Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Any Old Way You Choose It Book Cover

Secular Music

The following material was written for Esquire between January, 1967, and December, 1968. It is dated as it appeared in the magazine, between two and five months after it was written, and cut by about one-fourth. I wrote eight "Secular Music" columns for Esquire, but only six appear here--the pieces on soul and blues (columns number two and six) lack even historical interest now and have been deleted. Other sections have been excised or transferred, and the Monterey piece, which was not a column but a feature article, has also been edited. Except for the first column, which was necessarily na´ve, I think this writing holds up pretty well. Because I considered it my duty to cover all the interesting popular music of those fabulous years, it offers an overview of the time when the whole concept of rock was taking shape, and a glimpse of its spirit. This really is pretty much what it was like--at least for me.

Any Old Way You Choose It, 1973


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