PO Box 940, 70 Irish Road, Ranchos de Taos, NM 87557
Published by Hal Leonard, December 2002
In the tradition of Nick Tosches, Tom Wolfe and Lester Bangs comes an epic and riveting history of rock and roll that reads like a novel. Sonic Cool presents the saga of rock and roll as the closest thing we have to genuine “myth” in the modern world, and it is the first book about rock to be written in the spirit of rock. Immense, fierce, opinionated and hilarious, Joe Harrington masterfully presents rock as a movement of near-religious proportions, against a backdrop of social factors and important events such as the invention of the guitar, the jukebox, LSD, the 12-inch phonograph record, the ’70s recession, the Reagan Revolution, and the Internet. This is the history of rock as it’s never been told, as the legend of a massive cultural movement, one that had meaning, but ultimately failed because it sold its soul. Radically egalitarian in its assessments – towering figures such as Lennon, Dylan and Cobain stand along side lesser-known but equally influential artists like the MC5, the Misfits and Joy Division – Sonic Cool is gripping reading for anyone who ever believed in the music.
Joe S. Harrington began writing at the age of 10, an act that provoked a rejection slip from Mad magazine. He has written about music for the Boston Globe, Boston Phoenix, New York Press, Seattle Stranger, Lowell Sun, Wired, Reflex, Raygun, High Times, Seconds, Rollerderby and numerous fanzines. He is currently employed as an on-line jazz critic at Amazon, and lives in Portland, Maine.