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.