“The Fine Wisdom and Perfect Teachings of the Kings of Rock and Roll is everything you want a coming-of-age book to be: hilarious, harrowing, and ultimately inspiring. It is also a sharply drawn portrait of an elusive historical moment, just when the sixties begin to shift into the seventies . . . . At the same time, the book brims with sparkling observations about everything from drugs, sex and rock and roll to movies, career, and friendship. Truly, there is something arresting and wonderful on every page.”
—Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food and The Omnivore's Dilemma
. A contributing editor at Harper's, Edmundson has written for the New York Times Magazine, the American Scholar, and the New York Times, among publications.
After graduating from college in 1974, Mark Edmundson leaves his small Vermont campus with no plans for the future, though he knows it involves rock & roll and America's high court of mischief and ambition-New York City. Under the wing of a carousing, hulking, Marx-quoting friend, Edmundson moves into a grungy uptown apartment and embarks on a career lugging amps in a New Jersey arena for rock's biggest acts: The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton, Alice Cooper and Pink Floyd.
But, as his first year after college wears on, Edmundson finds himself increasingly at odds with life in his adopted city, and drifts through a regimen of late-night cab driving and Marxist indoctrination that leaves him cold. In search of an elusive "it," Edmundson drops out of New York and all but admits defeat, eventually accepting a position teaching English at a progressive country day school in Vermont, perhaps the last one still alive. It's here that Edmundson begins to grasp, with the help of a probing headmaster and the dwindling, narcotized student body, the inklings of a valuable lesson. It's here, rather surprisingly, that he finds what he's looking for-his "it"-- though he can't hold onto it for as long as he might like.
The Fine Wisdom and Perfect Teachings of The Kings of Rock and Roll is a soulful, whip-smart, and resonant testament to the post-college years, and the challenge of navigating the way to one's own dreams.