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All the Young Dudes: Why Glam Rock Matters (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]

Mark Dery
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 34 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

“All the Young Dudes,” glam rock’s rallying cry, turned 40 last year. David Bowie wrote it, but Mott the Hoople owned it: their version was, and will ever remain, glam’s anthem, a hymn of exuberant disenchantment that also happens to be one of rock’s all-time irresistible sing-alongs.

Bowie, glam, and “All the Young Dudes” are inseparable in the public mind, summoning memories of a subculture dismissed as apolitical escapism, a glitter bomb of fashion and attitude that briefly relieved the malaise of the ‘70s.
Now, cultural critic Mark Dery gives the movement its due in an 8,000-word exploration of glam as rebellion through style. As polymorphously perverse as the subculture it explores, “All the Young Dudes: Why Glam Matters” is equal parts fan letter, visual-culture criticism, queer theory, and true confession.
In bravura style, Dery teases out lines of connection between glam, the socioeconomic backdrop of the ‘70s, Oscar Wilde as a late-Victorian Ziggy Stardust, the etymology and queer subtext of the slang term “dude,” the associative links between the ‘20s-style cover of the Mott album on which “Dudes” appeared and the coded homoeroticism of the ‘20s magazine illustrator J.C. Leyendecker (considered in the context of the 1970s fad for all things 1920s), and Dery’s own memories of growing up glam in ‘70s San Diego, where coming out as a Bowie fan---even for straight kids---was an invitation to bullying.

Glam emboldened kids in America and England to dream of a world beyond suburbia’s oppressive notions of normalcy, Dery argues, a world conjured up in pop songs full of Wildean irony and Aestheticism and jaw-dropping fashion statements to match. More important, glam drew inspiration from feminism and gay liberation to articulate a radical critique of mainstream manhood---a pomosexual vision of masculinity whose promise remains only partly fulfilled, even now.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 398 KB
  • Print Length: 34 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Boing Boing (31 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00D4JJ17C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #228,130 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
2.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Exhilarating! 14 Dec. 2014
By Arban
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm amazed at Mark Dery's gifts, and this essay is just a delight! Glam is a topic that interests me very much, although I was born too late to experience it in real-time. This piece is a treat: a deep analysis into the author's own personal attraction to and experience of Glam, the context of the times and interestingly, the culture of both 70's California (where Dery was a teenage glitter kid) and the UK (where Glam originated). This compare/contrast of UK and US experiences of cultural phenomena is something that is very interesting to me, and I have not come across anything like this before.

I'm an American who has lived in the UK for over a decade, and all t.v. documentaries I've seen here on 70's fashion and music, naturally, is done from a British perspective. It's exciting to read such a personal story from the other side of the Atlantic. Although not as significantly mainstream as in the UK, Glam certainly did have an impact across the pond, especially with budding aesthetes, outsiders, gender-queered, androgynous and sensitive youth.

The investigation and deconstruction of the album cover art and how it relates to everything else is utterly fascinating!
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1.0 out of 5 stars All the Young Dudes: Why Glam Rock Matters 21 Feb. 2014
By Ali Mac
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Rubbish from beginning to end. I did read all the way through, but it just went on and on.....a pointless read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Saved by Glam 23 Nov. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Dery cabinet of wonders reveals yet more exhibits in All the Young Dudes, a tale of how English countercultural eccentricity expanded a youthful rebel's dandyfied consciousness via Glam Rock, heralded by the classic Mott the Hoople hit referenced in the essay's title. Teenage Mark was eager to escape the narrow bonds of dudeness and jockism that were the only ways of being male in his world. For this neophyte aesthete and dandy these options would simply not do, being far from commensurate with his self-described heteroflexible identity. All the Young Dudes was lauded as an anthem for outsiders in general, when it was released in 1973 and topped the UK charts, and was also seen by some critics as a paean to the gay subculture. Dery sees this as erroneous, quoting Lester Bangs's observations on the place of music in the gay scene - disco, R `n' B, Latino dance, Broadway show tunes, definitely nothing to do with transatlantic pop-rock. There follows an overview of the etymology of `dude', a point of contention between British and American lexicographers (it's probably connected to the Aesthetic movement in vogue in the 1880s and Oscar Wilde's lectures in the US), the hidden-in-plain-sight homoeroticism in Saturday Post illustrations and its possible influence on the sleeve art of the single. An interview with the photographer, the legendary Mick Rock, divulges something of the process of the sleeve design. The image chosen is considered an ambiguous one, hinting at dudeness in both the senses of effete dandyism and of blokeish bonhomie. For Dery this locates the record, and Glam as a cultural phenomenon, in a free space that does not stiffly signify a `straightforward' Queerness or simply function as a generalised vehicle for the expression of a Iiberatory teen identity. Read more ›
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