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Five Years Ahead of My Time

Garage Rock from the 1950s to the Present

Five Years Ahead of My Time: Garage Rock from the 1950s to the Present tells of a musical phenomenon whose continuing influence on global popular culture is immeasurable.

The story begins in 1950s America, when classic rock ’n’ roll was reaching middle age, and teenaged musicians kept its primal rawness going with rough-hewn instrumentals, practicing guitar riffs in their parents’ garages. In the mid-1960s came the Beatles and the British Invasion, and soon every neighborhood had its own garage band. Groups like the Sonics and 13th Floor Elevators burnt brightly but briefly, only to be rediscovered by a new generation of connoisseurs in the 1970s. Numerous compilation albums followed, spearheaded by Lenny Kaye’s iconic Nuggets, which resulted in garage rock’s rebirth during the 1980s and ’90s.

Be it the White Stripes or the Black Keys, bands have consistently found inspiration in the simplicity and energy of garage rock. It is a revitalizing force, looking back to the past to forge the future of rock ’n’ roll. And this, for the first time, is its story.

224 pages | 40 halftones | 5 3/4 x 8 1/4 | © 2019


Music: General Music

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"A concise, passionately written, and well researched account. . . . It should have you dusting down armfuls of those old nuggets before you’ve even reached Chapter Two."


"The 'simplicity and energy' that characterized much independently created music over the years is told in Bovey's remarkable book Five Years Ahead of My Time. . . . Here in a myriad of factual information is the saga of how bands could spring up in backrooms and garages and initially find life outside of record companies. . . . Bovey delves into numerous garage music nuances and categories with skill. . . . For musicos this is a gem of a book."

Methodist Recorder

"Five Years Ahead of My Time . . . is also a hymn, or rather, a never-ending praise of the one instrument that powered garage music like nothing else: the electric guitar, mass-produced and easily available. . . . Bovey’s title is truly absorbing: easy accessible, well-informed, and convincing, as he lists hundreds of bands, their lineups, and several hundred songs to support his expertise chronologically. . . . Recommend[ed] work for anybody interested in the history of rock music, guitar bands from the sixties, and the (mostly forgotten or underrated) forerunners of 1970s punk rock."

"A good introduction to garage rock with many relevant listening suggestions for the beginner."

Peter Jönsson | PopDiggers

"Guitar, bass, drums, a catchy three chord song and a groovy guitar lick—that’s all you need to rock! The pure, raw sounds of garage rock have been around since the late '50s when people realized they could play music without a huge investment of time or money. Most bands never became more than a regional attraction but a few did rise to the top and many continue to have devoted cult followings. Bovey takes us through the beginnings with the instrumental garage rock bands of the late '50s and early '60s and explores the development of this highly influential genre of music right up to the present including an impressive international scene."

Book Musik

"Musician Bovey enthusiastically romps through the history of guitar-driven, feedback-infused garage rock. . . . Fascinating and informative."

Library Journal

"The first comprehensive overview a genre that has survived more on passion than commercial reach. . . . Bovey commendably covers a lot of ground previously left untouched."

Irish Times

"It's true there's never been a comprehensive study of garage-rock and Bovey provides a concise, well-researched account straddling all bases in 177 pages. . . . [A] diligently-realized labor of love."

Record Collector

"'Wow!' That is the instant reaction one feels when delving into this compelling history of the style of rock known as 'Garage.' . . . I really cannot recommend this book strongly enough; if you are interested at all in guitar music (and you are or why are you reading this), it is quite simply essential. It is an engrossing and exhaustive journey through the delicious underbelly of the evolving story of rock. It’s a must read for anyone who has seen a new or local band and wondered why they’re not bigger, or how they fit into the wider tapestry of rock music. It’s a painstakingly researched and stunningly delivered shout out to the underdogs of musical history and you really need a copy."

Dave Jennings | Louder Than War

“A fine and thorough account, copious in historical detail and explanation of a movement that has survived on sheer, unquenchable fuzztone enthusiasm.”

David Stubbs, author of “Future Days" and "Mars by 1980”

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