Skip to main content
Shopping cart: items Cart

Distributed for Reaktion Books

Rock ’n’ Roll Plays Itself

A Screen History

A raucous cultural history of rock’s relationship with the moving image.
When rock ’n’ roll burst into life in the 1950s, the shockwaves echoed around the world, amplified by images of untamed youth projected on cinema screens. But for the performers themselves, corporate showbusiness remained very much in control, contriving a series of cash-in movies to exploit the new musical fad.
In this riveting cultural history, John Scanlan explores rock’s relationship with the moving image over seven decades in cinema, television, music videos, advertising, and YouTube. Along the way, he shows how rock was exploited, how it inspired film pioneers, and, not least, the film transformations it caused over more than half a century.
From Elvis Presley to David Bowie, and from Scorpio Rising to the films of Scorsese and DIY documentarists like Don Letts, this is a unique retelling of the story of rock—from birth to old age—through its onscreen life.

256 pages | 74 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Film Studies

Music: General Music

Reaktion Books image

View all books from Reaktion Books

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press