Rock & Roll may not have been born in New York, but that was where it grew up and presented itself to the world. From the churches and street corners of Harlem and The Bronx to the underground clubs of the East Village, New York City has been its musical Mecca for four generations, and Rock & Roll Explorer will be the definitive historical guide to its development throughout the five boroughs.
In an era where rock stars are regularly presented with knighthoods and Medals of Freedom, isn’t it time we made an honest effort to document the places they lived, met, and performed? Bob Dylan himself is known to have visited such sites, like John Lennon’s childhood home in Liverpool. The recent spate of bestselling musical biographies and memoirs has also refocused attention on music’s illustrious past.
Rock & Roll Explorer restores a sense of time and place to music history by carefully identifying and documenting critical points of interest spanning genres and eras, delineating the places in New York City critical to its musical development and ultimate triumph. In this way we can see and understand how bands came together, scenes developed, and classic songs were written. Artists come and go, neighborhoods change, venues open and close, but the music lives on. Plug in and walk the same streets a young Bob Dylan walked. See where Patti Smith, the Ramones, Beastie Boys, and Jeff Buckley played. Visit on foot the places Lou Reed mentions in his songs or where Paul Simon grew up; where the Strokes drowned their sorrows, Grizzly Bear cut their teeth and Jimi Hendrix found his vision. The authors have already identified and documented numerous points of interest in this fascinating and unprecedented journey through the five boroughs, more than enough to keep the dedicated music fan busy for a long, long time. Like The Guinness Book of World Records or the AIA Guide to New York City, Rock & RollExplorer can be updated but never equaled. Its uniqueness and presentation will make it the last word in New York’s Rock & Roll heritage and inclusion will become a badge of honor. This book will present music history in a way that is educational, enlightening, but most importantly, fun and entertaining.
Mike Katz was born in Atlanta, came of age in New Orleans, and eventually (or perhaps inevitably) found a home in New York City. Along the way, he has been an obsessive music fan, voracious reader, history buff, bookseller, and accomplished photographer. The Rock & Roll Explorer Guide is his warped love letter to this beautiful, dirty town.
Crispin Kott was born in Chicago, raised in New York, and has called everywhere from San Francisco to Los Angeles to Atlanta home. An avid music enthusiast and failed drummer, he’s written for numerous print and online publications, and has shared with his daughters Madeline and Marguerite a love of reading, writing and record collecting. As a longtime Brooklyn resident, Crispin has been able to indulge in his love of Rock & Roll of the past, present, and future.