This is not, as one might expect from its title, a book about rock music. Rather, it is about the history, sociology and economics that influenced and were influenced by the rock generations. Although rock music is the core of this book, the chronological history of rock artists, songs, records and events that left their mark is condensed into about one-tenth of the text. The other nine-tenths is concerned with covering a broad spectrum of factual detail about every possible aspect of American life related to the music--from the beginnings of the Rock Era until what now could be considered its end.
In keeping with this announced purpose, any reader seeking analyses, observations, and subjective opinions about the music and its people will find over three hundred volumes listed year by year under the category heading "American Books about Artists and Music in the Rock Era" as a further reference point. Rock music was the germ of creation for those books. But, to a much larger sociological extent, it had major effects on teen and college living and the alternative life styles of almost three generations. These in turn influenced everything from major news happenings to fashion, films, television, books, modern language, fads, and to an extent, the new emancipation of women.
Equally important are the correlations of accelerating statistical fact and the annual inflation in the price of everything from cars to carrots, as well as chronological data about changes in social dancing, comic strip art, and some of the trivial happenings along the way that so clearly reflect the tastes and moods of a people.
Rock music, which was at the root of the new youth culture, provided a background for its new-found voice. From the start, the expressed purpose of this book was to illustrate the era in minute detail. Therefore each chapter covers as large a variety of related subjects as each major focus allows. Since sociological and historical changes often result from incidental influences, rather than from those that might appear to affect them directly at the time, items that may seem trivial during the year they occur are included for the impact they had on later events.