The Music of Counterculture Cinema

A Critical Study of 1960s and 1970s Soundtracks


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About the Book

Films produced in late 1960s and early 1970s America—along with later films focusing on that period—continue to frame our understanding of the counterculture era. The popular and experimental music of the day is central to the counterculture narrative on film, from the utopian Monterey Pop (1968) to the disenchantment of Gimme Shelter (1970). But the musical side of the movement was not monolithic, and a study of contemporary film soundtracks reveals a great deal of complexity. The coinciding struggles to define collective and individual identities based on race, class, gender and generation are well documented in the music of counterculture cinema.

About the Author(s)

Mathew J. Bartkowiak, formerly an associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Marshfield/Wood County, is now a senior manager at Nelson-Jameson, Inc. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of American Studies at Michigan State University.
Yuya Kiuchi is an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at Michigan State University. His research interests include popular culture, youth culture, African American Studies, technology, and sexuality.

Bibliographic Details

Mathew J. Bartkowiak and Yuya Kiuchi
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7542-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2051-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Introduction 1

1. Framing Utopia: Monterey Pop and the Heart of the Counterculture 7

2. Creating the Downfall: Gimme Shelter and the “End” of the Counterculture 20

3. Searching for the Real Times, Baby: Head and the Unmaking of the Monkees 34

4. Love in Counterculture Film: Music’s Diplomatic Role in Harold and Maude 47

5. Space Is the Place: Barbarella and Hearing the Future 58

6. Did the Soundtrack Also Blow It?: Using Rock to Capture Counterculture Generational Identity 71

7. Setting the Escapist Scene with Music: Sex and Comedy in an Exotic World 83

8. Generational Genocide: Selling Youth Rebellion in Roger Corman’s Gas-s-s-s 95

9. African American Artists in Hollywood: Isaac Hayes’ Contribution to Shaft 107

10. I’m Watching It for Its Music: Deep Throat and Its Soundtrack 118

11. Challenging Normativity and Pushing Boundaries: Midnight Cowboy and Cultural Resistance 133

12. Ambiguous Meaning of Music: Combining Technology and Music in the Dystopian World of A Clockwork Orange 145

13. Understanding Country Ways: A Talk with Country Joe McDonald About Counterculture Film 166

14. Bringing the 1960s to Life: An Interview with Director Robert Greenwald 182

Coda 190

Works Cited 193

Index 203

Book Reviews & Awards

“Bartkowiak and Kiuchi have written a smart examination of the intersection of two key popular cultural genres. Recommended”—Choice; “recommended”—Journal of American Culture.