Gods and Guitars

Gods and Guitars

Seeking the Sacred in Post-1960s Popular Music

by Michael J. Gilmour

216 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, hardcover does not include jacket

  • Hardcover
  • 9781481314831
  • Published: November 2020


  • Paperback
  • 9781602581395
  • Published: November 2009



Though American attitudes toward religion changed dramatically during the 1960s, interest in spirituality itself never diminished. If we listen closely, Michael Gilmour contends, we can hear an extensive religious vocabulary in the popular music of the decades that followed—articulating each generation's spiritual quest, a yearning for social justice, and the emotional highs of love and sex.

Probing the lyrical canons of seminal artists including Cat Stevens, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, U2, Ozzy Osbourne, Pearl Jam, Madonna, and Kanye West, Gilmour considers the ways—and reasons why—pop music's secular poets and prophets adopted religious phrases, motifs, and sacred texts.