Robert Milliken

Mother of Rock is an Australian journalist’s adoring biography of one of our great social journalists. Sydney newsman Robert Milliken’s life of expatriate writer Lillian Roxon (1932–73) is foremost an account of the birth of celebrity tabloid press in the 1960s and its close links with the emergence of rock music as an art form and breeding ground for ‘stars’. Like Roxon’s writing itself – a generous selection of which is reproduced at the back of the book – what little discussion of the qualities of the music of the times there is comes second to an account of its social and market implications and its dramatic leading personalities. Roxon emerges as a radical, under-acknowledged progenitor of ‘new journalism’.

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