Monday, 4 January 2016

There's a Riot Going On !

The fire wagons kept comin', baby, but the Black Panther Snipers wouldn't let them put it out”…. I’ve been listening to Kick Out the Jams these past few days, it’s become the soundtrack of my latest read, Peter Doggett’s 2007 book There's a Riot Going On: Revolutionaries, Rock Stars, and the Rise and Fall of '60s Counterculture. I’m only about 100 pages in so far but it’s already proving a fascinating read, especially the section on the various Black revolutionary groups that were jostling for power as the 60’s drew to a close. Particularly interesting I thought was Black Panther co-founder Huey Newton’s reading of Highway 61 Revisited as a coded text about the oppression of African-Americans - I’ve been looking over the lyrics to Side 1 of the album, "Ballad of a Thin Man" and l must confess I just don’t see it. I’d love to know what Bob Dylan thought of Newton’s interpretation. I’ve read some criticism of the book that it has an American bias, which is a shame, I would have liked to read something about German band Faust and its association with members of the Baader-Meinhof Group. Still, with 500 pages left to read I’m looking forward to picking it up later…

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