All Hopped Up and Ready to Go
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During this week of CMJ 2009, it’s quite fitting to review a book celebrating New York City as catalyst for some of the most influential music in the last eighty-some-odd years. We were recently given a promotional copy of All Hopped Up and Ready to Go: Music from the Streets of New York, 1927-1977 by Tony Fletcher, a compelling page-turner and perfect companion for music history buffs and casual enthusiasts alike. Needless to say, it’s making the rounds here at Boogie HQ. A preliminary glance at the table of contents (e.g. Glitter, Glam, and the New York Dolls; All Tomorrow’s Parties) will likely have you scrambling through the book for more. Release date is Tuesday, October 26.
From cover to cover, Fletcher provides a hyper-detailed account of iconic tastemakers and the neighborhoods from which they were catapulted. Chapters are treated almost like interweaving case studies for each successive music scene, beginning, of course, with Jazz and bepop and its lead-in to Rhythm & Blues and early Rock n Roll. The narrative then trudges through subject matter now immortalized in the pop culture psyche, such as the Alan Freed payola scandal, late-Fifties Brill Building bubblegum, Bob Dylan-era Greenwich Village, Andy Warhol, Lower East Side punk, and Bronx-born Hip Hop. And all the while, we are continuously reminded of our great City of New York. How, once upon a time, great art and talent flourished here. And still does. To some extent.
Bottom line – read the book. It’s kickass!