I received this book as a gift for my birthday, back in July, and am only getting around to writing about it now. Why? Among all the other things I do around here, this book has taken me this long to get through it! This was my before-sleep reading for months.
Compiled by Bruno MacDonald, who also gave us that Air Guitar book Mike bought in Taranna this year, we get pages jam-packed with information, blurbs, pictures, line-ups (and changes to them), stories, quotes, information on venues and who played there and, yes, connections … it’s endless.
It’s a really cool read, and can be approached in a couple of ways. First, of course, you can just read it front to back. There’s more than enough there to keep a reader happy, for sure! Second, at the back of the book, there is a very handy Index for looking up a specific artist. Third, there are also symbols and numbers linking timelines and artists (in sometimes unusual ways).
Let’s try an example or two of this one…
On the flow chart for Section 4 (“Big Hair And Big Hits”), Metallica’s line goes like this: Metallica-Anthrax-[intersected by Rick Rubin line]-Queen-Marianne Faithfull-Ozzy Osbourne-[intersected by Iron Maiden line]-[intersected by Guns N’ Roses line]-Mötley Crüe…
On the flow chart for Section 2 (“Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out”), Black Sabbath’s line goes like this: Black Sabbath-Marilyn Manson-Wu-Tang Clan-[intersected by the Star Club line]-Red Hot Chili Peppers-Faith No More-[intersected by the Led Zeppelin line]-[intersected by the Fleetwood Mac line]-Nirvana [and intersected by the The Who line]…
Do those look like they make sense? Do they hurt your head? Curious to find out more? Get a copy of the book! It’s a bit like those old Choose Your Own Adventure books we read as kids, jumping pages to see where you end up next.
Covering the rock and roll period from Elvis, Buddy Holly, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry et al. right through to Muse, Coldplay, Kings Of Leon and The Killers, this certainly must have been a daunting task to undertake! There is so much history in those decades, I send kudos to the authors for even attempting this.
I have only slight criticism of the book, in that (by necessity) the majority of this information is a bit cursory. Then again, if it leads you to find out more elsewhere, then this has done its job. Also, if you’re a fan of rock and roll at all, you’ll have most of this knowledge in your head already. It’s not for fans looking for new tidbits. It really is a general overview of known things, collected together in interesting ways.
I had a lot of fun going through this book.
As noted in yesterday’s post, we went to the beach yesterday. The kids had a fuckin’ blast, like puppies trying to run in every direction at once. And so did we, in a different way – the beach is restorative. Get the sand between your toes, breathe in that fresh air, stand knee-deep in that water and look at the sky… you are healed.
Part of the awesome of our time on the shore today was that my father and sister met us there for the afternoon. This corrects my sister’s absence from my impromptu birthday dinner (as you’ll recall) of a couple of days ago. And she brought a gift for me. It is awesome.
First up is this incredible book, Bruno MacDonald’s Rock Connections. [Hey 1001, you’ll know the authors of this!] What this book strives to do is tell the entire history of rock and roll (from the 50s up to about 2009) via flow charts and a lot of page turning, as you come to each connection. At least, this is what I’ve gleaned from it so far. It seems to me you could just read it from cover to cover, as well, but it looks like it’ll be more fun to follow the points on the charts and see where you end up. For example, I wanna know how they go from Black Sabbath to Marilyn Manson to the Wu-Tang Clan. Yeah. But this book looks brilliant, and what I’ve read of it already is concise and awesome. (And Mike, they love Born Again, so you know it must be alright!) I get the feeling I’ll be recommending this book to all y’all very shortly.
Also in the gift bag was a packet of clear window stickers for the car. You’ve all seen them. Dad, Mom, kids, dogs, cats, parakeets, whatever you have in your home and life. They’re always proudly displayed in the back windows of cars and soccer mom minivans. Well, being my sister, she found a variant that’s actually perfectly appealing to me (I would never have bought the normal ‘Hey look at our nuclear family’ stickers. Nope not ever would I go for that cutesy crapola). Yes, this pack contains a Zombie family. For now we’ll use the smaller kids and save the bigger kids for bout 15 minutes from now when our kids are bigger. Shame there’s only one cat (we have two), as we don’t need the dog. Ah well, these are first world problems. Soon, our family car will display our zombieness. I’m hoping it buys us better parking and a bit more space in traffic. It’s unlikely, but one can hope.
And these stickers are timely, as tonight, after the kids absolutely zonked out after their tear-ass on the beach this afternoon, we watched World War Z with everyone’s favourite monkey-boy, Brad Pitt. I didn’t hold out hope for it (I’m really fucking tired of zombies in media, honestly). But it really was a decent film. Really, really tense, is what it was. Very well filmed. Tension was key. Relentless tension for (almost) the whole two hours. Tension tension tension. Crazy.
So, thank you to my sister for two super-awesome gifts. I can’t wait to dig further into this Rock Connections book. And I’ll be putting the zombie stickers in the car window today.