Book Review

The History of Rock and Roll. Volume One 1920-1963. By Ed ward. Flatiron Books. New York. 2016. Hardcover. 402 pages. Review by Francis DiMenno This history, which came out about 12 months ago, will provide a wonderful primer for those who are under the impression that rock ’n’ roll didn’t truly really begin until the advent of the Beatles. Make no mistake: toward the end of the book, Ward does devote nearly 100 pages to the events leading up to … Read More >>

Book Review

THE NEW ANALOG: LISTENING AND RECONNECTING IN A DIGITAL WORLD By Damon Krukowski. The New Press, 2017. 225 pages, hardcover. Review by Francis DiMenno If you have ever wondered why CDs and digital media sound different from vinyl LPs and live performances, and if you have ever marveled at how much the world has changed since the late 1980s due to digital media, then this book will go a long way in explaining the how and why. Some noise, first: … Read More >>

Book Reviews

INTO THE MYSTIC The Visionary and Ecstatic Roots of 1960s Rock and Roll. By Christopher Hill. Park Street Press, paperback, 294 pages. Review by Francis DiMenno Christopher Hill is an intelligent and insightful critic, and his enthusiasm for his subject tends to be infectious. He writes here an ambitious but not overly broad commentary on the emergence of a Dionysiac tradition of sixties rock and roll taking place in the midst of an Apollonian power structure collapsing under its own neocolonialist … Read More >>

Book Review

The Art of Asking: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help. By Amanda Palmer. Grand Central Publishing, 2014. 337 pages. Hardcover. Review by Francis DiMenno The world is just a little town/ Everybody putting everybody down–John Lennon Is Amanda Palmer a pretentious, shrieking cyberspace mooch, or an exceptionally talented artist and consensus-builder who has also mastered the ins and outs of social media marketing? Some have suggested she is a shameless narcissist, while others maintain that she’s … Read More >>

Book Review

BOOK REVIEW THE DECIBEL DIARIES A Journey Through Rock in 50 Concerts by Carter Alan review by T Max Most people can tell you a few good stories about great rock shows they remember though the haze of drugs and booze. I’ve seen it happen within a group where everyone tries to up the anti with a wild tale from their past rock ’n’ roll experiences. I can play that game as good as anyone with a list that ranges … Read More >>

Book Review

BOOK REVIEW The Paragraphs. By Rick Berlin. Cutlass Press, 2016. Paperback. 248 pages. Review by Francis DiMenno The memoir form is a strange and wondrous beast. It tends to be less comprehensive than an autobiography, and therefore also tends to be impressionistic rather than concrete; terse rather than prolix; luminous rather than opaque. Impressionistic, terse and luminous is largely what we are given here; this book is mostly sweet, sometimes tough, and never, ever stuffy. All the verbal fireworks are … Read More >>

Book Review

SMALL TOWN TALK Small Town Talk: Bob Dylan, The Band, Van Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix & Friends in the Wild Years of Woodstock. By Barney Hoskins. Da Capo Press, 2016. 402 pages, hardcover. Review by Francis DiMenno If you read this book expecting to get some interesting and previously obscure gossip about the characters listed in the title, you certainly won’t be disappointed. But one of the key names listing from that impressive title roster (along with Paul Butterfield, Todd … Read More >>

Book Review

BOOK REVIEW The Sun & The Moon & The Rolling Stones. By Rich Cohen. Spiegel & Grau, 2016. Hardcover. 381 pages. Review by Francis DiMenno Cohn has most of the serious credentials deemed necessary to write about “The Greatest Rock Band in the World.” In spite of having been born in 1968. (Which is actually good; it gives him a certain necessary generational distance to balance his overarching enthusiasm for the band.)  He has written for both Rolling Stone and … Read More >>