Rock in a Hard Place

Rock in a Hard Place : Music and Mayhem in the Middle East

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A muggy night in Abu Dhabi, 2011. Under the stadium lights a 30,000-strong sea of Libyans, Palestinians, Syrians and Egyptians wait in anticipation. Alongside them are Saudis, Iranians and Israelis. Defiance and excitement course through the crowd like electricity. Standing together, they are waiting for Metallica's first ever show in the Middle East. Many have faced untold violence, but for tonight, nothing else matters...This is the untold story of that crowd. Of the young men and women and the music they make in the backrooms of shabby houses in al-Zarqa and al-Qatif, Nazareth and Cairo. Of illegal shows in Tehran and Riyadh. Of songs that ousted a dictator in Cairo. Of exiles that have ended in glory, in isolation, and in blood. Journalist and lifelong heavy metal fan, Orlando Crowcroft, spent six years penetrating the rock and metal scene in the Middle East. Rock in a Hard Place is a different voice, one that is at odds with the Middle East of violence, extremism, war and ISIS: a voice recognizable to anyone who has ever turned up a speaker or an amp to drown out the din of the everyday, and a voice that may help unite us when we need it more

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 22.86mm | 281.23g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1786990156
  • 9781786990150
  • 353,451

Review quote

`Crowcroft's book is a revelation into the torture, oppression and imprisonment metalheads stand up to, just so they can be metal in the Middle East. This book is a must read!' Max Cavalera, frontman for Soulfly and Cavalera Conspiracy `Going to jail for liking a band like us, that's taking chances... It's shocking to hear that someone had to suffer and risk his life for nothing but a love of music and a passion for freedom of speech.' Silenoz, guitarist for Dimmu Borgir and Insidious Disease `Black metal, Islam, war zones - and a great shock of humanity. Orlando Crowcroft goes where no other writer has even thought of going before and brings back an improbably remarkable story.' Mick Wall, author of Last of the Giants: The True Story of Guns N' Roses `Rock in A Hard Place is a must read for any musician. Especially those involved in the underground. An inspiring report on the power of music to unite human beings in the face of adversity.' Brad Logan, guitarist for F-Minus and Leftover Crack 'A fascinating insight into the impossibility of repressing everyone no matter how fanatic you may be. It is surprising that more heavy metal rockers do not get stoned to death.' Clive Stafford Smith, international human rights lawyer'Crowcroft's book is a fine contribution to a growing literature on popular culture in the Middle East, providing a valuable, seldom-given glimpse into atheist, antiauthoritarian and anti-religious counter culture.'Contemporary Islamshow more

About Orlando Crowcroft

Orlando Crowcroft is a journalist and life-long heavy metal fan and has interviewed bands throughout the Middle East for Rolling Stone, Atlantic and Esquire. He is the co-author of the Lonely Planet Guide to Israel and the Palestinian Territories (2015) and has reported from a dozen countries including Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. In 2014, he reported from Israel, the West Bank and Gaza for The Guardian and The more

Table of contents

PrefaceIntroduction1. Saudi Arabia2. Egypt3. Iran4. Israel and Palestine5. LebanonEpilogueshow more

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