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Lesson one

Rock Superstars : What Do They Tell Us About Ourselves and Our Society ?


A. Answer the following questions on the text:

1. What is the function of the two quotations? Are they appropriate?

2. What does the author attempt to illustrate with the three examples at the beginning of the article?

3. According to Irving Horowitz, what is the sociological significance of rock music?

4. In what sense did Elvis Presley prove what Horowitz and Rundgren believed?

5. How did Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones differ from each other politically?

6. What other major subjects did rock music deal with apart from politics?

7. What rewards did rock superstars get?

8. Has the author given a complete answer to the question he raises in the title? Why do you think the author ends the article the way he does?


Key A

1. The author uses the two quotations to introduce his ideas. Yes, they are.

2. The author uses the three examples to show that the young people worship the rock superstars very much, but the adults find they are sick. The examples show that young people and adults have totally different attitudes towards rock music.

3. Rock music can express its times. He sees it as a debating forum where American society struggles to define and redefine its feeling and beliefs.

4. When he appeared on the Ed. Sullivan Sunday night variety show, a debate took place. The old people frowned while the young viewers applauded.

5. Bob Dylan touched a nerve of disaffection. The Beatles urged peace and piety. The Rolling Stones demanded revolution.

6. Apart from politics, the rock music dealt with feelings and emotions.

7. The rock superstars got applause, praise and money.

8. No, he hasn’t. He wants s to leave the question to the readers and let them think.



B Translate the following into Chinese:

1. “Jagger,” he said, “grabs a half –gallon jug of water and runs along the front platform, sprinkling its contents over the first few rows of sweltering listeners.

2. How do you feel about all this adulation and hero worship?

3. Or are you drawn somehow to this strange clown, perhaps because he acts out your wildest fantasies?

4. Some sociologists say that your answers to them could explain a lot about what you are thinking and about what your society is thinking – in other words, where you and your society are .

5. It’s just that Elvis managed to embody the frustrated teenage spirit of the 1950s.

6. Feelings always a part of any musical statement were a major subject.

7. This country element, Horowitz feels, helped its audience express an urge to “get away from it all,” to “go back to the old days.”

8. In one 1972 national opinion poll, more than 10 percent of the high school boys and 20 percent of the girls said their hero was a rock superstar.



1他描述道:”贾格尔拿着半加仑水, 顺着舞台前沿,边跑边把水洒向前排汗流浃背的歌迷身上.”

2. 你如何看待这种赞美和英雄崇拜?

3. 还是由于他把你狂热的幻想用行动表现出来,你神不知鬼不觉地被这个不可思议的小丑所吸引?

4. 一些社会学家认为你对这些问题的回答,很能说明你在想什么,社会在想什么..换句话说, 可以说明你和社会的态度.

5. 只不过艾尔维斯的演唱表现了50年代青少年那种沮丧的精神状态.

6. 感情总是任何音乐表达的必要成分,也是一个重要议题.

7. 霍罗威茨认为这种结合表达了听众欲摆脱现实一切”/”重归昔日的强烈愿望.

9. 1972年的一次全国民意测验中, 10%以上的高中男生,20%的女生表示他们心目中的英雄是超摇滚歌星.



C. Fill in the blank in each sentence with the best word or expression from the box below, changing its form when necessary:

Sprinkle swelter in other words lazy rather than reject act out idle worship reverence drive embody


1. His paintings embody the spirit of the modern era.

2. How do you act out your frustrations, by throwing glasses or something?

3. The peddler sprinkled some water over his vegetables to make them fresher and heavier.

4. In such heated air, the sweltering students could hardly keep their minds on their lessons.

5. That’s idle gossip. Don’t listen to it.

6. She sent in her application for the job, but was rejected as unqualified.

7. The salesman considered it safe to go along with the boss rather than to contradict him.

8. Everybody should have a sincere reverence/worship for the laws of his country.




D. Choose the right word or expression in the brackets to complete each of the following sentences :

1. The whole nation watched the two candidates (arguing, debating) the issue of raising taxes on TV .

2. It was a (proud, arrogant) moment for my cousin when she shook hands with the President .

3. Even if you (mix, blend) oil and water, they will not (mix, blend).

4. Some people watch television so much that they cannot (conceive, imagine) of living without it.

5. As it was an informal dinner, most people (wore, were dressed) in their comfortable clothes.

6. Do you think those young people are (idealistic, ideal) or pragmatic?

7. Filled with great (adulation, admiration) for their integrity and courage, he was determined to be a man like them.

8. Deep at night, they could still hear gun-fire (rambling, rumbling) in the distance.




E. Explain the underlined words in English:

1. “They think he is sick, sick, sick,” Mike said.

2. Newspaper editorialized against him.

3. He spoke of change and of the bewilderment of an older generation.

4. The Beatles … urged peace and piety

5. His most notable songs …while the lyrics celebrate the simple joy

6. … these rock musicians mirror feelings and beliefs

7. Horowitz sees the rock music arena as …a place where ideas clash and crash.

8. What does he – or any other current rock success – tell us about his fans?


Key E

1. disgusting

2. Editors’ articles attacked and criticized him

3. the confusions of the old people

4. had a strong desire for peace and piety

5. The words of the song praise the natural happiness of the old days.

6. reflect emotions and outlooks

7. a place where ideas come into opposition and contradiction to each other

8. other successful rock stars at present


F . Translate the following into English :

摇滚乐于20世纪50年代末兴起于美国. 它不仅是一种新型的音乐形式,更是美国的青年人表达他们对世界和人生看法的论坛. 在这个论坛上, 歌星们唱出了青年人对民权战争与和平的态度, 唱出了他们对社会的不满,也唱出了爱与恨之间的各种情感. 总之, 在这个论坛上, 青年人把他们对美国社会的信仰及情感给以全新的解释. 早期的摇滚乐的主要代表人物有艾尔维斯.普雷斯利、歌星加诗人鲍勃.狄伦、甲壳虫乐队以及滚石乐队等等。他们都是青年人崇拜的文化英雄.

Key F

Rock music began in America in the late 1950’s. It was not only a new musical form, but a forum for the American youth to express their ideas of the world and life. In this forum, the stars sang out the attitudes of the youth towards civil rights, war and peace, the disaffection of their society, and a range of emotions between love and hate. All in all, in this forum, the American youth redefined the beliefs and feelings of their society. The typical representatives of the early rock music were Elvis Presley, singer and poet Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the rolling Stones and so on. They were the culture heroes whom the young people worshipped.



G. Write a short passage of 150—200words in English on the topic

“Do you Agree that Rock Is the Music of Teenage Rebellion?:”

You should cover the following points:

1 A general statement of your position;

2 Two or three arguments with a supporting example for each.


Key G

Do You Agree that Rock Is the Music of Teenage Rebellion?


Rock music began in America in the late 1950’s. It was not only a new musical form, but a forum for the American youth to express their ideas of the world and life.


Music expressed its times. Rock music was a sociological expression rather than a musical force. It embodied the frustrated teenage spirit of the 1950s. At that time young people might be dissatisfied with the society or they had some hatred toward the adult world, but they could not protest it openly. So they would use music as an outlet. Then they could get some balance in their minds.


Another aspect is that the young people could make their ideas and beliefs known to the world through music. By music, they could show their felling and dreams. So all in all, young people combined invention and exaggeration, reason and motion, word and sound, music and politics as a whole.




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