At the peak of his fame, one of the architects of rock ‘n’ roll was arrested under the Mann Act for illegaly transporting a minor across state lines. But to the 14 year old girl named Janice Escalante who claimed Berry raped her 14 times, the law’s language around his behavior is tragically unjust, because it has shaped Berry’s historical narrative, mentioning illegal transporation instead of “child sexual abuse” or “rape.”
During the last quarter of the 20th century, William Jellett danced at countless rock shows in the UK. From Black Sabbath to the Sex Pistols to Queen, he was there, holding cryptic signs and rattling a tambourine. You can see his skinny shirtless frame in countless photos and live footage. So who was he, and where did he go?
After The Beach Boys’ domestic album sales started suffering in the late 1960s and their squeaky clean surfer image fell out of favor, they co-wrote a song that helped them connect with America’s shaggy, drug-taking counterculture and regain their popularity. This is the story of that song, and the story of American pop music after the Summer of Love.