Big Concert.  During that “Moon-Crazy Summer” of 1969, NASA pulls off something really big. It’s the single greatest feat--so far--of human exploration: The Apollo 11 mission to the moon and back. We look at the moon landing through the Rock N Roll lens; we’ll talk about space travel, science fiction, and fantasy...in books, film, television, and most of all, in Rock Music.  Then David Bowie, with his lifelong knack for being ahead of his time, said take your protein pills and put your helmet on.  And we did.  And in just a short time we got used to it, became a little jaded about it.  That comes later. Here and now in the summer of 1969; stardust, golden, billion year old carbon...got to get ourselves back to the garden.  We’ll open Part Two at Yasgur’s Farm in upstate New York, and we’ll light a candle in the rain. Head over to Pantheon Podcasts for full show notes.
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April 15, 201901:46:46

Chapter 17 of Rock N Roll Archaeology is bookended by a couple of Simon & Garfunkel albums: “Bookends” from the spring of 1968; and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” from January of 1970. 

Our story takes place mostly in New York City: a city big enough to spawn two very different, very talented--and very influential--artists: Paul Simon and Lou Reed. 

We skip work on a cold January afternoon to catch a movie: Mike Nichols’ “The Graduate.” It’s a generation milestone of a film, and Simon & Garfunkel’s music is a big part of that; what’s more, we argue, it’s a different kind of soundtrack, something new in film and popular culture. 

We meet Tom Wilson, the first African-American staff producer at Columbia Records. Tom oversaw the first two Simon & Garfunkel albums. We follow him for a little while and he leads us to...Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground.

We get to know Lou and the Velvets, and the scene from which they sprang: Andy Warhol’s Factory. We meet a Factory hang-around, an angry young woman with good reasons to be angry, but she takes it way too far, with tragic consequences. 

And we’ll meet the first Punk Rock band: The MC5, and the revolutionary political milieu they occupied. Wayne Kramer of the MC5 has some things to say about that, and about a fateful MC5 gig at the Fillmore East.

 Finally, we’ll meet one of our favorite artists ever, who came from the same scene as the MC5: Iggy Pop. We say “Amen” to Iggy Pop. 

We wrap it back around to Simon & Garfunkel, and their take on the anger and disappointment, on the turmoil of the late 1960s. An offer of comfort and healing is the first big Pop hit of the 1970s.

Listen to episodes 1-16 of Rock N Roll Archaeology and all our other podcasts at www.pantheonpodcasts.com

