Illustrating the ’60s music revolution

How one book captured the spirit and art of the cultural transformation -- as it was happening

Topics: Imprint, Music,

Illustrating the '60s music revolution
This article originally appeared on Imprint.

Imprint“When did music become so important?” That’s Don Draper from last week’s “Mad Men,” set in 1966. Later in the episode he turns off “Tomorrow Never Knows,” from the Beatles album “Revolver,” and walks out of the room.

art: Rick Griffin

There’s something happening here, but you don’t know what it is — do you, Mr. Draper? One year later, Rolling Stone magazine will make its debut, followed soon by “Rock and Other Four Letter Words.”

“Rock,” a 250-plus-page Bantam paperback, was published in January 1968 and subtitled “Music of the Electric Generation.” It was one of the first books of its kind, chronicling a cultural revolution that was still in the midst of its own creation. Crammed with black-and-white portraits of bands and musicians, it’s part oral history, part visual LSD trip. One of its fold-out spreads has an intricate, circuitlike diagram that connects over a hundred names, from the Butterfield Blues Band, the Beach Boys, and the Byrds to Busby Berkeley, Brubeck and Bach.

The editor-designer was a writer named J Marks. The photographer for most of the images was Linda Eastman, who went on to work for Rolling Stone and — oh, yes — marry Paul McCartney.

By the sheer force of its graphic presentation, ”Rock and Other Four Letter Words” conveys the mid-1960s music scene’s spirit, vitality and relevance.

 



More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Burger King Japan

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Burger King's black cheeseburger: Made with squid ink and bamboo charcoal, arguably a symbol of meat's destructive effect on the planet. Only available in Japan.

    Elite Daily/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    McDonald's Black Burger: Because the laws of competition say that once Burger King introduces a black cheeseburger, it's only a matter of time before McDonald's follows suit. You still don't have to eat it.

    Domino's

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Domino's Specialty Chicken: It's like regular pizza, except instead of a crust, there's fried chicken. The company's marketing officer calls it "one of the most creative, innovative menu items we have ever had” -- brain power put to good use.

    Arby's/Facebook

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Arby's Meat Mountain: The viral off-menu product containing eight different types of meat that, on second read, was probably engineered by Arby's all along. Horrific, regardless.

    KFC

    2014's fast food atrocities

    KFC'S ZINGER DOUBLE DOWN KING: A sandwich made by adding a burger patty to the infamous chicken-instead-of-buns creation can only be described using all caps. NO BUN ALL MEAT. Only available in South Korea.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Waffle Taco: It took two years for Taco Bell to develop this waffle folded in the shape of a taco, the stand-out star of its new breakfast menu.

    Michele Parente/Twitter

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Krispy Kreme Triple Cheeseburger: Only attendees at the San Diego County Fair were given the opportunity to taste the official version of this donut-hamburger-heart attack combo. The rest of America has reasonable odds of not dropping dead tomorrow.

    Taco Bell

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Taco Bell's Quesarito: A burrito wrapped in a quesadilla inside an enigma. Quarantined to one store in Oklahoma City.

    Pizzagamechangers.com

    2014's fast food atrocities

    Boston Pizza's Pizza Cake: The people's choice winner of a Canadian pizza chain's contest whose real aim, we'd imagine, is to prove that there's no such thing as "too far." Currently in development.

    7-Eleven

    2014's fast food atrocities

    7-Eleven's Doritos Loaded: "For something decadent and artificial by design," wrote one impassioned reviewer, "it only tasted of the latter."

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>