Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock 'n' Roll Music Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. With whom is Carmen walking in the song "To Kingdom Come"?

2. What image does The Band use that shows both division and unity?

3. What album does Marcus say belongs to Richard Manuel in "The Band?

4. Who sang "Fool about mah money/don't try to save"?

5. What does Marcus name the storyteller from The Band's lyrics?

Short Essay Questions

1. In "The Band," what is significant about a group according to Marcus in "Crossing the Border"?

2. Why might "The Band" be subtitled "Pilgrim's Progress"?

3. There are several dualisms that Marcus identifies the Band reflecting on in "The Righteous Land " section of "The Band." What are two of these dualisms and what aspect of America do they reflect?

4. Who are Harmonica Frank and Robert Johnson? Why are they included in the book?

5. According to Marcus in "Robert Johnson -1938," how are Robert Johnson's songs relevant even today? What artist's keep his spirit and music alive?

6. According to Marcus in "Harmonica Frank -1951," why would Lyndon Johnson and Harmonica Frank get along?

7. In the section entitled "The Weight" in "The Band," what does Dominique Robertson have to say about living in Woodstock? What does this say about community?

8. What type of music was Sam Phillips attempting to find and why?

9. In "Robert Johnson -1938," what common theme does Robert Johnson's music have with music by Eric Clapton?

10. Who is Marcus' audience for Mystery Train and how do you know?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Freedom is an American theme explored in rock 'n' roll. Choose one artist and using their lyrics identify their concept of freedom (or the lack of it). Does the artist's music reflect the American idea of freedom?

Essay Topic 2

Rock 'n' roll always has its ties to race and it both enriches the music and hinders it. Pick one artist who dealt with race issues in his music (any of the artists discussed in Mystery Train do). In an essay identify what the racial tensions of the time were and how they factored into the music.

Essay Topic 3

Marcus stakes a claim that Elvis Presley is one of a kind and could not be easily replaced. What is unique about Elvis Presley? How does he succeed where other failed? Why is Elvis able to stay at the top when other more seasoned artists fall off the charts and out of mind after getting their break?

(see the answer keys)

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