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From roots to relativism

Pop music is the most useful lens through which to view the turbulent, optimistic, deluded decade of the 1960s. Joe Boyd's memoir captures it perfectly

By Brian Eno   June 2006

White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s by Joe Boyd Serpent’s Tail, £11.99

I used to imagine being invited to rethink the history syllabus. “Start from now and work backwards” would be the first maxim, and then “Look for interesting individuals in interesting places and find out what happened to them.” If you wanted to apply that approach to a study of the 1960s, you wouldn’t find many better places to start than this book.

It’s primarily about music—in his time Joe Boyd has been tour manager, record producer, talent spotter, world music explorer, éminence grise and Svengali. But two…

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