Band Together

Internal Dynamics in U2, R.E.M., Radiohead and the Red Hot Chili Peppers


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About the Book

From The Joshua Tree to Blood Sugar Sex Magik, from Automatic for the People to OK Computer, they produced some of the most memorable rock albums of the post-punk era. Beyond the music, though, the members of U2, R.E.M., Radiohead and the Red Hot Chili Peppers share several common bonds. Having emerged from punk’s do-it-yourself ethos, they embody collective creativity over individual artistry. With the exception of the Chili Peppers’ revolving-door guitarists, each band’s lineup has remained stable while the groups outlasted most of their contemporaries. The twin factors of group-inspired music and long-term collaboration make these four bands important case studies in modern rock and roll.

With a focus on creative dynamics, author Mirit Eliraz studies four of the most popular, critically acclaimed, and prolific rock bands of the last quarter century. Introductory chapters offer band bios; reasons for formation; and each group’s friends, collaborators and business partners. Middle chapters discuss the governing structures and general relations within the bands; obstacles to unity and survival; how diverse elements are merged into a productive whole; role divisions; the collaborative process; and life on the road. Concluding chapters cover external influences on band dynamics; the evolution of each band’s communal life; and challenges to the band paradigm.

About the Author(s)

Writer Mirit Eliraz lives in Ontario, Canada.

Bibliographic Details

Mirit Eliraz

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 272
Bibliographic Info: 8 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2620-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction: On Bands      7

1. “How the West Was Won and Where It Got Us”: Band Bios      13
2. “Begin the Begin”: Reasons for Forming the Band      43
3. “Pyramid Song”: Friends, Collaborators, Business Partners      50
4. “Trip Thru Your Wires”: Governing Structure and General Relations Within the Bands      73
5. “Feeling Gravity’s Pull”: Obstacles to Band Unity and Survival      92
6. “One”: Merging Diverse Elements into a Productive Whole      114
7. “Where I End and You Begin”: Role Divisions      126
8. “2+2=5”: The Collaborative Process      139
9. “Road Trippin’”: Onstage and on the Road Together      168
10. “Otherside”: External Influences on Band Dynamics      181
11. “Another Time, Another Place”: Evolution of the Unit’s Communal Life      202
12. “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”: Challenges to the Band Paradigm      216

Notes      233
Bibliography      243
Index      259

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