• Rock Me on the Water

  • 1974 - The Year Los Angeles Transformed Movies, Music, Television and Politics
  • By: Ronald Brownstein
  • Narrated by: Will Damron
  • Length: 16 hrs and 14 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (230 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this exceptional cultural history, Atlantic Senior Editor Ronald Brownstein—"one of America's best political journalists (The Economist)—tells the kaleidoscopic story of one monumental year that marked the city of Los Angeles' creative peak, a glittering moment when popular culture was ahead of politics in predicting what America would become.

Los Angeles in 1974 exerted more influence over popular culture than any other city in America. Los Angeles that year, in fact, dominated popular culture more than it ever had before, or would again. Working in film, recording, and television studios around Sunset Boulevard, living in Brentwood and Beverly Hills or amid the flickering lights of the Hollywood Hills, a cluster of transformative talents produced an explosion in popular culture which reflected the demographic, social, and cultural realities of a changing America. At a time when Richard Nixon won two presidential elections with a message of backlash against the social changes unleashed by the sixties, popular culture was ahead of politics in predicting what America would become. The early 1970s in Los Angeles was the time and the place where conservatives definitively lost the battle to control popular culture.

Rock Me on the Water traces the confluence of movies, music, television, and politics in Los Angeles month by month through that transformative, magical year. Ronald Brownstein reveals how 1974 represented a confrontation between a massive younger generation intent on change, and a political order rooted in the status quo. Today, we are again witnessing a generational cultural divide. Brownstein shows how the voices resistant to change may win the political battle for a time, but they cannot hold back the future.

©2021 Ronald Brownstein (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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What listeners say about Rock Me on the Water

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Poor Quality

1. The Reader/Narrator: The reader's voice is somnolent. Put me to sleep. It's a , "very important" tone, like that of a particularly pompous graduate school professor.

2. The Audio: The recording itself has very inconsistent audio. Skips, opening syllables of words cut out. Annoying to try to listen to after awhile, as it forces the listener to guess what was just said. Irritating in the extreme.

3. The Writing: Just. Not. Good. This author has a penchant for overheated and hyperbolic
adjectives.

4. The Subject: I was a senior in high school in 1974. I am 100% invested in hearing about this formative time in my life. I really want to hear about the artists, writers, musicians mentioned. I am this author's target audience. But I don't know if I can hear a Beach Boys song described as a "creamy ode to California girls." I mean, seriously. Pretty sure I'm even going to be able to hang in there to get to Chapter 2.

9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good book just not as advertised

I enjoyed the book but it spent way too much time straying from the hidden stories about music, movies and tv in the early seventies - which is what I wanted to hear.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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for people that remember 1974

I definitely remember all the music, movies, politics and TV. Nice trip down memory lane.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wow!

Ron Brownstein has done a masterful job researching and writing this book. I was involved with music during the 60s and 70s and was fascinated by the history of those "golden" days. Brownstein also had the good sense to get a professional to narrate. Anyone over 60 will love this book. And, there are many younger people who have fallen in love with the music of the 70s. Brownstein knows how to pull you in and keep your interest from start to finish. And I'm one picky old lady!

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Snapshot in Time

This story took me back to so many headlines from the 1970's that I felt like I was back in those days. I remember when so many of the events he writes about were the stories of the day. I wish he used more Malcolm Gladwell like production with music in the background of the artists and songs that he writes about. Books about music should have music heard in the background to really draw the story into the listener/reader.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A Fun Read for History, Film, TV and Music lovers

I recommend this book and it’s a flowing and informative read. I stopped to listen to music, research people and to watch a few old shows. Lots happened at an interesting time. And these creators influenced a generation and then some! Refresh. Learn for the first time. Enjoy the knowledge and info.

Will listen to a few chapters again as they were so compelling and involving bands and shows I liked!

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Lengthly

For the most part enjoyed book, it got somewhat bogged down in myriad of details.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it.

I lived through all of this television and worked in the industry.

Great portrayal of how it really was!

1 person found this helpful

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  • vn
  • 07-11-21

Bring me back!

1974 is a special year for me. My father died in June of 1975, so lots of what's in this book I can process in reference to those events in my life. I suppose lots of people will be able to do similarly. This book really does bring one back.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A fun ride through my past.

Loved it. What a fascinating look into film, television, music and politics of the 70's. I was lucky enough to be in my 20's, living through that time. If you missed it, the audio gives the inside story of the time. A wonderful audiobook. Highly recommend.

1 person found this helpful