Psychedelic-Rock'n'roll: Eight Miles High: Folk-Rock's Flight from Haight-Ashbury to Woodstock

24 December 2011

Eight Miles High:
Folk-Rock's Flight from Haight-Ashbury to Woodstock

Eight Miles High: Folk-Rock's Flight from Haight-Ashbury to Woodstock
Richie Unterberger
344 pages, Backbeat Books 2003

"Eight Miles High: Folk-Rock's Flight from Haight-Ashbury to Woodstock" is the second volume of the first comprehensive history of one of the greatest movements in Rock music, drawing upon interviews with more than 100 musicians, producers, managers, and journalists involved in the music. Where its predecessor ("Turn! Turn! Turn!: The '60s Folk-Rock Revolution") documented the birth and growth of Folk-Rock through mid-1966, its sequel, "Eight Miles High", covers the branches and evolutions of Folk-Rock from mid-1966 to the end of the 1960s. Together, they form an epic history of the entire style as it evolved throughout the 1960s, following its growth chronologically from the streets of Greenwich Village at the dawn of the decade through the 1969 Woodstock Festival.
"Eight Miles High" portrays the mutation of the genre into Psychedelia via California bands like "The Byrds" and "Jefferson Airplane"; the maturation of Folk-Rock composers in the singer-songwriter movement; the re-emergence of "Bob Dylan" and the creation of "Country-Rock"; the rise of Folk-Rock's first supergroup, CSN&Y; the origination of British Folk-Rock; and the growing importance of major festivals from Newport to Woodstock.

Based on firsthand interviews with such Folk-Rock visionaries as: "Jorma Kaukonen", "Roger McGuinn", Donovan, "Judy Collins", "Jim Messina", "Dan Hicks", "John Sebastian", "Arlo Guthrie", "Richie Furay", and "Chris Hillman".
This is one of the best books out there in piecing together the various sounds and styles and creating a logical through-line in understanding exactly what did take place back in the hallowed Sixties.
If you have this one in your hands, you probably have the first volume, Turn! Turn! Turn! If you don't, you need to have it to truly put this wonderful volume in perspective.