Rock And Roll DID Save My Life!

It's been over a week since my reading with Steve Almond and I still feel the power of his feedback-filled testament.

Steve's Rock And Roll Will Save Your Life is a stage dive into the mosh pit of hysteria, a hysterical version of A Fan's Notes written for the Teenage Fan Club set. Like the sports-lover in Exley's novel, Steve identifies with the drooling, desperate fans, realizing that despite their nasty skin conditions and even worse social skills, they still get closer to the music than the distant stars they watch.

Let me explain.

One of the greatest things about rock and roll is that it offers a Backstage Pass to bliss. Those same grease monkeys who perform lube jobs can also crank out garage rock, giving us all a spiritual oil change and firing our pistons before we head out on the highway. They may end up one-hit wonders not leading lives of inspiration, but they provide us with moments, their confabs with the spirits in the sky pushing us to move our hips and bite our lips and mouth words silently under our ear-buds till we perhaps scream Satis-FAK-tion!

Add up those moments and you start to get something damn important. A big heaping slab of the people’s words made as eloquent as a lover’s cry when the senses go guitar-crazy and reach for the stars and the high frets.

Do it, do it, do it till you're satisfied, whatever it is...

But wait, that's disco! Maybe I need another rock and roll injection. Join me in the shooting gallery of shooting the shit with the rawk writers like Almond, that fanatical fan's fan and the current fave on my literary play list.


Blogger Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Yep, you're right. Being a fan is a backstage pass to bliss. Best of all, we're under no onus to play the same songs every night in a different, nameless, faceless city (getting lost on the way to the stage, of course)...

And rock and roll fiction? The best is sublime. Have you read Fat Kid Rules the World yet??? You TOTALLY need to!

April 16, 2010 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger G-D said...

Haven't read it, but now putting it on my list. It would be interesting to hear people's top ten rock 'n' roll books. Off the top of my head I'd say:

1. Steve Almond's latest

2. "No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs" - Johnny Rotten

3."Lipstick Traces" -- Greil Marcus

4. "Please Kill Me" -- Legs McNeil & Gillian McCain

5. "Elvis" -- Albert Goldman

6. "Revolution in the Head" -- Ian MacDonald (an amazing Beatles book)

7. "The Day John Met Paul" -- James O'Donnell (the imagined first meeting of the two based entirely on the factual record)

8. "The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones" -- Stanley Booth

9. "Beneath the Underdog" -- Charles Mingus (not strictly rock 'n' roll, but the great jazz bassist's autobiography reads like a "Behind the Music" episode as written by Shakespeare.)

10. "Powerhouse" -- Eudora Welty (again, not strictly rock, but this short story about a blues organ player has one of the best evocations of music in words I've read anywhere. Great stuff!)

Oh, and one more has to be squeezed in:

11. "Chronicles" -- Bob Dylan

I'm sure there are others, but these are the first that leap to mind.

April 16, 2010 at 3:46 PM  
Blogger Susan Helene Gottfried said...

How many of these are fiction and thus belong on my Rock Books list?

I ought to put together a non-fiction list, too, but one only has so much time... we could work on it together maybe?

April 17, 2010 at 2:05 PM  

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