Metaphysical Graffiti: Deep Cuts in the Philosophy of Rock

Metaphysical Graffiti: Deep Cuts in the Philosophy of Rock

by Randall E. Auxier


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Metaphysical Graffiti explores the philosophical themes prevalent in the music of the classic rock era. Each chapter is a detailed study of a classic rock performer or ensemble, applying insights from philosophers ancient and modern. It will appeal to an audience that was inspired by the music of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. In the words of the author, “Philosophy is in this music and it is of this music and for this music.”

The author is an accomplished professor of philosophy and also an accomplished musician, who plays in the folk rock group, Bone Dry River Band.

Among the chapters included in this book “Frenzy” applies Plato and mystery religion to the Rolling Stones, “An Everlasting Kiss: The Seduction of Wendy” applies Vico to Bruce Springsteen, “Warm Impermanence” applies Danto and Andy Warhol to David Bowie, “Magic Pages and Mythic Plants” applies Cassirer to Led Zeppelin, “A Touch of Grey: Gratefully Dead?” applies Kant and Whitehead to the Grateful Dead, “Yesterday’s Tom Sawyers” applies Suzanne Langer to Rush, and “Dead Reckoning and Tacking the Winds of Fortune and Fate” applies Machiavelli to Jimmy Buffett.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812699647
Publisher: Open Court Publishing Company
Publication date: 06/13/2017
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Randall E. Auxier is the editor of Bruce Springsteen and Philosophy and the co-editor of The Wizard of Oz and Philosophy. He is Professor of Philosophy at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and is a member of the Bone Dry River Band.

Table of Contents

Foreword: The Silence in Between Luke Dick vii

Sources xi

Late Summer: Like a Window in Your Heart xiii

A Side It's Only Rock and Roll 1

1 The Glimmer Twins 3

2 When the Whip Comes Down 27

3 Frenzy 51

4 When Jumpin' Jack Flash Met Ziggy Stardust 73

5 Warm Impermanence 83

6 Magic Pages and Mythic Plants 95

7 The Kids Aren't Alright 113

8 It's All Dark: The Eclipse of the Damaged Brain 131

B Side Born in the USA 159

9 A Touch of Grey: Gratefully Dead? 161

10 An Everlasting Kiss: The Seduction of Wendy 181

11 Blinded by the Subterranean Homesick Muse: The Poet as Virtuoso and Virtuous 197

12 Prophets and Profits: Poets, Preachers and Pragmatists 219

13 The Long Decline 233

14 Emptiness in Harmony 253

Bonus Tracks: Growing Older but Not Up 275

15 Christ in a Sidecar: An Ontology of Suicide Machines 277

16 Yesterday's Tom Sawyers 291

17 Dead Reckoning and Tacking in the Winds of Fortune and Fate 317

18 Running on Empty 337

Afterword: Long Live Rock 357

References 365

Bios 369

Index 379

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