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Rockin’ Out (of Date)

Lillian Roxon’s Rock Encyclopedia

Submitter: I’m embarrassed to tell you that this was in our reference collection until a couple of months ago. It is a fun looking book.  Unfortunately it mostly is lists of musicians and songs, now readily available on the internet. I can’t believe anyone would have used it in the last thirty years.

Holly: Wow, think of all of the rock stars who are missing from this book. My boyfriend Dee Snider, for one.  It would be fun to look through, but to be a truly useful encyclopedia it HAS to include some greats that came long after 1969.

0 Responses to Rockin’ Out (of Date)

  • Had the Beatles even broken up by then?

    • I think that was 1970, but would Yoko Ono have an entry yet? or would that be later editions?

  • I was entertained by the author’s name and found her wikipedia entry – interesting stuff – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lillian_Roxon

  • Dee Snider has a Librarian girfriend? That’s twisted, sister!

  • It reminds me of a book I recently picked up (for 50 cents) at a Friends of the Library book sale: The 100 Greatest 45-RPMs of All Time. Copyright 1985.

  • Since it’s a more of a directory I’m not sure this is a suitable candidate for weeding. Sure there may be more up-to-date listings with information since 1969, but a lot of the more obscure listings end up getting edited out of more modern directories. And it’s incorrect to assume that all this information is available on the Internet. Even AMG.com is not all inclusive. Do you weed your periodical index because it only lists old magazine and newspaper articles?

    • I think we’re once again running into the difference between a public library and a research library. Public libraries simply don’t have the space to keep something just because it could be useful to someone in some very specific and unsual circumstance.

      *says this as a professional historian who spends a lot of time in research libraries*

  • Nothing great ever happened in Rock music since 1969. Period!

  • Michael, there is a zero percent chance that any information in this book is not online. Modern sources like Wikipedia and All Music Guide are infinitely more inclusive of styles and genres and artists, compared to the narrow “rock canon” of the late sixties, early seventies. I’ll eat my hat if there’s an entry in here that’s not in both of those sources — with much more accurate information to boot.

  • Nothing “dates” more quickly than a rock’n’roll book. The worst offenders are those “women in rock” things that get put out every once in a while. OMG, Chrissie Hynde and Madonna!

  • Assuming, of course, that there have been any new rock stars since 1969, a debatable proposition.

  • I actually own this book and several others like it although not so old. Sure there are more up-to-date references on the Internet but I’m loath to throw any of them away. But I agree, perfectly useless in a public library.

  • Good for music writers who might not realize what was happening up to that time. The hottest thing was Jimi Hendrix/Beatles/Stones/the new bubblegum music/The Who/bad horn sections in too many songs(I’m thinking Chicago Transit Authority/Ides Of March) /I think the year the first Led Zeppelin album was released too…one year right before Janis/Jimi/Jim Morrison died. What an interesting time period.

  • Lillian Roxon’s encyclopedia is not just your ordinary reference work – it’s a classic document of the sixties rock era, valued by serious fans and music writers. It was written by a woman in 1969 – unusual, no? It’s not always objective and there are errors in some entries , because it reflects Roxon’s personal involvement in the scene. Check out Robert Milliken’s 2005 bio: Lillian Roxon, Mother of Rock for more about her. As PubWeekly said in reviewing the bio, “Lillian Roxon’s Rock Encyclopedia (1969) remains a remarkable overview of the 1960s record industry, thanks to Roxon’s consuming love for rock and roll and her fresh, colloquial style. ” Of course you can weed yours, but weeding it because there are more up-to-date reference sources misses the point, IMO. I’d keep it in my circulating collection unless your library is small or has little depth in the pop music journalism/history area.

  • That was a great reference source in its day (I wasn’t a librarian then but I was a big rock fan). It’s day is indeed past, but depending on your library’s scope, shelf space, and patronage, you might consider adding it to your reference section as a retrospective source, though nowadays most people would just go to Wikipedia I suppose.

  • I have to differ about weeding Roxon’s book. I bought a used copy many years ago for my personal use, and I still have this book in my own personal book collection.

    It is a classic reference work from that period. Yes, it is dated, but I’ve found it useful in researching older performers.

    Depending upon the size of one’s library and what what the library users’ needs are, I still feel that this book should have a place in library collections.