Young Americans for Liberty at the University of Tennessee did it again. We brought in another high profile guest speaker. This speaker brought something to the table that many could only wish for (a mixture of rock n' roll and liberty). Rock historian R. Gary Patterson spoke on the long history of rock n' roll to a very energetic crowd of YAL members and students at the University of Tennessee.
Patterson spoke about the social history of rock n' roll. One very important event that still has relevance today is when republican president Richard Nixon targeted John Lennon. Richard Nixon was set on destroying John Lennon. We have seen what the National Security Agency is doing by monitoring your everyday American Citizen.
This just goes to show that the government is fearful of people. This was the case with President Nixon. He saw the large influence Lennon had on the youth of America and he wanted it stopped. Our event was very interactive, students engaged with Patterson on a variety of topics. Patterson talked about chasing your dreams, and never giving up.
Many of the topics discussed came from his three published works. These books have provided him the ability to appear as a consultant on "VH1 Confidential" and the E Channel. His book, The Walrus was Paul, shot Patterson to the top of The Beatles mania world. Patterson addressed the rumors that started circulating in the 1960’s that Paul McCartney had died and was replaced. Paul's death had been a question among many of The Beatles fans though the years.
Hellhounds on Their Trail: Tales from the Rock N Roll Graveyard is the second book Patterson released. This is a book that dives into many of rock n' roll’s greatest curses, myths, and tales. Starting with the birth of rock music, Patterson detailed the legend of Robert Johnson and the “Crossroads”. It is said that Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil in exchange for the gift of being a master of the guitar. Robert Johnson and the “Crossroads” have had numerous influences on some of the greatest rock bands in history, such as Led Zeppelin. This is just one of the myths that Patterson described. Others included the mystery surrounding the late Jim Morrison of The Doors.
Patterson’s third novel Take a Walk on the Dark Side: Rock and Roll Myths, Legends, and Curses is enhanced with even more spooky stories. In it, Patterson takes readers on a thrilling ride. What he coins “the club”, was a look at the number 27. There has been over 40 musicians who have died at the age of 27, starting with Robert Johnson. Some of the most notable of these include: Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain, and most recently Amy Winehouse. If you are a thrill-seeking person, these books will leave you satisfied. You can find Patterson’s books at Barnes and Nobel and online.