In the 1960s, long before anyone had used the words punk, indie or alternative to describe music, teenagers in virtually every suburb, small town and big city across America spontaneously launched an organic D.I.Y. movement that changed rock 'n' roll—and the country—forever. Under the spell of the exotic new sounds of the Beatles, the Stones and their British Invasion brethren, untold thousands of kids picked up guitars, grew their hair long and took to garages, dens, rec rooms and basements to bang out raw, aggressive, hormone-crazed rock 'n' roll that made up in passion and immediacy whatever it lacked in technical finesse.
With little or no access to the conventional music business and virtually no chance of gaining mainstream success, some of those scrappy young combos achieved local-hero status. Some scraped together sufficient cash to cut a single or two at low-rent local studios. And a handful of those bands managed to score actual hit records, briefly occupying the pop charts and AM airwaves alongside their better-known role models.
The garage-rock explosion spawned thousands (or, by some estimates, tens of thousands) of bands, but it was all pretty much over by the Summer of Love. By then, rock had begun to move away from adrenaline-driven teen angst and towards heavier, more self-consciously serious sounds. But the music made by the original wave of garage bands, which was largely created in obscurity and which originally seemed doomed to remain there, has continued to thrill and inspire in the decades since, helping to spawn successive generations of punk, indie and alt-rock musicians.
Anyone who knows and loves this music knows that, at its best, it embodies everything that is liberating and transcendent about rock 'n' roll. Yet, incredibly, there has never been a serious book documenting the '60s garage-rock experience. Pushin' Too Hard, due to be published in late 2012, will fill this gap, giving this incredible body of music the comprehensive study that it has long deserved. The book, which will also include a compilation CD of rare vintage garage tracks, will be a vibrant and compelling social history drawing from the first-person experiences of those who created the music.
I've authored, edited and/or ghostwritten more than a dozen books on music and popular culture. This project is a longstanding labor of love that I've been researching on and off for more than a dozen years. I believe that it is of vital importance that this story be told properly, while its original participants are still around to tell it. As an experienced journalist and an obsessive fan, I think that I'm in a unique position to deliver a book that will document the original garage-rock explosion with a reporter's insight and a fan's enthusiasm.
At this stage, I'm really just looking for seed money so that I can get the ball rolling and begin the process of bringing this long-gestating project to fruition. When we've reached the next stage in the book's birthing process, I'll see if it makes sense to seek a deal with a mainstream publisher, or if it's more practical to raise additional funds to publish the book myself. In the meantime, if I'm fortunate enough to exceed my initial fundraising goal, all funds raised will go towards making this book as special and authoritative as possible. To demonstrate my appreciation for your support, I'm offering some neat incentives that will hopefully help to stoke your interest.
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