Proposal for an anthology of Classic Essays On Rock Music:

Edited, with introductions & headnotes, by Richard Kostelanetz and Another

Filling a need, this should be rich enough to stand besides my earlier coedited anthology of Classic Essays on 20th Century Music. It should differ from, say, the Rolling Stone compilations, which I gather sell quite well, in drawing from more than one source and in favoring more substantial, longer (bookish) essays with more musicological intelligence, often including musical examples (which don't appear in the Rolling Stone books). It could be used as either a primary or supplementary text in courses devoted exclusively to vernacular music. It would also attract general readers, especially if its design resembles that of the other Classic Essays volume. It can be whatever length the publisher deems appropriate, with a minimum of 100,000 words. My own suggestion is that we want to undercut the Rolling Stone books, which are made needlessly expensive by the photographs, which are not necessarily here. (Doesn't everyone one what the Beatles look like?)

Among the essays I would like to include are Stanley Edgar Hyman's classic on the Blues as the principal precursor of rock (from an Atheneum book)

Langdon Winner's "The Strange Death of Rock and Roll," from Griel Marcus' Rock and Roll Will Stand (Beacon, 1969)

Edward Machan's "The Spirit of Albion," which relates heavy metal music to British traditions including Vaughan-Williams; it was cleared for an earlier anthology but not used because of permissions problems

Brian Eno's "Generating and Organizing Variety in the Arts," from Studio International (Nov-Dec. 1976), which we likewise cleared for 20th Century Music but did not use there

Ned Rorem's "The Music of the Beatles," from The New York Review (1968)

Wilfrid Mellers' appreciation of Imagine, which is reprinted in The Lennon Companion (Schirmer, 1987)

Lenny Kaye's "The Best of Acappella," from Jazz and Pop Magazine (1969)

Dan Graham's "New Wave Rock and the Feminine," in which a prominent visual artist appreciates women's groups in 1970s

Tom Wolfe's "The First Tycoon of Teen," about Phil Spector, from Kandy Kolored (1965)

Charles Hamm's "Rock 'n' Roll in a Very Strange Society," in which a Dartmouth musicologist deals with South African popular music

My own appreciation of the Joshua Light Show from Fillmore East (Schirmer, 1995).

Remember that these selections are necessarily tentative. Much depends upon such practical considerations as the availability of individual essays and the size of both the permissions budget and the book; in certain cases, I know of appropriate alternatives, some of which are included in the following list. I expect to remain open to suggestions from others for alternatives within our overall designs. All are currently in English. Since this is a book meant to last at least a decade, unlike a journal article that survives only until the next issue, these selections should eschew currently fashionable subjects and jargons. One editorial rule is that every inclusion must be readable. Should anyone have any additional questions, fire away.