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April 15, 201900:33:11
Chapter 17 of Rock N Roll Archaeology is bookended by a couple of Simon & Garfunkel albums: “Bookends” from the spring of 1968; and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” from January of 1970.  Our story takes place mostly in New York City: a city big enough to spawn two very different, very talented--and very influential--artists: Paul Simon and Lou Reed.  We skip work on a cold January afternoon to catch a movie: Mike Nichols’ “The Graduate.” It’s a generation milestone of a film, and Simon & Garfunkel’s music is a big part of that; what’s more, we argue, it’s a different kind of soundtrack, something new in film and popular culture.  We meet Tom Wilson, the first African-American staff producer at Columbia Records. Tom oversaw the first two Simon & Garfunkel albums. We follow him for a little while and he leads us to...Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground. We get to know Lou and the Velvets, and the scene from which they sprang: Andy Warhol’s Factory. We meet a Factory hang-around, an angry young woman with good reasons to be angry, but she takes it way too far, with tragic consequences.  And we’ll meet the first Punk Rock band: The MC5, and the revolutionary political milieu they occupied. Wayne Kramer of the MC5 has some things to say about that, and about a fateful MC5 gig at the Fillmore East.  Finally, we’ll meet one of our favorite artists ever, who came from the same scene as the MC5: Iggy Pop. We say “Amen” to Iggy Pop.  We wrap it back around to Simon & Garfunkel, and their take on the anger and disappointment, on the turmoil of the late 1960s. An offer of comfort and healing is the first big Pop hit of the 1970s. Listen to episodes 1-16 of Rock N Roll Archaeology and all our other podcasts at www.pantheonpodcasts.com
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October 25, 201801:19:11
We start our tale of Paradise Lost in Buena Vista Park, San Francisco, in the fall of 1967. Hippie, the Devoted Son of Mass Media, is dead, and the San Francisco Diggers are conducting the funeral.  From the funky streets of the Haight we head east a couple miles to the Fillmore West, and meet a complicated man, concert promoter Bill Graham. It was during these early years in San Francisco that Bill created the rock concert experience.  Then a brief trip to Texas, where Janis Joplin cleans up and then heads back; to San Francisco to find her family. We get to know Janis a little better, and talk about her early work with Big Brother and the Holding Company--and what happened when Janis left Big Brother.  We’ll spend a little more time on the Big Picture. Politically, culturally, in pretty much every way, 1968 was a pivotal year, in America and around the world.  Then across the Bay, to the lands that lie East of Eden. We’ll meet two very different acts, that interestingly enough, have similar stories: Sly and the Family Stone, and Creedence Clearwater Revival.  We close it out with a short meditation on the aftermath of the Summer of Love. We still dream it and dance to it. 
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March 6, 201800:58:01
An impressionistic look at the interplay of Rock N Roll and Culture in Los Angeles during the latter half of the 1960s. There are familiar elements: storytelling, critical discussion and commentary, and lots of Rock N Roll attitude. But this one is different from most of our previous RNRAP offerings.
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July 7, 201701:09:15
We open in Manila, in the Republic of the Philippines, July 3rd, 1966. The second stop of the Far East leg of the Beatles’ 1966 tour starts out weird and ominous, and gets worse from there. By the time the tour sputters to a halt—late August in San Francisco—the boys are almighty sick of it.
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April 25, 201701:04:33
We open at Waldo Point Marina in Sausalito, California, just north of San Francisco. Otis Redding takes a break from the road on Bill Graham’s houseboat, and comes up with a signature song.
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January 7, 201701:08:05
Jimi Hendrix's astonishing, supernatural talent was forged in poverty and neglect as he grew up in Seattle. We talk about that, and about the night Elvis came to town. After a short stint in the Army comes to a humiliating end, Jimi takes it on the road and spends the next four years paying his dues as a sideman.
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October 11, 201601:07:45
We start by taking a clear-eyed look at the infamous seaside “Riots” in the resort town of Clacton, United Kingdom and several other towns in the summer of 1964. The British press were WAY over the top in their depiction of these events, but they did document the first schism, the first big division in Rock music and culture: the traditionalist Rockers versus the Modernists, or “Mods.” Oh yeah, a couple bands like The Who and Kinks make an appearance...
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August 12, 201601:06:22
