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210 × 148 × 18 mm
224 pages
40 illustrations
13 May 2019

Five Years Ahead of My Time Garage Rock from the 1950s to the Present Seth Bovey

Five Years Ahead of My Time: Garage Rock from the 1950s to the Present tells of an explosive musical phenomenon whose continuing influence on popular culture is dramatic and deep.

The tale begins in 1950s America, when classic rock ’n’ roll was reaching middle age and teenage musicians kept its primal rawness going with rough-hewn instrumentals. In the mid-1960s, the Beatles and the British Invasion conquered America, and soon every neighbourhood had its own garage band. Groups like the Sonics and 13th Floor Elevators burned brightly but briefly, only to be rediscovered by a new generation of connoisseurs in the 1970s. Numerous compilation albums followed, spearheaded by Lenny Kaye’s seminal Nuggets, which resulted in garage rock’s rebirth across the world during the 1980s and ’90s.

Be it the White Stripes or the Black Keys, bands have consistently found inspiration in the simplicity and energy of garage rock. It is a revitalizing force, looking back to the past to forge the future. And this, for the first time, is its story.

‘The first comprehensive overview a genre that has survived more on passion than commercial reach . . . Bovey commendably covers a lot of ground previously left untouched.’ — Irish Times

‘It's true there's never been a comprehensive study of garage-rock and Bovey provides a concise, well-researched account straddling all bases in 177 pages . . . [a] diligently-realised labour of love’ — Record Collector

‘As yet there has not appeared a specific volume on the subject quite as impressive as this . . . In six chapters, Bovey chronologically charts the trajectory of the DIY phenomenon, beginning with early ’60s originators such as The Wailers, Trashmen and Kingsmen who took their inspiration from the thrilling guitar distortions of Link Wray and Bo Diddley, through to 21st century pretenders such as The Gories, Sloths and Jackets . . . the first truly comprehensive study of the genre . . . It is a concise, passionately-written and well-researched account . . . it should have you dusting down armfuls of those old nuggets before you’ve even reached Chapter Two.’ — Shindig! magazine

‘Musician Bovey enthusiastically romps through the history of guitar-driven, feedback-infused garage rock . . . Fascinating and informative.’ — Library Journal

‘The “simplicity and energy” that characterised much independently created music over the years is told in Seth Bovey’s remarkable book Five Years Ahead of My Time . . . Here in a myriad of factual information is the saga of how bands could spring up in backrooms and garages and initially find life outside of record companies . . . Bovey delves into numerous garage music nuances and categories with skill . . . a gem of a book.’ — Methodist Recorder

‘‘“Wow!” That is the instant reaction one feels when delving into this compelling history of the style of rock known as “Garage” . . . I really cannot recommend this book strongly enough; if you are interested at all in guitar music (and you are or why are you reading this), it is quite simply essential. It is an engrossing and exhaustive journey through the delicious underbelly of the evolving story of rock. It’s a must read for anyone who has seen a new or local band and wondered why they’re not bigger, or how they fit into the wider tapestry of rock music. It’s a painstakingly researched and stunningly delivered shout out to the underdogs of musical history and you really need a copy.’’ — Dave Jennings

‘A fine and thorough account, copious in historical detail and explanation of a movement that has survived on sheer, unquenchable fuzztone enthusiasm.’ — David Stubbs, author of Future Days and Mars by 1980

Five Years Ahead of My Time . . . is also a hymn, or rather, a never-ending praise of the one instrument that powered garage music like nothing else: the electric guitar, mass-produced and easily available . . . Bovey’s title is truly absorbing: easy accessible, well-informed, and convincing, as he lists hundreds of bands, their lineups, and several hundred songs to support his expertise chronologically . . . Recommend[ed] work for anybody interested in the history of rock music, guitar bands from the sixties, and the (mostly forgotten or underrated) forerunners of 1970s punk rock.’ — popcultureshelf.com

‘Guitar, bass, drums, a catchy three chord song and a groovy guitar lick – that’s all you need to rock! The pure, raw sounds of garage rock have been around since the late '50s when people realized they could play music without a huge investment of time or money. Most bands never became more than a regional attraction but a few did rise to the top and many continue to have devoted cult followings. Bovey takes us through the beginnings with the instrumental garage rock bands of the late '50s and early '60s and explores the development of this highly influential genre of music right up to the present including an impressive international scene.’ — Book Musik

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Seth Bovey is a music writer and Professor of English at Louisiana State University at Alexandria. He is also a musician and played in several garage bands in the 1970s and early ’80s.

Introduction: The Pioneers: Instrumental Rock and the First Garage Combos

1 The Founders: American Garage Rock before the Beatles Invasion
2 The Creators: The Garage-Rock Supernova in Mid-1960s America
3 The World Beaters: The British Invasion and the Beat Heard ’Round the World
4 The Resurrectors: Bringing 1960s Garage Rock Back from the Grave in the 1970s
5 The Revivalists: Replaying 1960s Garage Rock in the 1980s and Beyond
6 The Backtrackers: Garage Rock in the Twenty-first Century

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