Between 1965 and 1972, students and other political activists around the globe prepared to mount a revolution. While the Vietnam War raged, calls for black power grew louder and liberation movements erupted everywhere from Berkeley, Detroit, and Newark, to Paris, Berlin, Ghana, and Peking. Rock and soul music fueled this revolutionary movement with anthems and iconic imagery.
Soon the musicians themselves, from John Lennon and Bob Dylan to James Brown and Fela Kuti, were being dragged into the fray. Some joined the protestors on the barricades; some were persecuted for their political activism; some abandoned the cause and were dismissed as counter-revolutionaries. From Mick Jagger’s legendary appearance in Grosvenor Square, standing on the sidelines and snapping pictures, to the infamous incident at Woodstock when Pete Townshend kicked Yippie Abbie Hoffman off the stage while he tried to make a speech about an imprisoned comrade, to Lennon’s display of self-promotion when he auctioned off his hair on top of the “Black House,” Doggett unravels the truth about how these ambitious musicians weren’t always the “Street Fighting Men” they saw themselves as.
There’s A Riot Going On is a rich, fact-filled, exceedingly well-researched social history at the nexus of pop culture, celebrity, and politics.