Episode Ten opens up with Christian narrating at the site of the Bricklayer’s Arms Public House, in Soho, West London, where Brian Jones met with two younger men, school chums, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, in the fall of 1963. You might know them as The Rolling Stones.
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May 5, 201601:09:09
Welcome back Diggers to Episode Nine: The Medium, The Message, The Music. This show will contain familiar elements — storytelling, commentary, and musicology — but it is also a bit of a departure. It takes place mostly in the mid-sixties, but we’re not following a timeline or building a story: it’s more of a mosaic, a think-piece. We think the influence of psychedelic drugs — especially LSD — on rock music is critically important and very much overlooked. It’s a vital part of the overall story. We hope to make that case with this show. We will meet some rockers and there will be lots of musical examples, because that’s how we roll. But we will also meet scholars, inventors, researchers and writers: Marshall McLuhan, Albert Hofmann, Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey…and more. We will spend some time on the advances in music technology — better instruments and amps, multi-tracking and effects — and show these advances in the musical media arrive at the same time as advances in the psychedelic media. And the results of that arrival are, well, mind-blowing. We’re going “Further” with this episode, so turn on, tune in, and enjoy!
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March 8, 201601:01:27
The show opens December 27th, 1961, at the Cavern Club where Pete Best calls in sick, and the boys bring in Richard Starkey - Ringo Starr to the world - to sit in on drums, his first paid gig with the Beatles. It clicks musically; the band really swings with Ringo on drums.
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February 23, 201600:56:04
Arrival: we begin the show on February 7th, 1964, in the first-class cabin aboard Pan American Airlines Flight 101 from London to New York City. It’s a raucous, party atmosphere, but John Lennon, for a moment anyway, feels alone in a crowd.  A door opens, pandemonium ensues, and a new era arrives.  Some housekeeping, and we move on to the Soho District, West London, and lay some foundation for today’s story—and for future discussions. Then we pull back a bit, and look at some of the political, economic, and cultural forces at play in 1950s England. We then move on to Liverpool, late 1950s, and meet John Lennon and Paul McCartney, before they was fab. Then we pull back once again, and talk about alchemy and catalysts—and about a shared bond of shared loss.  One catalyst comes in the form of a person: Paul’s school chum George Harrison, the baddest young guitar-slinger in Liverpool.  John, Paul and George settle in together in the spring of 1958, and begin a four-year apprenticeship that will take them from coffee-house skifflers to the “Toppermost of the Poppermost.” Then it’s off to Hamburg, fall of 1960. The Beatles work hard and play hard, and learn the basics of being a professional Rock N Roll band. We briefly meet a sad-eyed bloke who plays drums—and plays them well—in a competing band on the circuit.  We will also meet two founding Beatles: Stu Sutcliffe and Pete Best, and tell some of Stu’s story, a story with a tragic ending.  At the end of the second tour, the Beatles become a four piece, and acquire their signature instruments. At the end of the third Hamburg tour, they come back to Liverpool as conquering heroes.  June of 1962, and John, Paul, and George stand on the brink.  Departure: there is one final move, one last step to take. And the Beatles already have someone in mind.
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January 27, 201600:56:02
We open in Manhattan, in the main room, the big studio at Columbia Records. It’s Fall of 1963. A big-time, high-stakes recording session for Aretha Franklin is about to get underway. Aretha is an astonishing, one-in-a-billion talent, but it’s just not clicking for her at Columbia. We spend a little time exploring why it isn’t clicking, and then we talk a little about the feminist perspective, and why we think it is called for. And we move on from Manhattan, to South Grand Avenue in Detroit; to Hitsville, USA—Motown Records. Early summer, 1964, and Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson are worried. Motown has taken a tough hit, losing their top-selling artist, Mary Wells. These guys have no way of knowing it, but not to worry: Motown is just about to BLOW UP. And it’s the first female pop superstar, Diana Ross, who will touch off that explosion. We talk a bit about Berry, about the Motown Fun Factory, and about Diana. And we have to stop and wonder: why does a driven, ambitious man like Berry Gordy get called a visionary and a leader, but a driven and ambitious woman like Diana…well she gets called something else entirely. What’s the deal there? Then we head south, Deep South, to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and meet the Swampers. We hear from the effusive, fast-talking Atlantic Records Exec, Jerry Wexler. When Aretha comes over to Atlantic, it’s Wex who puts her together with the Swampers. It’s a magical moment, but it does not last. While there may have been cooperation and racial harmony in the studio, outside it’s still Alabama. That state is convulsed by the civil rights movement and the angry, hateful backlash it inspires. And it’s not just the state of Alabama; it is a tense and angry nation that awaits The Fire Next Time. We close out the show with a detailed look at the anguish and the glory of Aretha Franklin and her music. A holy blend; a terrible beauty: captured and preserved forever.
