Andrew Rawlinson was a war baby (b.1943) and lived in 17 different places by the time he was six.
He got hit early on: Elvis, Jelly Roll Morton, Samuel Johnson, John Keats, Jack Kerouac, Cezanne, Pollock. And Zeus.
He added philosophy and Indian traditions to rock’n’roll, jazz and literature. He was a scholar at Cambridge and did a Ph.D on the Lotus Sutra at the University of Lancaster. He taught Buddhism for 20 years and put on a course on Altered States of Consciousness at Berkeley and Santa Barbara. His forerunning book on Western teachers in Eastern traditions has been hailed as “fascinating, opinionated, and ambitious book is suitable for any library.”
Tonight he’ll be speaking about his forthcoming book “The Hit : Into the Rock ‘n Roll Universe and Beyond” covering the esoteric side of musicianship, spirituality and accepting the hits.
An excerpt:
“I remember Eric Clapton talking about how, at the age of 15 or so, he was listening to Family Favourites on the radio. Suddenly – and it always happens suddenly – came the first riffs of a Chuck Berry song. ‘It just did me in – pinned me against the wall.’
He’d discovered rock’n’roll. He’d been hit. And like everyone who’s been hit, he entered a world: the rock’n’roll universe. Not just a blessing but an ordeal, not just a discovery but a derangement. Reality is itself the ultimate show. That’s the hit. And the world it throws you into? You’re in it right now.”
He joins us straight off the plane from the sought of France where he lives with his wife, his companion of 46 years of whom his bio admits, “when he lies next to his wife, he knows there’s nothing else.”