top of page

"This vibrant pop history makes a strong case for London being the true birthplace of modern rock. The book moves at rocket speed as it describes how the music pivoted and grew. What results is a passionate study of a unique moment in rock history."

-- Publishers Weekly

"London, Reign Over Me is a masterfully researched, spacious, and inviting survey of British rock music in the 1960s (and a bit beyond). It really feels like you're being taken along for the ride with the star players, reviewers, and behind-the-scenes craftsmen who steered the ships and turned the tides."

-- Pop Matters

"Tow’s book seems miles away from the rumors of hostility and lewd road stories that dominate the recollections of rock musicians. Instead, London, Reign Over Me, focuses on the music. And Tow’s prose is perfectly suited to the task. The book’s lyrical style keeps the history moving forward and accentuates the music so eloquently you can almost hear the opening chords of some of your favorite songs. You will never think of 'House of the Rising Sun' the same way, ever again."

-- The Model American

"For those with a curiosity of how classic rock actually came to be — in the eyes of one man — London, Reign Over Me: How England’s Capital Built Classic Rock is an excellent study. 'And that was London is the 1960s,' Tow concludes in the book. 'Anything could happen, and it did. And we’re better for it.' And we’re better for this book, too."

-- ListenIowa

"Music historian and professor Stephen Tow has paired contemporary observations with direct recollections from over ninety musicians who helped foment the scene. Tow does an admirable job pulling apart the many threads that created a musical renaissance the likes of which have not been heard before or since. He has assembled a great blend of then-contemporary observations with latter day perspectives from those who were there in this delightful and edifying book."

-- Entertainment Today


"Rather than regurgitating the research of others, [Tow] draws from many interviews with key musicians including artists Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Rod Argent (the Zombies), and JimMcCarty (the Yardbirds), as well as from memoirs and biographies. His writing is immediate and clearly paints a picture of 1960s London.  Covering dozens of bands in a variety of styles, Tow pens a sweeping look at a pivotal period of music history."

-- Library Journal

"Tow has really done his homework on this one - the book is strewn with vivid imagery, many hilarious, interesting anecdotes, and numerous artist interviews. He manages to paint a realistic picture of how London captured the cultural zeitgeist of a disaffected nation."


"There’s a new book in town, and within its pages are true-life tales of some of the most groundbreaking musical artists in all of rock. “London Reign Over Me: How England’s Capital Built Classic Rock” presents a front-row view into the artistic efforts and triumphs of The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Kinks, The Animals, Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Small Faces, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, The Byrds, Free, The Yardbirds and many others who helped shape the popular music landscape of the 1960s and ’70s.."

-- SW Times

bottom of page