Out of the Vinyl Deeps

A book review and a Pitzer College recollection

vinyldeepsOut of the Vinyl Deeps: Ellen Willis on Rock Music
Ellen Willis
Kindle Edition $13.81
Paperback $16.26

If you remember the rock music of the 1970’s, this book will be a trip down memory lane. Willis was music critic for The New Yorker and wrote for other publications as well. She died in 2006, but this anthology was put together with the help of her daughter. Willis writes about the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Moby Grape, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin (in one essay comparing the pre-Big Brother and the Holding Company Joplin to the Joplin who sang with that group), and others. Essays come from as early as 1968 and as late as 1980, but most of them overlap with my years at Pitzer, 1971 to 1975. Since the month of publication was also included with each essay (September 1971, March 1973) the book also took me through my residence hall sojourn at Pitzer.

PitzerftnsmI hope you’ll indulge me as I recall that journey.

  • Fall 1971 — Corridor A1 in Sanborn Hall, an all-male all-freshman corridor.
  • Spring 1972 — Corridor C1 in Sanborn Hall, a co-ed corridor where I had Todd as my roommate, with Sue and Leslie across the hall.
  • Fall 1972 — Holden Hall, I believe it was corridor L1. Dario was my roommate.
  • Spring 1973 — Back to Sanborn A1, now all black men except for me and the guys on the other side of the bathroom. It was noisy, but it was a double room I had to myself.
  • All of 1973 – 1974 — A suite in Mead Hall several of us put together which we called the quiet suite and where we all got along nicely, except for the brief stay of one interloper.
  • All of 1974 – 1975 — A room off campus in a big old house on College Avenue, a place I still look on with great affection.

That’s it. I had to get this out of my system. So thank you for indulging me.

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