The Golden Age of American Rock | Part 2 – School’s Out

After the rage and protest of the previous decade, rock music of the early 70s was gentle and sweet – the songs of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and the Doobie Brothers. Although the USA was riven by political disasters – the end of the Vietnam War, Watergate and the gasoline crisis – rock music seldom commented on them, although Alice Cooper’s Nixon satire Elected was a rare exception. But in the middle of the decade new voices started to emerge, such as Bruce Springsteen’s songs of working class glory or Tom Petty’s tight, 1960s-inspired sound.

The massive success of stadium shows exemplified how big American rock had become and, in 1976 and 1977, the genre soared with a string of multi-platinum albums by Fleetwood Mac, Boston, the Eagles and Meat Loaf. Unlike in the UK, American punk barely diverted the rock gods, but disco did make an impact. Rock became smoother and more saccharine and in the corporate offices of record labels the drive was for ever larger profits.

Interviews include: Tom Petty, Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, Tom Scholz (Boston), Todd Rundgren, Don Felder (the Eagles), Tom Johnston (the Doobie Brothers), Chuck D (Public Enemy), Peter Frampton, Bill Payne (Little Feat), Pamela des Barres, FM DJ Jim Ladd, film director Penelope Spheeris, manager Peter Mensch, journalists Sylvie Simmons and Rolling Stone magazine’s David Fricke.

Category: Music