American author Adam Caress knows and says stuff about rock, pop and alternative music that no one else does. His approach is different. He’s been involved in music for almost his entire life, for as long as he can remember. His parents were musicians and amongst his earliest memories is hearing the sound of guitars and drums emanating from the basement. He got the bug. He built and managed the first campus music venue at Boston’s Gordon College. And then from 1995, from the age of 20, he fronted Boston-based band The Troubadours, for ten years writing, performing, recording albums, and playing shows across the country.
After Adam Caress quit the road in 2005, he started a national music booking agency; which led to a career as a talent booker for rock venues. Next up Adam gathered industry contacts together and in 2010 they launched Mule Variations, an online music and culture magazine specialising in long-form articles. And with Mule Variations, Adam got great writing experience. From 2011 onwards Adam began expanding one of his most popular articles into a full-length book, with the working title The Day Alternative Music Died. After four years work, enterprising as ever, he self-published a first version of The Day Alternative Music Died so that people could get to read it. That initial version has come to the attention of the Authors London literary agency, which is seeking a traditional publisher for this important, appealing, accessible book.
Adam Caress’ debut book starts in 1965 and importantly spans the 1980s, 1990s and the 2000s. No one has done this fully, properly before. And Adam Caress has developed his own style, his own voice. He has the skills and the confidence needed. He blasts myths and misconceptions. He takes apart the dubious notions. Because this is the first full popular history to get to grips with the 1980s-2000s alternative music scene, it is going to have a built-in audience of an entire generation of music fans who came of age in and around that scene.
But Adam Caress writes for a general readership. This book is going to resonate with a wide general audience. The writing is attractive and it is accessible to a readership that includes casual fans of pop and rock music and pop culture — including the vast demographic of young, educated, culturally savvy readers for whom this book will serve as an entertaining introduction to the history of rock music. Comprehensive research and the groundbreaking narrative will also make it a staple for libraries and probably even for university syllabi too. It is enjoyably brashly controversial and challenges established ideas concerning rock and popular music. So it’s a status quo-challenging book. All this makes for a rare thing: it’s a must-have for all music fans, for all ages general readers, for critics, and for pop culture fans. And as such it’s likely to lead to debate and discussion. There’s so much potential here in this book. And in its author.
Comparable books are Fred Goodman’s The Mansion On The Hill; Michael Azerrad’s Our Band Could Be Your Life; Mark Yarm’s Everybody Loves Our Town; and Charles Cross’ Heavier Than Heaven. But Adam Caress’ book covers much more than any of these. It’s been 20 years since anyone attempted a similar comprehensive overview. Fred Goodman’s The Mansion On The Hill — published way back in 1997 — was the last time. Since then the music industry has been revolutionised. Not only that, but the new developments have revealed huge flaws in the traditional rock music narrative that existed in the 1990s and permeated for example Goodman’s assumptions. The time is ripe to re-examine rock and pop. The Day Alternative Music Died — working title; we’re open to suggestions on the title — does this job brilliantly. Readers all over the world have been waiting for a book like this.
Adam Caress is represented by Mal Smith & Chris Carr at Authors London.