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December 30, 201501:05:59
A quick prologue: we stop by the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, where they opened up a very cool exhibit in March of 2015. Then we move on to Newport, Rhode Island, where Pete Seeger is about to introduce Johnny Cash, an established country star playing for the first time to a folk festival audience. After a rough beginning, the show goes very well. Afterwards, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan—mutual fans—meet for the first time and begin a lifelong friendship. We then spend some time getting to know the Man in Black; we learn about the family tragedy that moved J.R. Cash to write and make music. We find out the real origins of “Folsom Prison Blues.” We leave Johnny Cash in Memphis for the meantime, and head north to Hibbing, Minnesota and check in on young Robert Allen Zimmerman. As a teen, Bobby is a leather-jacketed Rock N Roll rebel; but he takes on a new name and identity when he discovers folk music as a freshman at the University of Minnesota. He hears Woody Guthrie, decides he has to meet him, and makes his way to New York City to do just that. We use the lives and music of these two legends to tell about the events of the early Sixties in America. Bob Dylan plays before a tiny crowd in Mississippi and a huge one in Washington DC. Johnny Cash heads to the Far East on a USO tour and hears ominous rumors of new war brewing. And more. We also talk about that whole Bob Dylan: Voice of a Generation thing. We end up back where we started. It’s one year later, at Newport, summer of 1965. Bob Dylan plugs in, and Rock N Roll will never be the same. Another side of Bob Dylan? We think it’s the TRUE side of Bob Dylan. But you can draw your own conclusions.
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December 9, 201500:59:24
The Sixties are about to begin and we’re feeling the change of the guard. We briefly recap the first Golden Age of Rock N Roll: 1956 to 1959. A lot happened, and fast. Too fast to last. We skid perilously into a new decade. As we open the sixties, all the big players are offstage, and a lot of folks are saying Rock N Roll is dead. We open in a police station in St. Louis, and Chuck Berry is in big trouble with the law. We detail Chuck’s legal fight to its conclusion in early ’63. We also catch up with the disc jockey Alan Freed, who is going through some legal problems of his own—legal problems that are part of a larger story. We take a look at the state of mainstream popular music in 1960. It’s grim. But the R&B charts are looking good, lots of great songs and artists. Black America is reasserting itself musically. We will get to that…but first, Rock N Roll is about to become BIG Business. So we unpack that a little bit, and devote a big part of the show to an examination of the record industry. They were slow to catch on, but the corporate labels—The Big Six—are now in the business of Rock N Roll. We use humor to make our point, but we also have some caustic, tough things to say about the industry. Ever seen these acronyms: ASCAP and BMI? And what wondered what the heck they mean? We answer that question, and explain why it’s important. We tell a tale of two Disc Jockeys: Alan Freed and Dick Clark. That tale is a metaphor for what happens in the music business from 1960 on. For the last act, we go back to discussing great music and great musicians and we meet the Godfather of Soul: James Brown. It’s a true rags-to-riches story. Finally, we grab a cab in front of the Apollo Theater, and head down to Greenwich Village. There we will briefly meet an up-and-coming folksinger, and set the stage for Episode Five. This show is part of Pantheon Podcasts.
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November 18, 201500:52:51
