Rock N Roll Archaeology

Episode 15: Slouching Towards Bethlehem - Five Summers in Los Angeles

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.

We draw inspiration from multiple sources, but the wellspring is a pair of books—two collections of essays by the California writer Joan Didion: “The White Album” and “Slouching Towards Bethlehem.”

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live,” asserts Ms Didion in the opening of “The White Album.” This is an entirely human and natural response; we try to make sense of things, to apply a narrative frame to a “shifting phantasmagoria of events.”

And it may even work—for a while. Ultimately though, no frame will fit. We are left with a chaotic collection of impressions, with a story that has no moral—and with a restless feeling that perhaps an opportunity was missed here.

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