Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

4.1.18

"It's hard to believe the Stones have been around for ten whole years." - beach reading for the jaded mind.

I lay on the sand in the dappled shade of a ti-tree and picked up the book and started reading it. I finished it two hours later. Not bad for 214 pages, plus appendix, plus index.

When I read history I like to read it incomplete; as in the history, not the book. Rock Revolution stops dead in 1976 because that is when it was published. It is all the more interesting for that, as you get a mid-seventies view of what rock music was - but, more importantly, what it was becoming. The headline above is a quote from Chapter 5, 'The Rolling Stones: Ecstasy and Evil'.

The book is a collection of essays from Creem magazine which proclaims it 'is not intended to be a rock'n'roll textbook', alluding to some of the obtuse music writing that was around even then. Lester Bangs contributes several articles, concluding in the above-quoted chapter
'that the Stones' tour in the summer of '75 ... boded well for the future of the Stones and (implicitly) for the future of rock'n roll itself. Because as that band goes, so goes the music as an entity and all the rest of us.'
Bangs would never know the Stones would defy the flame-out trajectory of so many others. Contributor Dave Marsh, however, is still around. In one of several chapters in Rock Revolution he proclaims Aretha Franklin 'the best pop singer pop music has ever produced'. Can't argue with that forty years later.

Rock Revolution includes some entertaining typos and errors, including:
'(Pink Floyd's) best-selling album "The Dark Side of the Moon" even included a very bluesy song with (for the Floyd) a startlingly traditional structure called "Monday" which became their first hit single in the USA'.
Then it refers to David Bowie's 1973 album release as 'Pinpus'.

Finally: on the cusp of a dreadful mid-seventies music trend, Dave Marsh was wary:
'... soul ... is the heart of rock, and like rock'n roll, it is an enormous phenomenon, the best popular music the world has ever known. Or it has been. Many have qualms about the latest soul trend: disco. ... records oriented for disco are not easy to listen to. They are made for the feet and not the ears. ... disco remains a question mark - is it worthwhile as music, or merely as an adjunct to the latest dance craze? Time tells.'
Time told. Then it got worse. The eighties arrived.

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Rock Revolution: From Elvis to Elton. The Story of Rock And Roll.
Popular Library, 1976

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