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Rock ’n’ Remembrance

Author Lily Brett explores everything from Hendrix to the Holocaust in a thinly veiled autobiographical novel

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Lily Brett and Cliff Richard in London, 1967.(Colin Beard; courtesy Lily Brett)

Lily Brett didn’t care much for rock ’n’ roll, but her job was with a rock magazine, so, reluctantly, she hung out with Mick Jagger. And Jimi Hendrix. And the Who and Cat Stevens and Jim Morrison and just about any great rock star you can think of. It was the ’60s, before musicians had publicists and armies of assistants, so Brett could ask them just about anything she wanted. She did, which often meant she would ask the rock stars about their parents or tell them about hers, two Holocaust survivors who had given birth to their only daughter in a German DP camp. The result was powerful journalism that helped cement Brett’s reputation as one of her profession’s brightest stars. She’s also an acclaimed novelist: Earlier this year, her latest work of fiction, Lola Bensky, was released in her native Australia. It’s about a young woman, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, who becomes a rock journalist and travels to England and America and meets some of rock ’n’ roll’s most legendary performers and has the kinds of conversations you’d never expect with the sort of men you’d never think were capable of talking about much more then themselves. Tablet Magazine’s Liel Leibovitz spoke with Lily Brett about fame, fear, and rock ’n’ roll. [Running time: 31:00.] 

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Wonder if she got to Beefheart. At least he recorded about it.

Why should we care about what “Cat Stevens” says, as he’s converted to Islam some years ago (1977) and is now only answering to Yusuf Islam (born Steven Demetre Georgiou, 21 July 1948), commonly known by his former stage name Cat Stevens.

Quoting Wikipedia: “Following Ayatollah Khomeini’s February 14, 1989 death fatwa against author Salman Rushdie, musician Yusuf Islam, previously known by his stage name Cat Stevens before he converted to Islam in 1977, made statements endorsing the killing of Rushdie. ”

Really, why should we include Cat Stevens in any serious discussion?


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Rock ’n’ Remembrance

Author Lily Brett explores everything from Hendrix to the Holocaust in a thinly veiled autobiographical novel

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