"some music was meant to stay underground..."

"The Secret History of Rock N’ Roll" (Book)

 - "The Secret History of Rock N’ Roll" Book cover image

Reviewed by on March 24, 2011

"...an intriguing read that may open up your mind to new ideas and theories surrounding our civilization and the relation to music."

Christopher Knowles' latest book, "The Secret History of Rock N’ Roll: The Mysterious Roots of Modern Music," is written to reveal the mystery and history behind today’s rock music.

Many of us follow John Lennon’s thought of “Before Elvis there was nothing” when it comes to discussing the birth of rock music. Elvis would tip his hat (or I guess, cape) to the blues artists before him. Knowles takes the start of rock music to an earlier place in time, exploring Greek Mythology and Christianity among other areas.

"The Secret History of Rock and Roll" does cover common areas of study such as Jim Morrison and his relationship with Greek Mythology, and the connection many of these artists claim to have had with these mysterious figures of time. Ancient stories of the Gods: Orpheus, Isis, Mirtha, and many others attempts to tie drugs and sex to the music of contemporary rock music. Carl Jung, is often referenced as the psychotherapist that had influence on both The Beatles and The Police. The first half of the book digs into Knowles theories, the second half discussed musicians and the potential links to his thesis.

The research is impeccable; the connection is up to the reader. Knowles gives his own interpretation of Bible passages, attempting to relate the rebellious side of Christianity to the music today known as rock and roll. For students of religion, mythology, and history this is an intriguing read that may open up your mind to new ideas and theories surrounding our civilization and the relation to music. To be frank, others will find this book a “stretch” with supporting evidence open to translation. There is also the debate of what constitutes rock music as this book discusses R&B, pop music, and the shove a pencil in your ear genre of adult contemporary in the same context of rock, hard rock, and heavy metal music.

Highs: The research and theories linking Greek Mythology and religion to our music culture today.

Lows: References to Earth, Wind, and Fire, and other R&B groups that have little to do with Rock N’ Roll.

Bottom line: "The Secret History of Rock and Roll" is an intriguing idea that will push some readers and leave other shaking their head.

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)