Rawk of Ages – why reading about music is such fun

Prime TV has just started a brilliant documentary Seven Ages of Rock. The first episode romped through the 60s with cameos from such luminaries as Robbie Robertson, Roger Daltrey, Ginger Baker, Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones. Watching Keith Richards pick out some blues chords was alone worth the price of admission. It’s not too late to tune it (and turn on etc).

One train laterThere’s nothing more satisfying than a  good book of music criticism or interesting music related biographies/memoirs. They combine entertaining reading with a desire to listen to music. One train later by Andy Summers (guitarist with The Police) is a wonderfully written book, and an insight into music from way back in the days of skiffle (also where The Beatles began).

On a more naughty note there’s Let’s spend the night together by the irascible Pamela des Barres. It tells the story of the supergroupies and muses like Cynthia Plaster Caster and other band aids who are so much part of the rock star dream.

Also on my reading table is The rest is noise. It looks like a meaty tome:

A sweeping musical history that goes from the salons of pre-war Vienna to Velvet Underground shows in the sixties … Taking as his starting point a production of Richard Strauss’s Salome, conducted by the composer on 16 May 1906 with Puccini, Schoenberg, Berg and Adolf Hitler seated in the stalls, Ross suggests how this evening can be considered the century’s musical watershed rather the riotous premiere of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring seven years later.

Everybody hurtsAnd for a more modern movement, why not sample Everybody hurts: a guide to emo culture.

Customer Profiling

  1. BukowskiCharles Bukowski
  2. Jim Thompson
  3. Philip K. Dick
  4. William S. Burroughs
  5. Any graphic novel

Ever read any of these? An avid reader? Ever stolen any of them?  This is a list of the five most often “lifted” books from an independent book seller.

Books can take on aspect of furniture… furniture that reflects your good taste and character; although it maybe that you are unwittingly exhibiting an anti-social character. I have at various times in my life had a passionate interest (although interests and passions change and atrophy over time; and my interest was not criminal) in four of the above five and am now I’m working at the libraries.

So if your literary predilections gravitate towards the above, remember that you do have a choice; statistics don’t tell us how we should  act. Come to the libraries where we have a large array of titles from each of the above which you can peruse, without the eyes of independent bookshop owners burrowing into the back of your head.

On Kim Hill’s podcast page she interviews Cheryl Shucher, an independent bookstore owner in New York, furnishing a few more names that have book owners reaching for their running shoes (this interview should be on the pod-cast page for a further two weeks) .