April 15, 2019
Chapter 17 of Rock N Roll Archaeology is bookended by a couple of Simon & Garfunkel albums: “Bookends” from the spring of 1968; and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” from January of 1970. Our story takes place mostly in New York City: a city big enough to spawn two very different, very talented--and very influential--artists: Paul Simon and Lou Reed. We skip work on a cold January afternoon to catch a movie: Mike Nichols’ “The Graduate.” It’s a generation milestone of a film, and Simon & Garfunkel’s music is a big part of that; what’s more, we argue, it’s a different kind of soundtrack, something new in film and popular culture. We meet Tom Wilson, the first African-American staff producer at Columbia Records.  Tom oversaw the first two Simon & Garfunkel albums. We follow him for a little while and he leads us to...Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground.We get to know Lou and the Velvets, and the scene from which they sprang: Andy Warhol’s Factory. We meet a Factory hang-around, an angry young woman with good reasons to be angry, but she takes it way too far, with tragic consequences. And we’ll meet the first Punk Rock band: The MC5, and the revolutionary political milieu they occupied. Wayne Kramer of the MC5 has some things to say about that, and about a fateful MC5 gig at the Fillmore East. Finally, we’ll meet one of our favorite artists ever, who came from the same scene as the MC5: Iggy Pop. We say “Amen” to Iggy Pop. We wrap it back around to Simon & Garfunkel, and their take on the anger and disappointment, on the turmoil of the late 1960s. An offer of comfort and healing is the first big Pop hit of the 1970s.Listen to episodes 1-16 of Rock N Roll Archaeology and all our other podcasts at
October 25, 2018
We start our tale of Paradise Lost in Buena Vista Park, San Francisco, in the fall of 1967. Hippie, the Devoted Son of Mass Media, is dead, and the San Francisco Diggers are conducting the funeral. From the funky streets of the Haight we head east a couple miles to the Fillmore West, and meet a complicated man, concert promoter Bill Graham. It was during these early years in San Francisco that Bill created the rock concert experience. Then a brief trip to Texas, where Janis Joplin cleans up and then heads back; to San Francisco to find her family. We get to know Janis a little better, and talk about her early work with Big Brother and the Holding Company--and what happened when Janis left Big Brother. We’ll spend a little more time on the Big Picture. Politically, culturally, in pretty much every way, 1968 was a pivotal year, in America and around the world. Then across the Bay, to the lands that lie East of Eden. We’ll meet two very different acts, that interestingly enough, have similar stories: Sly and the Family Stone, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. We close it out with a short meditation on the aftermath of the Summer of Love. We still dream it and dance to it. 
March 6, 2018
An impressionistic look at the interplay of Rock N Roll and Culture in Los Angeles during the latter half of the 1960s. There are familiar elements: storytelling, critical discussion and commentary, and lots of Rock N Roll attitude. But this one is different from most of our previous RNRAP offerings.
July 7, 2017
We open in Manila, in the Republic of the Philippines, July 3rd, 1966. The second stop of the Far East leg of the Beatles’ 1966 tour starts out weird and ominous, and gets worse from there. By the time the tour sputters to a halt—late August in San Francisco—the boys are almighty sick of it.
April 25, 2017
We open at Waldo Point Marina in Sausalito, California, just north of San Francisco. Otis Redding takes a break from the road on Bill Graham’s houseboat, and comes up with a signature song.
January 7, 2017
Jimi’s astonishing, supernatural talent was forged in poverty and neglect as he grew up in Seattle. We talk about that, and about the night Elvis came to town. After a short stint in the Army comes to a humiliating end, Jimi takes it on the road and spends the next four years paying his dues as a sideman.
October 11, 2016
We start by taking a clear-eyed look at the infamous seaside “Riots” in the resort town of Clacton, United Kingdom and several other towns in the summer of 1964. The British press were WAY over the top in their depiction of these events, but they did document the first schism, the first big division in Rock music and culture: the traditionalist Rockers versus the Modernists, or “Mods.”
August 12, 2016
Episode Ten opens up with Christian narrating at the site of the Bricklayer’s Arms Public House, in Soho, West London, where Brian Jones met with two younger men, school chums, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, in the fall of 1963.
May 5, 2016
This show will contain familiar elements — storytelling, commentary, and musicology — but it is also a bit of a departure. It takes place mostly in the mid-sixties, but we’re not following a timeline or building a story: it’s more of a mosaic, a think-piece.
March 8, 2016
The show opens December 27th, 1961, at the Cavern Club where Pete Best calls in sick, and the boys bring in Richard Starkey - Ringo Starr to the world - to sit in on drums, his first paid gig with the Beatles. It clicks musically; the band really swings with Ringo on drums.
February 23, 2016
Digging into the Journey of the Fab Four in this 2 Part Special
January 27, 2016
Fall of 1963 in Manhattan, in the main room, the big studio at Columbia Records. A big-time, high-stakes recording session for Aretha Franklin is about to get underway.
December 30, 2015
Two legends meet as we experience the events of the early Sixties in America.
December 9, 2015
We briefly recap the first Golden Age of Rock N Roll: 1956 to 1959. A lot happened, and fast.
November 18, 2015
We describe Rock N Roll as an “enfant terrible,” then an unruly toddler, then a hyperactive kid. When Buddy Holly breaks out in late 1957, we see Rock N Roll has stepped out into the world as a confident young adult. Our story begins on a snowy two-lane highway in rural Iowa, on February 2nd, 1959: the fateful last day of the Winter Dance Party tour.
November 10, 2015
Archaeology is the study of human activity in the past, looking at lots of different things from lots of different angles. We take that approach with Rock N Roll. We recap episode one, and open in Memphis, 1954. Sun Records owner Sam Phillips has found his elusive crossover sound—and the artist who can deliver it. Elvis breaks out; in just a few months he’s on the cusp of national stardom.
October 26, 2015
We start by asking: how does Rock n Roll affect the larger society, and how does the larger society affect Rock n Roll?
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