Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Top 30 Rock Books I Own: #14 Rod Stewart

Title: Rod Stewart
Author: Paul Nelson & Lester Bangs
Year Originally Published: 1981
Edition I Own: Delilah Books first printing, 1981

What They Say: I have the feeling this book came and went so fast that that aren't archived reviews out there on the Internet. A little background: According to Lester Bangs's biography, Let It Blurt by Jim DeRogatis, Paul Nelson hit a bad case of writer's block when writing a Rod Stewart biography. Bangs signed on and wrote eighty-eight pages in a weekend to Nelson's five, though Bangs would insist that Nelson's name precede his on the book cover.

Tuomala's Attempt At A Take: It's touching how Bangs and Nelson fuss over Stewart's mid-seventies sellout, an early chapter is simply the two of them discussing this. Personally, I haven't cared as much about an artist in many many years. I generally assume that even if the music is great, the artist is arrogant, boring, or a weirdo. I mean, I already have friends, why would I want to spend any time getting to know Jack White? This is one of the oddest rock books I have - the juxtaposition of smartly-written prose contrasted by glossy fan-friendly photos of Stewart, most without any captions. To top it off, Bangs admits in the intro: Some of (this book) is "true" - exhaustively researched, and most of those sections involving quotes from previously published materials, especially attributed ones, may be regarded as the "truth." I made up the rest. This book is hilarious must-read for Bangs fans and a valid reminder of just how great those Faces and early Stewart albums were.