An academic study of the Stones is tone-deaf both to the band’s music and their mystique

By Neil Spencer | 2019-10-02 | including 1 item |
North American academia is currently all over pop culture. A course on Lady Gaga (Sex, Gender and Identity) offered by the University of Virginia is one example of what’s going on; another is the recent slew of tomes on the Beatles, Dylan and even the Clash emanating from campus corridors. Most shed little light on their already well-covered subjects (Why Dylan Matters by Harvard Latin don Richard F Thomas is an exception), and this self-styled “first major academic study” of the Stones likewise comes up short. The group have had many companions down the years, but surely few as dull. The dead hand of academic prose is one problem; the assertion that the band’s assorted documentaries are “instructive in terms of demonstrating the central influence of the Stones within the world of motion pictures” is barely readable (and a clear misjudgment).