ALL HOPPED UP AND READY TO GO: MUSIC FROM THE STREETS OF NEW YORK 1927-77
ON SALE NOW
Tony Fletcher will be reading from, discussing, and signing copies of All Hopped Up and Ready To Go as follows:
Friday November 6
Oblong Books, Montgomery Row, Rhinebeck, 7:30pm.
Saturday November 7
The Golden Notebook/Kleinert Arts Center
Tinker Street, Woodstock, 5pm-7pm.
Launch party and panel discussion, to include Tommy Ramone, Fred Smith, Elda Gentile, and Eric Weissberg. Refreshments will be served.
Friday November 13
Barnes & Noble, Lincoln Triangle,
1972 Broadway, Manhattan, 7:30pm.
Panel discussion with Arlene Smith (The Chantels), Peter Stampfel (Holy Modal Rounders) and Seymour Stein (Sire Records).
Wednesday November 18
828 Broadway, Manhattan, 7pm.
(Discussion hosted by Jim Fouratt)
MUSIC AND MAPS
ALL HOPPED UP AND READY TO GO appendices, with MP3 playlists and Google Maps to accompany each chapter, are being uploaded every Wednesday.
Chapter 1: Mario Gets Dizzy in New York is here
Chapter 2: Cubop City and All That Jazz is here
Chapter 3: The Harlem Hit Parade is here
ALL HOPPED UP: AN EXCERPT
I was halfway through my first two-hour interview with the guitarist, producer, songwriter, journalist, and author Lenny Kaye, about as educated and enthusiastic a student and participant of the New York City music scene as anyone could ask to meet. Ostensibly, we had reached the point in our conversation where we were talking about the New York Dolls and why, despite their considerable influence over both the short and the long term, they had imploded so quickly, barely making it through two albums.
“New York is a city that’s not going to tell you no,” said Kaye, which I thought to be perhaps the most perceptive—and oddly poetic—single sentence I heard during thousands of hours spent discussing my subject matter over a five-year period. “It’s only you who can tell you when you have to go home and go to bed. So unless you have a great sense of personal responsibility, you can get lost here.” He was only partly alluding to the various problems that brought the New York Dolls to their knees, which is why he went on, “It’s not just the usual sex and drugs, etc. You can be so swamped by the amount of cultural material. Where does your art end? How do you define this? Are you going off on some wacky side road? All of these things come into play.”
Indeed they do. When I set off on the idea of writing a musical history of New York City, I envisioned a book that would start with the vaudeville impresario Tony Pastor and trace the birth of the American music business to the back rooms of the German and Irish beer halls along the lower Bowery—home of the original b-boys—in the years directly after the Civil War. By the time I had sold the idea to a publisher, half my initial research appeared to have been thrown out the window, and we had settled on a book that would begin eighty years later, after World War II, and end at the present day—in a New York City whose music scene, I felt then (and still believe now), had been rejuvenated by a fresh influx of musicians and entrepreneurs in the aftermath of that great New York tragedy, 9/11.
“In his richly detailed study of 50 years of the city’s most important music history, music journalist Fletcher vividly recreates the birth and evolution of jazz, folk, pop, punk and hip-hop as the strains of these musical styles emerged from the urban cacophony of New York… Fletcher’s terrific music history captures the teeming life of New York’s thriving music scene.” – Publisher’s Weekly. (Full review here.)
“Fletcher’s commentary melds very different cultures to shows interrelationships and how new genres built upon the foundations of predecessors. This makes for an ambitious agenda whose demands Fletcher meets magnificently. Anyone interested in popular music and the rich cultural heritage of New York—indeed, of all of the U.S.—should read this book.” – Booklist.
“Fletcher provides compelling and convincing evidence on why New York and its unique cultural mix were essential to all of these scenes. He studies in detail how music that developed on the streets became important commercial genres and examines the intersections of all the styles over the 50-year period he discusses.” – Library Journal.
“Fletcher… is that rare music scholar whose purview extends beyond the beat. In chronicling the birth of doo-wop, Afro-Cuban jazz, folk-rock, punk, disco, and hip-hop, Fletcher examines developments through a variety of prisms: sociological, ethnic, cultural, financial, religious, geographical—even pharmacological. Fletcher’s multi-faceted command of his material recalls Ann Douglas’s towering Terrible Honesty: Mongrel Manhattan in the 1920s.” – Chronogram. (Read full review here.)