BOOK REVIEW: “It’s Not Only Rock & Roll”, Jenny Boyd with Holly George-Warren

Written by Book Reviews, Books, Music, Popdose


It isn’t often one reads a book about music – famous rock musicians – and find references to Maslow or Goethe.  This is, hands down, the only psychological study I’ve ever read about the musical icons most of us have grown up with/admired over the years.  By virtue of this and the way Dr. Boyd (Jenny Boyd is a Ph.D.) goes about framing the idea – wanting to know who/how/what made/makes these musicians creative – easily gives this book the title of “smartest book ever written about rock musicians”.  This isn’t a joke – this is a serious look.  Jenny Boyd certainly has all the credibility in the world for this: she is a Ph.D., first and foremost; her sister was married to a Beatle and a Yardbird/Cream-er/Domino; Dr. Boyd was the muse/inspiration for Donovan’s magnificent 1968 opus, “Jennifer Juniper” and was married to the “Fleetwood” that links up with “Mac”; she has a wide list of friends from the music world and thus, the subjects who spoke with her come from various music “scenes” and eras.  Whether it’s David Crosby or B.B. King, Anthony Kiedis or Jeff  Lynne, all of these people answered Dr. Boyd’s questions with a depth that I wouldn’t have equated for a “standard” interview.

Having a degree in psychology and a lifetime spent in music, I appreciate this book no end.  I also found it a refreshing change from the usual books on music I’ve read over the decades.  I found it nice to have a different insight into some of these rock legends by virtue of where their creative seeds come from and deeper inspirations lay.  The other great notion of this book is that it need not apply strictly to musicians.  And that’s what makes this a universal work.  Fascinating and very well worth checking out.