Rocking My Life Away

Writing about Music and Other Matters

Rocking My Life Away

Book Pages: 368 Illustrations: Published: April 1998

General Interest, Music > Popular Music

New in paperback
Rocking My Life Away
represents nearly twenty years of writing by one of the premier critics of popular music in America today. In these pieces from Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and other publications, Anthony DeCurtis reveals his ongoing engagement with rock & roll as artistic forum, source of personal inspiration, and compelling site of cultural struggle. Including significant new work—liner notes commissioned for the Phil Spector box set and a spirited discussion with Peter Buck of R.E.M. about rock criticism, for example—DeCurtis also ventures with insight and power beyond the world of rock & roll. A joint profile of the political writers Neil Sheehan and Taylor Branch and provocative looks at the work of novelists Don DeLillo and T. Coraghessan Boyle round out this eclectic collection.


Rocking My Life Away . . . passionately blends music, journalism, remembrance, and argument with a fresh perspective. . . . Like bell hooks and Mikal Gilmore, DeCurtis understands the links between culture and music. His book brilliantly chronicles the chaotic times in which they coexist.” — Michael E. Ross , Vibe

“Anthony DeCurtis’s collection offers literate and deeply informed profiles of the artists responsible for our musical landscape.” — Mark Oppenheimer, New York Times Book Review

“DeCurtis enters a scene without an agenda, providing a sparkling and untainted view and permitting the essential truths of each experience to emerge. The top-notch writing in this book has remarkable clarity.” — Ted Drozdowski , Boston Phoenix

Rocking My Life Away is a fan’s notes and far more: DeCurtis’s erudite prose combines passionate thinking about popular culture and an informed feel for what moves us at the most personal level. It is a highly satisfying collection.” — Barbara O’Dair, Editor of Rolling Stone Book of Women in Rock

“Anthony DeCurtis writes about rock music with no agenda but alerting his readers to what’s good and trying to get at the truth about it. He’s an intellectual with the common touch and a fan with a rare gift for articulating the emotional reactions many of us experience but few can put into words. Having the best of DeCurtis in one volume is a great and overdue pleasure.” — Bill Flanagan, Editorial Director, VH1


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Price: $28.95

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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Anthony DeCurtis is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, where he worked on staff for nine years as a writer and editor. He worked for a year (1995) as an on-air correspondent and editorial director at VH1, was the popular music critic for “Weekend All Things Considered” on National Public Radio from 1991 to 1995, and has written for a wide range of periodicals, including the New York Times, USA Today, and Vibe. He coedited The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll and The Rolling Stone Album Guide and edited Present Tense: Rock & Roll and Culture, also published by Duke University Press. DeCurtis received the 1988 Grammy Award in the “Best Album Notes” category and has three times received ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards for excellence in writing about music. He is also a member of the nominating committee for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Table of Contents Back to Top


The Classics

It’s a Thursday Night in Athens, Georgia

Lives and Deaths


In the Crosshairs

Culture Watch, Culture Wars


Sales/Territorial Rights: North America

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2419-5 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2184-2