Performing Glam Rock: Gender and Theatricality in Popular Music Paperback – Feb 1 2006
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-Susan Fast, author of In the Houses of the Holy: Led Zeppelin and the Power of Rock Music
About the Author
Philip Auslander is Professor in the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture at Georgia Tech, and author of numerous books, including Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture and Presence and Resistance: Postmodernism and Cultural Politics in Contemporary American Performance.
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Full disclosure: the author is a college friend of mine and I am thanked in the credits for having read over a few chapters in draft. - Peter Shapiro
In music the time was ripe for a change and a series of musicians did that with a new form of rock that featured extremely theatrical performances with outrageous (for the time) costume, makeup and sets. This was called Glam Rock. It drew upon the history of previous styles of rock and added a theatrical aspect to music that was minimally modified.
This book traces the history of Glam Rock from its beginnings with T. Rex and goes through the advent of Suzi Quatro. It explains what Glam Rock was and a bit about how it evolved into the next phase of music.
While Auslander comes from the performance studies tradition, Performing Glam Rock also serves as a great overview of the genre. The book includes a great deal of history, making it a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the genre. The big guns are profiled in depth to illustrate the glam's traits: Bolan (style), Bowie (theatricality), Roxy Music (gender) and Suzi Quatro (more gender, specifically female masculinity).
Overall, an accessible and compelling read.
Along the way we get some engaging, funny and always insighful anlysis of the performance of glam artists from Bolan to Quatro. It's too early to name a rock book of the year for 2006, but this is surely a candidate.
Lecturer in Media Studies, Open University