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Music History Review    



Party Out of Bounds:
The B-52's, R.E.M. and the Kids Who Rocked Athens, Georgia
by Rodger Lyle Brown
Everthemore Books, 2004
Trade paper, $16.00 (221 pages)
ISBN: 0-9743877-0-3

You may know the B-52's song "Party Out of Bounds" or be familiar with the B-52's AIDS fundraising event called Party Out of Bounds, but the 1991 book of that name is one of the most requested in the rare book market. Party Out of Bounds is the definitive history of the Rock Movement in Athens, Georgia, which produced bands like the B-52's, R.E.M., Pylon and Love Tractor.

The new edition, published by everthemore books, features new cover art and photographs from that period that easily transports the reader to the rural party university of the 1970's and 1980's. In the late 1970's, Athens, Georgia, had the same historic impact on music that Haight Ashbury and the Monterey Music Festival had in the late 1960's. This is a 'must have' volume for readers of pop culture, music history, and those of us who survived the party years.

Brown opens with a bit of local history of how the location for the country's first land-grant college, was made by five distinguished Georgians who "crashed" a 4th of July Party in 1801 in the north Georgia wilderness. The next morning, the gentlemen decided that "this" was the perfect site for Athens, Georgia, and the future college. A town where 175 years later, "the church" became party central. A town where the native sons -- Keith Strickland and Randy Wilson -- walked to their own tune. A town that attracted creative guys with an edge like -- Fred Schneider, Peter Buck and Michael Stipe.

Party Out of Bounds is packed with anecdotes reflecting the counterculture in the university town. It is not a "tell all" book, but rather an intimate invitation to the party, giving the background of the principal players and the local color. The things that happen only in college towns during that idealized period of youth where anything is possible and dreams come true.

Party Out of Bounds will make you want to load up the car and "head down the Atlanta Highway to the Love Shack." 

Rodger Lyle Brown grew up in Savannah and lived in Athens from 1977 to 1987. He has worked as editorial director for and, contributed to publications ranging from The New York Times Magazine to the Village Voice, and is the author of Ghost Dancing on the Cracker Circuit: The Culture of Festivals in the American South.


Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews


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