Evie and the Essence of Rock and Roll

Michael writes: “‘Evie and the Essence of Rock and Roll’ takes as its starting point a conversation I had with my friend, Evie, who works in the music industry. It explores the connection between the meaning that people can find in rock music and what one might call the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. The phrase ‘sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll’ has a wide currency these days, but scratch beneath the surface of popular usage and it’s soon obvious that despite tendencies towards promiscuity and substance abuse by those who live and breathe rock ‘n’ roll, the ‘rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle’ isn’t one thing. As always, common phrases and labels mask a wide range of attitudes and behaviours. What’s more, however integral drug use and general decadence are to the histories of some of the great rock bands, it is clear that the music itself can never be reduced to, or explained away by, some of the more hedonistic and destructive tendencies of those who create it. Whatever the source of musicians’ motivation, inspiration and life choices – and these sources themselves are varied – the music, once created, has a life of its own. As fans we respond to this music in an even greater variety of ways. The same bands, songs and albums hold different places and have different significance in the lives of different people. This realisation – which shouldn’t really come as a surprise – opens up vast vistas of human experience that are often ignored, trivialised or ridiculed by the mass media and mainstream popular culture. ‘Evie and the Essence of Rock and Roll’ is an attempt to create the ‘conceptual space’ within which some of this experience and significance can be explored.”

Bands and artists featured include: Bob Dylan, Marillion, the Doors, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Metallica, Lemmy/Motörhead, Deep Purple, Iron Maiden, Saxon and Budgie, with references to many others.

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