Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Jim DeRogatis  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Born: 1964 in Jersey City, New Jersey

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Illinois Connection

He lives on the North Side of Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Jim DeRogatis is the pop music critic at the Chicago Sun-Times, and together with Greg Kot, he co-hosts Sound Opinions, the world’s only rock ’n’ roll talk show, originating from Chicago Public Radio and syndicated nationally via American Public Media. He is also a lecturer in the English department at Columbia College Chicago and writes about popular music for WBEZ Chicago's Vocalo blogs. DeRogatis is the author of several books: Staring at Sound: The True Story of Oklahoma’s Fabulous Flaming Lips; Turn On Your Mind: Four Decades of Great Psychedelic Rock; Milk It! Collected Musings on the Alternative Music Explosion of the ’90s, and Let It Blurt: The Life and Times of Lester Bangs, America’s Greatest Rock Critic. Together with his wife, Carmél Carrillo-DeRogatis, he also edited an anthology entitled Kill Your Idols: A New Generation of Rock Writers Reconsiders the Classics and he has written for numerous magazines, including Spin, Guitar World, Modern Drummer, Penthouse, and GQ, in addition to serving as an assistant editor at Request and, briefly, Rolling Stone.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones: Sound Opinions on the Great Rock 'n' Roll Rivalry
ISBN: 0760338132

Voyageur Press. 2010

Two of the world’s preeminent music journalists tackle the liveliest debate in rock history: which band is the greatest ever—the Beatles or the Rolling Stones? More than two dozen topics of debate are addressed, with cases being made both for the lads from Liverpool and rock’s proto bad boys. From the Cavern and Crawdaddy clubs through head-to-head comparisons of specific albums (e.g., Exile or “the White Album”?), members’ roles within the bands, the Svengali-like managers, influential producers, musical influences, and more, this is the book that dares confront the topics over which fans have agonized for years. Illustrated throughout with photography and memorabilia, the book also features a lenticular cover piece that alternates between the two bands.

Let it Blurt: The Life and Times of Lester Bangs, America's Greatest Rock Critic
ISBN: 0767905091

Broadway Books. 2000

Let It Blurt is the raucous and righteous biography of Lester Bangs (1949-82)--the gonzo journalist, gutter poet, and romantic visionary of rock criticism. No writer on rock 'n' roll ever lived harder or wrote better--more passionately, more compellingly, more penetratingly. He lived the rock 'n' roll lifestyle, guzzling booze and Romilar like water, matching its energy in prose that erupted from the pages of Rolling Stone, Creem, and The Village Voice. Bangs agitated in the seventies for sounds that were harsher, louder, more electric, and more alive, in the course of which he charted and defined the aesthetics of heavy metal and punk. He was treated as a peer by such brash visionaries as Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Richard Hell, Captain Beefheart, The Clash, Debbie Harry, and other luminaries.

Let It Blurt is a scrupulously researched account of Lester Bangs's fascinating (if often tawdry and unappetizing) life story, as well as a window on rock criticism and rock culture in their most turbulent and creative years. It includes a never-before-published piece by Bangs, the hilarious "How to Be a Rock Critic," in which he reveals the secrets of his dubious, freeloading trade.

The Velvet Underground: An Illustrated History of a Walk on the Wild Side
ISBN: 0760336725

Voyageur Press. 2009

Hardly anyone bought the Velvet Underground’s albums when they were released, but most everyone who did formed a band.

This was the kind of influence the Velvets exerted, and it persists to this day in the sounds of groups as diverse as Patti Smith, Talking Heads, Sex Pistols, R.E.M., My Bloody Valentine, and Sonic Youth--all of whom claim the Velvets as their most important influence.

And then there are such soundalikes as Yo La Tengo, Luna, and the Strokes, to name a few.

Published on the forty-fifth anniversary of the Velvet Underground’s founding, this is the first illustrated history of the band that rocked rock--one of the most inspired and influential rock ’n’ roll bands of all time.

The book follows this icon of Sixties rock from its heady first days with Lou Reed, John Cale, German chanteuse Nico, drummer Moe Tucker, and guitarist Sterling Morrison

through its management by pop artist Andy Warhol, who made the band the siren of his Factory and part of his traveling multimedia show, the Exploding Plastic Inevitable

to its later incarnations in the early Seventies.

“They opened wounds worth opening with brutal imagery, without apology,” Patti Smith said, upon the band’s 1996 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

And this book offers a unique behind-the-scenes look at how the Velvet Underground did it.

