The Secret History of Rock 'n' Roll [NOOK Book]

Overview



Sex. Drugs. Loud music. Wild costumes. Dazzling light shows. These words can all describe a great rock concert or a hot dance club, but they were also part and parcel of the ancient cultural phenomenon known as the “Mystery religions.” In this book, author Christopher Knowles shows how the Mystery religions got a secular reincarnation when a new musical form called rock 'n' roll burst onto the scene. The Secret History of Rock 'n' Roll traces the history of the Mysteries — their rise, their fall, and their ...
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The Secret History of Rock 'n' Roll

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Overview



Sex. Drugs. Loud music. Wild costumes. Dazzling light shows. These words can all describe a great rock concert or a hot dance club, but they were also part and parcel of the ancient cultural phenomenon known as the “Mystery religions.” In this book, author Christopher Knowles shows how the Mystery religions got a secular reincarnation when a new musical form called rock 'n' roll burst onto the scene. The Secret History of Rock 'n' Roll traces the history of the Mysteries — their rise, their fall, and their survival through long centuries of repression. Knowles shows how the Mysteries prefigured subcultures as diverse as Santeria, Freemasonry, Mardi Gras and even the Holiness churches of the American frontier, and explains exactly how ancient rituals and music found their way to the New World. In the process, The Secret History of Rock 'n' Roll traces the development of rock's most popular genres such as punk and heavy metal, and reveals how many of rock's most iconic artists play the same archetypal roles as the ancient gods. You'll see how many of the rituals and customs and even musical styles of our postmodern society have stunning ancient parallels. You'll meet history's first pop
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"I found The Secret History of Rock 'n' Roll: The Mysterious Roots of Modern Music to be a good read... entertaining and thought provoking. Anyone who's interested in rock and roll, especially its history, I expect will enjoy Christopher Knowles book."
— soulofrocknroll.com

"[Knowles] manages to capture the fascination and religious fervor that rock ‘n’ roll can inspire. Knowles manages to be both educational and juicy as he explores ancient cults and their counterparts in modern music. If this book is anything, it’s fun. "
— Star Foster, patheos.com

"Do you believe that rock music has only been around since last century, or do believe that is possible for it to have roots dating back to the Stone Age? Perhaps those alive during ancient times had their own rock stars. This theory is explored in the new book titled The Secret History of Rock ´n' Roll: The Mysterious Roots of Modern Music...This book shows us a valid possibility worthy of checking out."
— Lisa Rene Plumlee, metal.com

"Rock ‘n’ roll music — that hip-gyrating, innocence-robbing, beat-driven racket that ate the world — is really an ecstatic heathen ritual. Tell us something we don’t know. Author Christopher Knowles aims to do just that in his new book, The Secret History of Rock ‘n’ Roll, which investigates the historic correlation between the pantheistic priests of yore and the gender-blurring, mutilation-prone avatars of rock. Everyone knows that Jim Morrison was the Lizard King and David Bowie the Starman, but were you aware that the Greek god of debauchery Dionysus “was also closely identified with various groups of long-haired, armored priests, whose thrashing musical performances were the headline act of Mystery rituals from Phrygia to Samothrace, from Eleusis to the Vatican Hill”? And there’s even more to this ancient analog of glam and metal. Knowles has some persuasive evidence that tight trousers, trashy makeup and high decibels are hardly new under the sun."
— Casey Rae-Hunter, thecontrarianmedia.com

"Christopher Knowles's The Secret History of Rock N' Roll is a hit...Christopher presents an intriguing case for his unusual observations and thesis. Because of his scholarly research, which I found illuminating, and of his clear and concise writing style, Knowles's argument is convincing...In the end, The Secret History of Rock 'N' Roll is a "wish I'd read this when I was younger"-type book. Indeed, it is a well-written tome positing an unusual thesis not without precedent but uniquely expressed and detailed here in a learned yet friendly manner."
— Acharya Sanning, truthbeknown.com

"Knowles has done an excellent job of throwing light on the origins of mankind’s myths and their rebirth in the rock ‘n’ roll era, with stories and concepts that transcend time and continue to exert their powerful hold on the nature of what people are."
— UFO Magazine

"Finally, someone with obsession, intelligence, and (most importantly) taste has placed the gods of rock against the backdrop of the ancient pagan mysteries, to establish what ecstatic fans have known all along: that the transports of rock are the transports of spirit." — Erik Davis, author of Led Zeppelin IV

"Mr. Knowles always finds the hidden gnosis at the heart of the seemingly profane, from comics and cartoons to sci-fi, and now to his fascinating treatment of modern popular music. Knowles actually identifies the individual divine archetypes at work, the mystical personae embodied by each of our most widely worshiped rock and pop idols. The Secret History of Rock 'n' Roll elucidates the ancient mystery dramas that many of us were unwittingly initiated into during our youth by an industry merely looking to make a buck from the sale of these apples of forbidden wisdom No wonder our parents instinctively felt threatened by the music we listened to." — Tracy R Twyman, The Merovingian Mythos and the Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau

"Christopher Knowles has done it again. Having traced for us the esoteric and mystical roots of the superhero comic in Our Gods Wear Spandex, here he traces for us the ancient ecstatic and mystical roots of rock n’ roll, all the way back to the Greek Mysteries and the archetypes of the ancient gods and goddesses, it turns out. Boldly speculative, beautifully written, and eerily onto something, this is a book that reaches out to recover, celebrate, and understand the musical geniuses who helped birth a colorful counterculture that is still with us, humming just under the surface of things." — Jeffrey J. Kripal, J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Religious Studies, Rice University, author of Authors of the Impossible: The Paranormal and the Sacred

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573445641
  • Publisher: Cleis Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 480,684
  • File size: 604 KB

Meet the Author


Christopher Knowles is an author and creator of comics. He is known for Halo: An Angel’s Story, a mini-series published by Sirius Entertainment. He was the editor of the Top Shelf Productions magazine "Comic Book Artist" from 2000-2004 and has written articles for publications like "The Jack Kirby Collector" and sites like Comic Book Resources.

Knowles also wrote a highly acclaimed and award-winning book called Our Gods Wear Spandex: The Secret History of Comic Book Heroes and the critically-acclaimed Clash City Showdown: The Music, Meaning and Legacy of the Clash . He also co-authored a book about "The X-Files" TV series called The Complete X-Files: Behind the Series, the Myths, and the Movies, published by Insight Editions.

He was an associate editor and columnist for the five-time Eisner Award-winning Comic Book Artist magazine, as well as a writer and reviewer for the UK magazine, Classic Rock. Knowles wrote the definitive history of the cult classic film Lucifer Rising for Classic Rock, which featured exclusive interviews with Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, director Kenneth Anger and Manson Family member Bobby Beausoleil. The Lucifer Rising cover story earned Classic Rock its best-selling issue to date.

He keeps several blogs that discuss occult topics, including The Secret Sun, The Solar Satellite, and The Solar Seminar. He resides in Red Hook, New Jersey.
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