Astral Weeks

Astral Weeks

A Secret History of 1968

Book - 2018
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Documents the story of the creation of Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks" album against a backdrop of the political and cultural turmoil of 1968 Boston, examining how other artists raised awareness about key historical events and issues.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2018
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780735221345
0735221340
Characteristics: 357 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm

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pattyskypants
Sep 09, 2018

It was the cover. That got me. But the reading was disappointing and I kept asking myself, "Why am I reading this?" Because Who Cares? If this is your FAVEorite album of all time (and it does span generations), I can't understand how these words will make it any better for you. And then I started to worry "What if EVERYbody who has a FAVEorite album writes an entire book about it?" And then that dominoes into EVERYbody who has a FAVEorite sports game or TV show and . . . you get my drift. We can only hope the publishers will hold back this unfortunate tide! But, I did finish it, every last word -- okay maybe I skipped over a few of the paragraphs that described technical musician-type chit that I didn't understand anyway; it did not enrich my life or my understanding or appreciation of Van Morrison or Astral Weeks.

l
lukasevansherman
Aug 02, 2018

Could you find me? Would you kiss-a my eyes? To lay me down in silence easy. To be born again. To be born again."
Man, I wanted to like this book. Van Morrison's epochal, singular "Astral Weeks" is one my favorite albums and even while I can't stand baby boomers, I'm deeply interested in the myths and follies of the 60s. While Morrison's "Astral Weeks" is a kind of anchor, it's a free ranging, which is too say unfocused and uneven, story of Boston in 1968. Morrison was living there and wrote much of what would be the album during this formative time, the Velvet Underground were frequently playing the Boston Tea Party, a young Jonathan Richman was discovering the band that would change his life. . .But there's more! The Boston Strangler terrorized the city and Tony Curtis would later star in the movie, James Brown calmed the city a few days after MLK's assassination, a Harvard professor named Timothy Leary introduced a generation to LSD, and folk singer turned cult leader Mel Lyman led a druggy commune. It's all interesting stuff, but the author, a musician, can't really pull it all together. More like "Astral Weaks," you know?

PimaLib_AlinaG Jun 07, 2018

Who knew Irish musician Van Morrison, Lou Reed of the Velvet Underground, cult leader Mel Lyman, Harvard professor Timothy Leary, and Dr. Andrew Weil had so much in common? All of Boston, apparently, but in true puritanical form, they managed to keep the subversive counter culture and rising interest in paganism hidden away under Ivy League degrees and unnecessary bans. Whether you’re a fan of Morrison’s music or not, this book was a real gem that touched on many of the important political moments and social movements of the late 60s through the intertwining stories of a few iconic musicians and a town itching to express itself. Turn on, tune in, and drop out to this exploration of a whimsical time not unlike our own.

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PimaLib_AlinaG Apr 26, 2018

PimaLib_AlinaG thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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