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From 1988 through 1993, guitarist/vocalist Steven Taylor toured the U.S. and Europe with the alternative rock group False Prophets, keeping a detailed journal with the intent of documenting the role of musicians in the international anarchist youth movement. His fieldnotes form the core of the book, accounting with honesty and aplomb the sometimes hilarious, sometimes harrowing, always engaging highs and lows of life on the road.
False Prophet situates punk, and the diary itself, in relation to contemporary critiques of identity and ethnographic representation, and links punk’s emergence to the oral poetry renaissance of the 1950s, free jazz, and the do-it-yourself trend set by underground filmmakers in the 1960s. This innovative ethnography provides a theoretically informed account of a little understood genre of popular music, and a rare, intimate view into the everyday life of a working band. The audio CD contains some of False Prophets’ most popular cuts.
BOOK ONE The Subject in Question: Punk Paradox and the Problem of Culture
Who You Calling a Punk, Punk?
Revolution in Punk Poetics
Identity Is the Crisis, Can’t You See?
Death and Transfiguration: The Rock Alternative and Alternative Rock
What Good Is It?
Deliberate Amnesia: Punk’s Origin Myths
Baudelaire’s Dandy and a Chick Who Looks Like a Crow
Between Reality and Thesis
BOOK TWO You Want to Get Paid? Oh. I’ll Have to Talk to the Band
On the Road o So You Want to Be a Rock and Roll Star
To Hell and Back
How Do You Feel about Your Negative Result?
Back to Hell
Never Again (Again)
P.S. When’s the Reunion?
Appendix: Invisible People: Lyrics to accompanying CD