Text and Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll The Beats and Rock Culture

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 5/8/2014
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Purchase Benefits
  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $59!
    Your order must be $59 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $19.95 Save up to $2.99
  • Buy New


Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The eBook copy of this book is not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


Text and Drugs and Rock'n'Roll explores the interaction between two of the most powerful socio-cultural movements in the post-war years - the literary forces of the Beat Generation and the musical energies of rock and its attendant culture.

Simon Warner examines the interweaving strands, seeded by the poet/novelists Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and others in the 1940s and 1950s, and cultivated by most of the major rock figures who emerged after 1960 - Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Bowie, the Clash and Kurt Cobain, to name just a few.

This fascinating cultural history delves into a wide range of issues: Was rock culture the natural heir to the activities of the Beats? Were the hippies the Beats of the 1960s? What attitude did the Beat writers have towards musical forms and particularly rock music? How did literary works shape the consciousness of leading rock music-makers and their followers? Why did Beat literature retain its cultural potency with later rock musicians who rejected hippie values? How did rock musicians use the material of Beat literature in their own work? How did Beat figures become embroiled in the process of rock creativity?

These questions are addressed through a number of approaches - the influence of drugs, the relevance of politics, the effect of religious and spiritual pursuits, the rise of the counter-culture, the issue of sub-cultures and their construction, and so on. The result is a highly readable history of the innumerable links between two of the most revolutionary artistic movements of the last 60 years.

Author Biography

Simon Warner is a journalist, lecturer and broadcaster who teaches Popular Music Studies at the University of Leeds, UK.

Table of Contents

Rock and rock’n’roll: A short note to the reader
i) How the Beats met rock: Some history and some context
ii) Charting the Beats: Background and impact
iii) Beat and rock: A survey of association
iv) The Beats’ own recordings: A selective discography
Chapter 1 – Sifting the shifting sands: Allen Ginsberg, ‘Howl’ and the American landscape in the 1950s
Interlude A – Lawrence Ferlinghetti: A survivor surveys
Interview 1 - David Amram, jazz musician and Beat composer, including the Pull My Daisy soundtrack
Chapter 2 – Chains of flashing memories: Bob Dylan and the Beats, 1959-1975
Interview 2 – Michael McClure, poet and author of The Beard
Chapter 3 – Muse, moll, maid, mistress? Beat women and their rock’n’roll legacy
Chapter 4 – Raising the consciousness: Re-visiting Allen Ginsberg’s 1965 trip to Liverpool
Q&A 1 – Michael Horovitz, poet, publisher and British Beat
Interview 3 – Larry Keenan, photographer of ‘The Last Gathering of the Beats’ in San Francisco in 1965
Obituary 1 – Peter Orlovsky, ‘Member of the Beat Generation, poet and lover of Allen Ginsberg’ Interlude B – All Neal: Cassady celebrated in downtown Denver
Q&A 2 – Mark Bliesener, rock band manager and a founder of Neal Cassady's memorial day in Denver
Chapter 5 – The British Beat: Rock, Literature and the British Counterculture in the 1960s
Interview 4 – Pete Brown, British poet and rock lyricist for Cream
Q&A 3 – Jonah Raskin, Ginsberg biographer and cultural historian
Chapter 6 – The Sound of the Summer of Love? The Beatles and Sgt. Pepper, the hippies and Haight-Ashbury
Q&A 4 – Levi Asher, founder of acclaimed Beat website Literary Kicks
Interview 5 – Ronald Nameth, Beat film-maker and director of the film of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable
Chapter 7 – The Meltzer chronicles: Poet, novelist, musician and historian of Beat America
Review 1 – Book: David Meltzer, Beat Thing
Interview 6 – Bill Nelson, British rock guitarist and Beat follower
Q&A 5 – Jim Sampas, notable Beat record producer including Kerouac: Kicks Joy Darkness
Chapter 8 – Versions of Cody: Jack Kerouac, Tom Waits and the song ‘On the Road’ Chapter 9 – Feeling the bohemian pulse: Locating Patti Smith within a post-Beat tradition
Chapter 10 – Jim Carroll: Poetry prodigy, post-Beat and rocker
Obituary 2 – Jim Carroll, ‘Poet and punk musician who documented his teenage drug addiction in The Basketball Diaries’
Chapter 11 – All cut up? William Burroughs and Genesis P-Orridge’s beatnik past
Interview 7 – Steven Taylor, Ginsberg's guitarist and member of the Fugs
Chapter 12 – Steven Taylor: A Beat Englishman in New York
Q&A 6 – Pete Molinari, British singer-songwriter with Beat leanings
Chapter 13 – Return to Lowell: A visit to the Commemorative and Kerouac’s grave
Review 2 – Film: One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur
Review 3 – Album: One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur
Q&A 7 – Chris T-T, British political singer-songwriter
Obituary 3 – Tuli Kupferberg, ‘Key figure in the US 1960s counterculture’
Q&A 8 – Kevin Ring, editor of the magazine Beat Scene
Review 4 – Album: On the Road: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Appendix – Jack & Neal on record
Bibliography, Discography, Filmography, Broadcasts, Personal Communication and Interviews

Rewards Program

Write a Review