About Stephen Tow
Stephen is the author of two books: London, Reign Over Me: How England's Capital Built Classic Rock (Rowman & Littlefield, February 15, 2020) and The Strangest Tribe: How a Group of Seattle Rock Bands Invented Grunge (Sasquatch Books, 2011.) He has been teaching American history and rock n roll at Delaware Valley University, located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, since 1999.
Stephen loves traveling, and is an avid guitarist. He describes his playing as, "people who don't know anything about guitar think I'm good." He lives near Philadelphia with his wife, daughter, and two dogs.
The Strangest Tribe:
How a Group of Seattle Rock Bands Invented Grunge
Stephen's first book investigates the genesis of the musical explosion that gave us Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains.
The book traces the roots of Seattle's punk rock scene in the mid-1970s and takes you through 1990, just before Nirvana unwittingly transformed Seattle from a tiny backwater music scene into an international phenomenon.
London Reign Over Me: How England's Capital Built Classic Rock
February 15, 2020
Stephen's second book puts the classic rock era in perspective by centering on London's role in creating it. Instead of focusing on the typical rock star narrative of egos, drugs, dirty managers, and general bad behavior, London, Reign Over Me talks exclusively about the musical culture of that wonderful era.
LROM mostly concentrates on the period from 1963 to 1970--seven years. Stephen began this project with his first interview (Jim McCarty from the Yardbirds) in February 2013 and the book came out in February 2020. So basically it took him seven years to write about seven years. That should give you an idea of how rich this period of musical exploration was.
The book draws from over 90 original interviews including Peter Frampton, John Mayall, Paul Rodgers, Peter Noone, and members of such bands as The Kinks, The Moody Blues, Deep Purple, Yes, Jethro Tull, The Small Faces, The Yardbirds, King Crimson, and many others. He also pulled from the London weekly newspapers of the era including Melody Maker, New Musical Express, and Record Mirror.