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Philosophizing Rock Performance

Dylan, Hendrix, Bowie

Wade Hollingshaus

Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and David Bowie are among three of the most influential figures in twentieth-century popular music and culture, and innumerable scholars and biographers have explored the history of their influence. However, critical historiography reminds us that such scholarship is responsible not just for documenting history but also for producing it. In brief, there is always some kind of logic underwriting these historiographies, drawing boundaries through and around our thinking.

Philosophizing Rock Performance: Dylan, Hendrix, Bowie, Wade Hollingshaus capitalizes on this notion by embracing a set of historiographical logics that re-imagine these three artists. Noting how Dylan, Hendrix, and Bowie first established their reputations amid the anti-establishment sentiments that emerged in Western counties during the 1960s and early 1970s, he connects them with the concurrent formative phase of Continental philosophy in the work of Giorgio Agamben, Jean-François Lyotard, Michel de Certeau, Jacques Rancière, Guy Debord, and Michel Foucault. In Philosophizing Rock Performance, Hollingshaus draws on the work of these latter Continental thinkers to explore how we might otherwise think about Dylan, Hendrix, and Bowie.

This work is ideal for those in the fields of music history, performance studies, philosophy, American and European cultural and intellectual history, and critical theory.
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Scarecrow Press
Pages: 204Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
978-0-8108-8404-5 • Hardback • September 2013 • $76.00 • (£49.95)
978-0-8108-8405-2 • eBook • September 2013 • $74.99 • (£49.95)
Wade Hollingshaus is assistant professor in the Theatre and Media Arts Department at Brigham Young University. He teaches courses in literary and cultural theory, performance studies, and dramaturgy. His research has been published in Theatre Topics, Scandinavian Studies, and Journal of Finnish Studies.
Philosophizing Rock Performance is no less than revelatory. Hollingshaus arranges his three analyses, first of Dylan, then of Hendrix, then of Bowie, by increasing levels of detail and by increasing levels of postulation. . . .The perspectives Hollingshaus provides on the performers seem utterly accurate and in keeping with their personas. In fact, even more evidence in support of Hollingshaus’s observations can be found—strong proof that he has opened fissures with his argument, as he had hoped. . . .Wade Hollingshaus recasts what rock-and-roll writing from a revolutionary stance can be. . . .Philosophizing Rock Performance succeeds on a number of levels. Those who would like to read interesting, detailed, and revealing takes on the careers of three of the most important names in rock-and-roll history will not be disappointed by this book. Those looking for a new paradigm can find encouragement here as well. Hollingshaus understands.

Rock Music Studies