Staring at Sound: The True Story of Oklahoma's Fabulous Flaming Lips
ISBN: 0767921402

Three Rivers Press. 2006

An engrossing and intimate portrait of the Oklahoma-based psychedelic pop band the Flaming Lips, cult heroes to millions of indie-rock fans.

In July 2002, the Flaming Lips released an ambitious album called Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, which merged elements of orchestral pop, electronic dance music, and old-fashioned psychedelic rock with lyrical themes that were simultaneously poignant and philosophical and supremely silly. The album sold a million copies worldwide, introduced the Flaming Lips to a mass audience, and made them one of the best-known cult bands in rock history.

Staring at Sound is the tale of the Flaming Lips’s fascinating career (which, in reality, began in 1983) and the many colorful personalities in their orbit, especially Wayne Coyne, their charismatic and visionary founder. Based on hundreds of hours of interviews with the band, it follows the Flaming Lips through the thriving indie-rock underground of the 1980s and the alternative-rock movement of the early ’90s, during which they found fans in such rock legends as Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Robert Plant, and Devo, and respected peers in such acts as the White Stripes, Radiohead, and Beck. It concludes with exclusive coverage of the creation of the group’s latest album, At War with the Mystics.

TURN ON YOUR MIND FOUR DECADES OF GREAT PSYCHEDELIC ROCK SOFTCOVER
ISBN: 0634055488

HAL LEONARD CORPORATION. 2003

(Book). Turn On Your Mind: Four Decades of Great Psychedelic Rock is a history and critical examination of rock's most inventive genre. Whether or not psychedelic drugs played a role (and as many musicians say they've used them as not), psychedelic rock has consistently charted brave new worlds that exist only in the space between the headphones. The history books tell us the music's high point was the Haight-Ashbury scene of 1967, but the genre didn't start in San Francisco, and its evolution didn't end with the Summer of Love. A line can be drawn from the hypnotic drones of the Velvet Underground to the disorienting swirl of My Bloody Valentine

from the artful experiments of the Beatles' Revolver to the flowing, otherworldly samples of rappers P.M. Dawn

from the dementia of the 13th Floor Elevators to the grungy lunacy of the Flaming Lips

and from the sounds and sights at Ken Kesey's '60s Acid Tests to those at present-day raves. Turn On Your Mind is an attempt to connect the dots from the very first groups who turned on, tuned in, and dropped out, to such new-millennial practitioners as Wilco, the Elephant 6 bands, Moby, the Super Furry Animals, and the so-called "stoner-rock" and "ork-pop" scenes.

Sheperd Paine: The Life and Work of a Master Modeler and Military Historian
ISBN: 0764329294

Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.. 2008

Sheperd Paine did more than anyone to elevate modeling to the level of an art form - one that includes elements of painting, sculpting, research, and storytelling. Building and painting miniature figures, armor, aircraft, and ships with equal skill, and displaying a broad scope of knowledge and interests ranging from the Napoleonic era to WWII, Paine created incredibly detailed and masterfully rendered vignettes and dioramas. This is the first book to examine all of his remarkable work, cataloging it with more than seven hundred beautiful photos, and charting the life experiences that formed these creations in an interesting, conversational format.

Milk It: Collected Musings on the Alternative Music Explosion of the '90s
ISBN: 0306812711

Da Capo Press. 2003

Taking its title with suitable slacker irony from a song on Nirvana's In Utero, Milk It! is an anthology of pieces written in the heat of the moment-an urgent and diverse overview that mirrors the chaotic rush of the postmodern sounds it covers. Headnotes and connective material-the "stories behind the stories"-provide running commentary on the music business, rock criticism, a troubled generation, and an attempt to put the fast-moving alternative-rock era in perspective from the safe distance of the comparatively bland new millennium. Compiled by a critic who shared the Generation X outlook, attitude, and biting sense of humor with the musicians that he covered-Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Hole, and many others-Milk It! is the first serious attempt to chart the alternative music scene. Compelling, amusing, and provocative, Milk It! captures the excitement of an era, and reckons with its enduring influence.

Kaleidoscope Eyes: Psychedelic Rock from the '60s to the '90s (Citadel Underground Series)
ISBN: 0806517883

Citadel Pr. 1996

A survey of psychedelic rock discusses its origins, evolution, and influential artists, ranging from the Beatles and Pink Floyd to the psychedelic guitar bands of the 1990s


Awards

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