False Prophet (Hardcover)

Field Notes from the Punk Underground (Music/Culture)

By Steven Taylor

Wesleyan, 9780819566683, 355pp.

Publication Date: January 15, 2004

List Price: 29.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


From 1988 through 1993, guitarist/vocalist Steven Taylor toured the U.S. and Europe with the alternative rock group False Prophets, keeping a detailed journal with the intent of documenting the role of musicians in the international anarchist youth movement. His fieldnotes form the core of the book, accounting with honesty and aplomb the sometimes hilarious, sometimes harrowing, always engaging highs and lows of life on the road.

False Prophet situates punk, and the diary itself, in relation to contemporary critiques of identity and ethnographic representation, and links punk's emergence to the oral poetry renaissance of the 1950s, free jazz, and the do-it-yourself trend set by underground filmmakers in the 1960s. This innovative ethnography provides a theoretically informed account of a little understood genre of popular music, and a rare, intimate view into the everyday life of a working band. The audio CD contains some of False Prophets' most popular cuts.

About the Author

STEVEN TAYLOR is a musician, poet and ethnomusicologist; for twenty years, he was Allen Ginsberg's primary musical collaborator. Since 1984 he has been a member of the Fugs, a seminal poetry/rock group. He is Chair of the Department of Writing and Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder Colorado.