DeRogatis’s credentials for re-tackling this ground are decent. In 1996 his Kaleidoscope Eyes charted his idea of psychedelic music from the 60s to the 90s with wit and style. The result was a persuasive tome that picked holes in the received wisdom and tired stereotypes about psychedelic music, building new narrative threads between the likes of The Beatles, Floyd and Brian Eno on one hand, and Wilco, Aphex Twin and The Flaming Lips on the other. There is much to debate and argue with, but from the off, one cannot help but be pulled into his world, where everything fits neatly together: a testament to his writing.
Although there are genuine moments of insight into why psych has been so pervasive, this is no cultural treatise. It’s a list of what DeRogatis thinks are the best psych records and why, along with a list of those he thinks aren’t, and why not (devoting much time to The Grateful Dead in the latter). Some might think it’s over-opinionated and, indeed, his subjectivity is always in question. This isn’t to take anything away from the scope of DeRogatis’ achievement. Lengthy, exhaustive and absorbing, Turn On Your Mind is an important book, but more for his knowledge than theories.