Rock Music in Performance examines an apparent contradiction which is central to the performance of rock music. Rock musicians are supposed to be real - their music is a reflection, either of their essential selves, or of the true history of the genre they represent. At the same time, musicians have to put on a show, with all the associations that term brings with it - of theatricality, of commercialized entertainment. David Pattie looks at the way in which various performers have dealt with this paradox, from the time that Rock music developed in the late 1960s to the present day. He argues that this paradox is in fact central to the way in which Rock music in performance has developed; and that it continues to shape the way in which both bands and audiences engage with the live event.

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