We describe Rock N Roll as an “enfant terrible,” then an unruly toddler, then a hyperactive kid. When Buddy Holly breaks out in late 1957, we see Rock N Roll has stepped out into the world as a confident young adult. Our story begins on a snowy two-lane highway in rural Iowa, on February 2nd, 1959: the fateful last day of the Winter Dance Party tour. The shows are going well, but the tour is a real grind. Cold, tired, and fed up, Buddy Holly decides to charter a small plane after the show that night in Clear Lake, Iowa. We meet the Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, and Dion DiMucci. We discuss how Ritchie Valens was the first Latino crossover artist, and his 1957 release “La Bamba” is the first Spanish-language pop hit. We then devote a good chunk of the show to Buddy Holly’s life and musical career. We emphasize his giant influence on future Rock N Roll legends, and talk about The Crickets’ groundbreaking tour of the United Kingdom in early 1958. We meet “The Killer,” Jerry Lee Lewis. Great musician and performer, but not at all a nice guy, to put it mildly. We come back to Buddy’s story: the relentless grind of touring with The Crickets, business disputes with his manager Norman Petty, his courtship of and marriage to Maria Elena Santiago. Out on the road Buddy meets Phil and Don Everly, and they become fast friends. We profile the Everly Brothers, and we ask you to hold a picture in your mind. The last chapter: a terse and tense account of the incident outside Mason City, Iowa, in the early-morning hours of February 3rd, 1959. We close with a few words about loss and friendship. This show is part of Pantheon Podcasts.
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November 10, 201500:50:15
Archaeology is the study of human activity in the past, looking at lots of different things from lots of different angles. We take that approach with Rock N Roll. We recap episode one, and open in Memphis, 1954. Sun Records owner Sam Phillips has found his elusive crossover sound—and the artist who can deliver it. Elvis breaks out; in just a few months he’s on the cusp of national stardom. We get to know Sam Phillips better; we find he shares affinity and common ground with his young star. Sam will be showing up again as we go through our story. Elvis gets his first big break on the Louisiana Hayride radio show. Young Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly see him on his first big tour, opening for the country singer Hank Snow. Elvis and Col. Tom Parker meet for the first time. We move to a detailed discussion of the rise of American television in the 1950s: technical advances, the economic and social impacts, and how it affected and was affected by the rise of Rock N Roll. We bring it back around to Bill Haley’s appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in August of 1955. In early 1956, Elvis gets a big-time deal with RCA Records. Col. Parker buys out Sam Phillips’ management contract and the Presley/Parker business relationship is formalized—for better and for worse. The self-titled debut album is released that spring. It’s a smash; the first modern rock album and it has stood the test of time. Our storylines merge on Sept 9th 1956: Elvis makes his historic debut on the Ed Sullivan Show. We dig into some of the back story and do a little mythbusting. Then we assert something a bit controversial, which might make some Elvis fans angry. Finally, we profile two artists who are challenging Elvis, taking Rock N Roll in new directions: Chuck Berry and Little Richard. We learn the succinct definition of Rock N Roll, and spend a hungover Sunday morning in church. We close the show with a brief introduction to Buddy Holly, to set up Episode Three.
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October 26, 201501:02:55
Welcome to Rock N Roll Archaeology! This is a reboot of Episode One: The Precursors, originally released October 15, 2015. We updated and improved it some, and re-released it on November 4, 2020.  We begin in Times Square, late summer of 1945. The war is over.  First up, the Baby Boom and a newly-discovered demographic, the white American teenager.  This new cohort is huge, with unprecedented economic clout. Young, restless and affluent, and they want to get beyond the timid, conformist popular culture of 1950s America.  “Race Records” (an outdated term for rhythm and blues records by African American musicians) become hugely popular with white teenagers. Drawn from the well of sorrow that is the Black American experience, this music has the edge and urgency--the authenticity--these kids are seeking.  We meet our first hero - the musical genius Ray Charles - and our first anti-hero, the frenetic, fatally flawed DJ Alan Freed.  We shine a light on two grassroots cultural movements that became important later: the Skiffle Craze in the United Kingdom and the Beat Poets of Urban America.  1954 is an inflection point. On the musical front, Bill Haley released the first million-selling Rock N Roll record: “Rock Around The Clock.”    That same year, big changes in the political landscape. The Brown v Board of Education decision; and Senator Joseph McCarthy was publically humiliated and discredited. Freedom of Association and Freedom of Expression take a step forward. Paranoid politics and systemic racism are still very much with us in America, but in 1954 it got a little easier, became a little less risky, to be yourself and express yourself. We head to the delivery room: Memphis Recording Service, where we meet the first Rock N Roll superstar, Elvis Presley, and tease Chapter Two. Hosted and Produced by Christian Swain Written By Richard Evans and Christian Swain Sound Design by Jerry Danielsen www.pantheonpodcasts.com facebook.com/TheRNRAP    Twitter: @pantheonpods
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