Very happy to announce here the publication of The Bad Trip: Dark Omens, New Worlds and the End of the Sixties. It's available now from Icon Books. It's been getting some really great reviews and I'm very pleased with how its turned out. Despite the dark and often disturbing content, the book was an absolute pleasure to write and I had a great time working with everyone at Icon. See below for details of the events I'm doing to promote the book. There's also a twitter account @EndofSixties that's covering all the recent media appearances and press coverage.
Here's the synopsis:
The Sixties, for many, was a time of new ideas, freedom, and renewed hope – from the civil rights movement to Woodstock. But towards the end of 1969 and the start of the 1970s, everything seemed to implode. The Manson murders, the tragic events of the Rolling Stones concert at Altamont and the appearance of the Zodiac Killer all called a halt to the progress of a glorious decade. At the end of the Sixties, the hippie dream died – or so the story goes.
In The Bad Trip, James Riley descends into the underworld of the Sixties to reveal the dark side of the counterculture. He explores the seam of apocalyptic thinking that had lain hidden beneath the decade’s psychedelic utopianism all along. Moving between Britain and America, this is a magical mystery tour that shows just how different our concept of ‘the Sixties’ is from the reality of the period. A brilliant and trenchant cultural history published 50 years after the action – drawing on interviews with key figures from the music, art, and film scenes of the late 1960s and early 1970s in the US and UK.
I'll be posting more texts here relating to the book in due course.