July 6, 2008 by admin
Post-spring cleaning edition
Still a lot more shelves to cover, but I wanted to track this particular batch of titles now as they are being readied for the storage area. Shelf space is at a real premium these days, and though I wouldn’t even consider unloading any of the following titles, they are — for the most part — things I just can’t imagine needing within arms reach anytime too soon. A decision I’ll no doubt regret as soon as they are placed under lock and key.
59. Bob Dylan and the Beatles (Vol. 1 of the best of the Blacklisted Journalist) (Al Aronowitz) – Sprawling, some would say indulgent, memoir/compilation from a guy who I think can lay legitimate claim to being the first reputable rock journalist (his lengthy 1964 profile of the fab four from The Saturday Evening Post is a centerpiece here). Also known as the man who introduced Dylan to the Beatles and the Beatles to weed, an anecdote you are reminded of frequently. If it was me I’d repeat that tale endlessly also.
60. Sound Bites (Albert Goldman) – Hardcover, originally $27.50, first marked down to $4.99, magic-markered down to two bucks by the time it reached my hands. I own two Goldman books, actually, neither of which are his much-gabbed-about biographies, and I don’t think I’ve read more than several pages of either. I’m guessing there’s at least a little more good in his writing than his harshest critics will ever admit and a lot more bad than his most spirited defenders will fess up to. (Interestingly, he can count Pauline Kael and James Wolcott among the latter group.)
61. Kiss This: Punk in the Present Tense (Gina Arnold) – One penny less even than Sound Bites! Probably a decent book, I just have zero feel for that entire era right now.
62. Bowie: Loving the Alien (Christopher Sandford) – A bunch of blurbs on the back, which may or may not be one indication that it’s okay — I’m certain it must be better than the one (ultra-cheesy) Bowie bio I have read — can’t recall who it’s by, we’ll get to it. Still, I’ve never gotten around to this, and in fact, don’t recall even purchasing it (it’s in mint condition, if that means anything). It may been a Da Capo freebie, or maybe it was beamed in from another galaxy when I wasn’t paying attention.
63. Dancing with Demons: The Authorized Biography of Dusty Springfield (Penny Valentine & Vicki Wickham) – I won’t add it to the roll call, but there should actually be two Dusty books pictured here. After snapping these photos, I also added a biography by Lucy O’Brien (simply entitled Dusty), which features a great quote from the artist on the back: “Let’s just say I’ve experimented with most things in life.” Two Dusty bios, both skimmed (mostly to read about her Pet Shop Boys collaboration), neither consumed in full.
64. A Simple Twist of Fate: Bob Dylan and the Making of Blood on the Tracks (Andy Gill & Kevin Odegard) – As much a biography of Bob’s marital problems as it is a story about the album, I think. I gave up on this one about 50 pages in.
65. The Who In Their Own Words (compiled by Steve Clarke) – I think I have at least a couple titles from this series, basically a collection of quotes from the artist at hand, with oodles of badly-rendered black and white pics.
66. Patti Smith Complete – Coffee table collection of lyrics, a terrible conceit, I suppose, but it is nicely put together with great photos. Would never in a thousand years have paid the $48.95 cover price; pretty sure I got it as a promo from HMV.
67. Bob Dylan: My Back Pages: The Stories Behind Every Song (Andy Gill) – Mild regrets already about packing this one. Not that I’ve read it, but I can imagine picking it up and getting absorbed in it for a couple nights. Same old space/time issues apply, though, what can I say?
68. John Lennon: In My Life (Pete Shotton and Nicholas Schaffner) – Written by a self-described “best mate” of John’s — aren’t we all? Potentially ominous sign for me: flipping to a page at random, first sentence I come across starts with, “Year later John was to confirm that the bicycle pump incident…”
69. Bob Dylan by Daniel Kramer: A Portrait of the Artist’s Early Years – Without counting, I’m pretty sure I own more books about Dylan than about any other pop artist, though of course, I don’t even own a fraction of what’s actually out there (and I doubt I’ve read a quarter of what I own from cover to cover). This is one of the better ones. Fantastic photos, circa ’65, right on the cusp of his, or anyone else’s, greatest hair phase.
70. Days in the Life: John Lennon Remembered (Philip Norman) – Christmas gift — large “stocking stuffer,” really — from my father. Because dad’s not particularly musically-inclined, I’m not sure what prompted this particular purchase: grabbed on a whim from a bargain table somewhere, I suspect, or maybe he figured I was still distraught over Lennon’s death (um, thiscame out in 1990).
71. Black Sabbath: Doom Let Loose (Martin Popoff) – An illustrated history, it looks pretty great, actually, with wonderful reprints of old ads and stuff.
72. The Virgin Encyclopedia of Dance Music (Colin Larkin) – One of a few dance record guides I own. I never ended up consulting any of them very often. Guess I’ve never come across one that I really love.
73. The Wicked Ways of Malcolm McLaren (Craig Bromberg) – Stamped, “WITHDRAWN. North York Public Library offers this item for sale.”
74. Summer of Love: The Making of Sgt. Pepper (George Martin) – Hardcover, sans a proper sleeve. An okay read, but I felt I’d seen this movie already.
75. Faithfull: An Autobiography (Marianne Faithfull with David Dalton) – Given the author/artist combo, this is probably quite good. Can’t imagine I’ll ever find out. Sigh.
76. The Rolling Stone Interviews Vol. 2
77. The Rolling Stone Record Review Vol. 2
78. What’s That Sound? The Contemporary Music Scene From the Pages of Rolling Stone (Fong-Torres)
79. The Rolling Stone Rock ‘n’ Roll Reader (Fong-Torres) (2 copies)
File under “moot point” now that I own the DVD. Duplicates of the last one, want it?
80. Fair Use: The Story of the Letter U and the Numeral 2 (Negativland) – Nicely put together comp of the Negativland vs. U2/SST drama, ultimately kind of a who-cares episode for me, but I’m not unhappy to own this. The CD also pictured in the crate came with it; big surprise that it too remains unplayed.
No wonder I’m feeling a little bit like this fellow today.