Author Series: Casey Rae

photo of author Casey Rae and the cover of his book

Casey Rae will discuss his book, William S. Burroughs and the Cult of Rock 'n' Roll, during a virtual presentation. Participants may attend in-person at the Central Library or virtually via ZoomThere will be a Q&A session after Rae's presentation. Copies of the book may be purchased at The Dock Book Shop. 


About the book

William S. Burroughs's fiction and essays are legendary, but his influence on music's counterculture has been less well documented—until now. Examining how one of America's most controversial literary figures altered the destinies of many notable and varied musicians, William S. Burroughs and the Cult of Rock 'n' Roll reveals the transformations in music history that can be traced to Burroughs.

A heroin addict and a gay man, Burroughs rose to notoriety outside the conventional literary world; his masterpiece, Naked Lunch, was banned on the grounds of obscenity, but its nonlinear structure was just as daring as its content. Casey Rae brings to life Burroughs's parallel rise to fame among daring musicians of the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, when it became a rite of passage to hang out with the author or to experiment with his cut-up techniques for producing revolutionary lyrics (as the Beatles and Radiohead did). Whether they tell of him exploring the occult with David Bowie, providing Lou Reed with gritty depictions of street life, or counseling Patti Smith about coping with fame, the stories of Burroughs's backstage impact will transform the way you see America's cultural revolution—and the way you hear its music.

About the author

Casey Rae is an author, professor, musician and music business professional based in Vancouver, Wash. As Director of Music Licensing for SiriusXM, he oversees the licensing of audio for transmission across the company's services. Previously, he served as the CEO of the Future of Music Coalition, a Washington, DC-based education and advocacy organization for musicians and composers. He has authored and teaches courses at Georgetown University and Berklee College of Music on the music business, disruptive innovation and federal policy. Casey has testified before the United States Congress on copyright matters and has written hundreds of articles on the impact of technology on the music community in scholarly journals and other publications.

His book William S. Burroughs & the Cult of Rock 'n' Roll (University of Texas Press, 2019) explores the Beat writer's impact on music culture and has been translated into four languages across six editions. His most recent book is Music Copyright: An Essential Guide for the Digital Age (Rowman and Littlefield, 2021); Dead Dharma: The Grateful Dead & the American Pursuit of Enlightenment will be published by Oxford University Press in 2022. Casey serves on the board of MHz Foundation and is the proud dad of two talented daughters.    


  • Thursday, July 14, 2022 | 06:30 PM - 07:30 PM


Fort Worth Public Library - Central, 500 W. 3rd St., Fort Worth 76102  View Map

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