Lillian Roxon: Mother Of Rock

Chances are, if you are under 50 years old, you’ve never heard of Lillian Roxon.  But back in 1969, the Australian journalist did something no one else had previously done, she wrote a rock encyclopedia. With rock and pop music now so ingrained in mainstream culture, you may think, “so what”? But back then, virtually no one took rock music seriously. Lillian Roxon helped to change that.

This documentary follows Roxon’s tragically short life from her childhood, growing up in Brisbane, through her wild university years as a leading figure in the controversial Sydney Push movement, to her time in New York City as a chronicler of the burgeoning rock scene in the 1960s and early 70s.

Roxon had both incredible foresight and fantastic luck. She was in the right place at the right time and knew how to take advantage of it. Almost as soon as she arrived in New York she was championing a young folk singer named Dylan. By the end of her life (in 1973) she had sung the praises of The Velvet Underground, The Doors, Iggy & The Stooges, Alice Cooper and predicted the oncoming punk movement.

Featured in this film are interviews with most of Roxon’s closest friends and allies including Germaine Greer, Danny Fields, Iggy Pop and Alice Cooper. In addition to shedding light on this important woman, the film reveals quite a bit about the New York Scene in and around Max’s Kansas City, where Andy Warhol, Iggy, Bowie and the rest of the New York Underground hung out.

Roxon once wrote: “Rock stars are like avocadoes. When that moment of perfect ripeness comes they are by definition, doomed.”  Judging by this film, Lillian Roxon was a true rock star.

Marty Duda