Fundamentally, this book offers a great overview and analysis of much of the "important" rock music put out since the Rolling Stones. The first two-thirds of the book look at many many (mostly male) rock artists and the various ways they relate to the act of creation, the opposite sex, their instruments and the final product through the expression of their gender. The guitar as phallus, feedback as amniotic fluid, etc. It is very interesting, and whether right or wrong, forces one to consider the music in a new way. Generally, I feel, the authors are right on the money with their analyses even when the reader is forced to groan outloud (an analogy involving Lynard Skynard and intercourse springs to mind). The last third of the book deals almost exclusivly with female (and effeminate) artists and leads to a theory concerning the nature of a female rock and roll and whether or not one exists. They don't provide a physiological answer to any questions(although their earlier analyes could have pointed to this). Instead, the authors view rock as a male creation that females may coopt for their own, feminist expression through lyrical content. However, Rock music, as we know it, cannot expression the truly *feminine* because no women have come along and turned the music on its head. Some examples of people who have come close include the Raincoats and Kristin Hersh. Of course, the theory can't really be summarized here, but one leaves the book wondering if the authors call for the creation of a true female music is just a call for a new genre because they are board with what they know. And what they know was demonstrated in the first two-thirds of the book. A good read for the rock fan and the aspiring gender critic.
This book is a groundbreaking study of rock musicians' fascination with femininity. The authors have exposed the meanings behind the songs - everything from misogyny to love. By using examples ranging from the 60s to the 90s, from pop to punk, they show trends that may not be apparent to the casual listener. The theories and conclusions are sometimes surprising, sometimes evident, but always intriguing. It is well written and researched. This book is a must read for anyone interested in what lies behind the music.