[sixties-l] U. Massachusetts prof publishes 60s rock n roll book

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Date: 12/11/00

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    U. Massachusetts prof publishes '60s rock 'n' roll book
    December 8, 2000
    By Karen Madsen
    Massachusetts Daily Collegian
    U. Massachusetts-Amherst
    (U-WIRE) AMHERST, Mass.Nick Bromell, a University of Massachusetts English 
    professor, defines his new book, Tomorrow Never Knows, as an attempt to 
    explain the importance of rock and roll, and an exploration of a 60s that 
    many people know about, but very few have written about.
    The work discusses the experience of rock and roll and psychedelics, and 
    what it meant to the youth of the 60s.
    "There really is no such thing as the 60s," said Bromell. "My book is about 
    a 60s: what it was like to be young, white, middle class, in college and 
    confused, and excited about the world you were coming of age in."
    He began writing the book in 1993 as a counter to some of the images he saw 
    in the scholarly histories and popular cultural accounts of the decade. "I 
    think our culture is very undecided about the about the 60s. Some people 
    completely hate it. Some will defend it to the dying end," explained 
    Bromell. "As they fight it out, their messages get simpler. In reality, 
    there's truth to both sides. It was an extraordinarily complex moment."
    Bromell believes that these different images come out of the tumultuous 
    social and political climates of the decade.
    "I think the 60's were an earthquake," he said, "and they force us to 
    rethink what history is, what truth is, what youth is and what music can do."
    With regard to academics in America, Bromell thinks that the envisioned 
    revolution of the 60s experienced some degree of success.
    "The pressure of political events on academic curriculum at most schools 
    forced students and professors to think again about what was important to 
    learn and think about," he said.  "The revaluation that most colleges and 
    universities were deeply tied into the military-industrial complex forced 
    students and professors to ask hard questions about academic freedom."
    The influence of this era is still very much felt today, according to 
    Bromell, as indicated by the Nader movement. He sees the potential for two 
    generations of progressives to join together.
    "This is symbolized by the new Santana album. It's got the 60s love 
    message, but it also has young voices singing their message," Bromell 
    A significant difference that Bromell sees between his generation's 
    attitude toward music and the attitude held by students today is in the 
    diversity of tastes.
    "When I was young, the question was 'Do you like Folk or Rock?' and if you 
    liked rock the question was 'Do you like the Stones or the Beatles?'" said 
    Bromell. "One of the consequences is that it will be harder for this 
    generation to unite around a shared musical sensibility, for better or worse."
    Bromell hopes that students will share his appreciations for the historical 
    importance of the 60s.
    "I'm teaching a course in contemporary poetry," said Bromell. "As we read 
    poets who are writing today, I'm suddenly more aware than ever of the 
    profound ways the 60's changed the way we think about life."

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