Into the Mystic

Posted on in Art + Soul by Sarah Cirillo

By Christopher Hill

Cover Into  the Mystic

The 1960s was a decade that generated enormous changes in politics, fashion, spiritualism, art, and especially music. Author Christopher Hill takes us on a “magical mystery tour” as he informs us that it was especially the music that fueled these changes, as he traces the roots of the “British Invasion” back to beloved fairy tales filled with mystical symbolism, back to visionary poetry. The eyes and hearts of an entire generation were opened up to the possibility of beauty, hope, and enormous possibility. The Beatles gave permission to be childlike and imaginative; the Rolling Stones sent a message of rebellion and debauchery. Simultaneously, there was an explosion of inspiration among American musicians, who then took the visionary mysticism to a new level in sunny California and in the underground scene of New York City.

Into the Mystic is a history book, a music anthology, an analysis of song lyrics, and most of all a love letter, written by a man who has been dedicated to the musicians and the music of that era. He goes deeply into the meanings of the lyrics, not only of the most well-known artists from that time (Beatles, Rolling Stones, Dylan, Beach Boys, Grateful Dead, Velvet Underground) but also the lesser-publicized but often-heard musicians like The Left Banke and The Incredible String Band.

Although this book has great appeal for boomers (trust me, you will remember songs that you have not thought about in years and that will stick in your head), Into the Mystic will also be a guide for younger readers who want to understand the musical journey that changed their parents or grandparents and the world and will inspire a new generation to rediscover the power and hope that great music can provide.


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