Performing Glam Rock: Gender and Theatricality in Popular Music / Edition 1

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When it first appeared in the early 1970s, glam rock not only caused a stir among audiences and performers, it also stood counterculture and psychedelic rock on their heads. Glam rock was outrageous and overtly theatrical, and its unforgettable characters-adorned with flamboyant costumes and heavy makeup and accompanied by elaborately constructed sets-were personified by performers such as Marc Bolan, David Bowie, Bryan Ferry, and Suzi Quatro. A sea change in rock performance had occurred.

Yet glam was as much about substance as style, and Performing Glam Rock delves into the many ways glam paved the way for new explorations of identity in terms of gender, sexuality, and performance. Philip Auslander positions glam historically and examines it as a set of performance strategies, exploring the ways in which glam rock-while celebrating the showmanship of 1950s rock and roll-began to undermine rock's adherence to the ideology of authenticity in the late 1960s.

In this important study of a too-often-overlooked phenomenon, Auslander takes a fresh look at the genius of the glam movement and introduces glam to a new generation of performance enthusiasts and scholars alike.

Philip Auslander is Professor in the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture at the Georgia Institute of Technology and author of numerous books, including Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture and Presence and Resistance: Postmodernism and Cultural Politics in Contemporary American Performance. He is editor of the major reference work Performance: Critical Concepts and coeditor, with Carrie Sandahl, of Bodies in Commotion: Disability and Performance.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

" . . this book is excellent. Somebody has finally got 'me' right, and in fact, the entire genre of glam rock."
-Suzi Quatro

"Performing Glam Rock reminds us just how important music, and especially popular music, is as a site for understanding subjectivity and social movements through performance. . . . A useful book on an undertheorized but important genre of popular music-glam rock."
-Susan Fast, author of In the Houses of the Holy: Led Zeppelin and the Power of Rock Music

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780472068685
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press
  • Publication date: 2/2/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 1,083,556
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : personal and disciplinary reflections 1
1 Glamticipations : rock faces the 1970s 9
2 Glamography : the rise of glam rock 39
3 King of the highway, queen of the hop : Marc Bolan and the evolution of glam style 71
4 Who can I be now? : David Bowie and the theatricalization of rock 106
5 Inauthentic voices : gender bending and genre blending with Bryan Ferry and Roy Wood 150
6 Suzi Quatro wants to be your man : female masculinity in glam rock 193
Glamology : glam rock and the politics of identity 227
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2006

    Informative, but have the coffee on...

    I think this is an excellent source for the history of and the social issues behind the Glam Rock of the 1970's. (Specifically in the U.S. and the U.K.) Not a single detail of the creation and performance of the movement is left out. The only thing that is left out, is the craft of teaching creatively. Also, Auslander tends to overlook other movements in rock n' roll and funk that were making their own social statements of gender questioning and defiance. (ie: The Who) Read this if you have to, but be fore-warned, Auslander is very dry and a bit too narrative. Personally, I'd rather have seen some snazzy photos of the fabulous costumes and make-up he spent countless pages describing rather than having to read those countless pages.

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