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The Rolling Stones Discover America

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  45 ratings  ·  10 reviews
In 1969 Michael Lydon, a founding editor of Rolling Stone and a leading member of rock writing’s first generation, got a dream assignment: to cover the Rolling Stones’ hopscotch tour across America that ended at Altamont. His long, intimate piece on the tour, The Rolling Stones Discover America, captures the highs and lows of the grueling tour and has become a classic of r ...more
Kindle Edition, 63 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by Franklin Street Press
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Author of this short ebook, Michael Lydon, was a founding editor of Rolling Stone, as well as being a playwright, journalist and writing many books on music. In the later years of the Sixties, the ‘Big Three’ (Beatles, Stones and Dylan) had given up touring. However, by 1969, the Rolling Stones were ready to go back on the road and Lydon accompanied them on tour.

This, then, is the story of a US tour, which culminated in the stabbing of an eighteen year old fan, Meredith Hunter, in Altamont – mu
True story: when it was announced that The Rolling Stones planned to bring the Steel Wheels tour to my home town, I drew the short straw to get tickets. Now, this happened way before the Internet and refreshing Web pages on LiveNation to get good seats. I had to drive to Turtles Records and Tapes about an hour before the sale began and pluck a strip of paper from a hat as part of the "lottery" system. There were rules, too: you entered the store when your number was called, and you took the tick ...more
For a guy who was probably having way too much fun, Michael Lydon wrote some clear, interpretive, reports while on the road with the Rolling Stones '69 American tour. It's not just the music, but the people and the culture of the late sixties, a shared history that he experienced up close and personal. He writes about the kids: "They forget everything but being right there, then everything happens, and it's no longer a concert, but a wild high-time happiness that everyone shares." It seems a sim ...more
"He smiles the Jagger smile at the room, making deep ridges beside his famous mouth; an ironic jester who insists his words, sung or spoken, don't matter at all."

Thoroughly enjoyed. Couldn't put it down. Not only does Lydon provide a great sense of music journalism, its also a great piece to read in your twenties. That feeling of being disillusioned and removed from that hippy vibe of "All is good, we can be free" is incredibly relatable and somewhat romantic. I'm glad I read this when I did.
Not without its fun cameos: Abbie Hoffman, begging for money backstage; a wasted Keith telling off a Los Angeles socialite. But much of it is gassy commentary on kids, rock and roll, and youth culture. That part of it feels like a time capsule from when rock journalism was learning to take itself seriously, and overcompensated by imposing a whole lot of sociology. You do learn what hard work touring was. Lydon also does a decent job of describing strange combo of monotony and excitement that com ...more
Mark Warren
The Stones' 1969 tour through the eyes of an embedded Rolling Stone Magazine journalist. Short quick read. I enjoyed it.
Rob Hermanowski
In the nifty Kindle single format, this is essentially a reprint of a lengthy article by a reporter who was embedded in the Rolling Stone's last tour of America in the 1960's (shortly after Brian Jones' death). This included the infamous concert in which a fan was stabbed to death mid concert directly in front of the stage by Hell's Angels serving as "security" for the show. Interesting anecdotes abound, and the reader gets a good sense of what it must have been like to have been there. Recommen ...more
Vince Hale
This was an interesting enough read, but it was more about the culture / social climate of the time than of the Rolling Stones as a band.

It's told from an insider's viewpoint by a reporter travelling with the band, but too often it morphs from tour coverage into an essay about life in the 1960's.

It was a pleasant enough read, and I'm glad I bought it, but I can't really say I know any more about the band now than I did before I downloaded the Kindle Single.
Gus Sanchez
The Stones' 1969 American tour, as seen through one of the few journalists embedded with the band at the time. In this Kindle Single, Michael Lydon recalls the chaos and thrill of the Stones' first full-length tour of larger arenas and stadiums across the States. He doesn't really offer anything new in terms of insight, nothing that hasn't been written about countlessly by now. But his final word on the clusterfuck that was Altamont is worth reading.
Simon Sweetman
A pretty cool on-the-road account of the infamous 69 tour of America that ends - with a bang, as it (sorta almost) was - with Altamont.
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