PERFORMING ARTS

They Just Seem a Little Weird: How KISS, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, and Starz Remade Rock and Roll

Hachette. Dec. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9780306845192. $28. MUSIC
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Brod parlays his experience as a onetime editor-in-chief of Spin magazine into a rollicking biography of three of the most successful bands of the late 1970s—Kiss, Cheap Trick, and Aerosmith—and another, Starz, that was decidedly less so. Forty-plus years after they formed, Kiss, Cheap Trick, and Aerosmith continue to grace the airwaves of classic rock stations (and, in pre-pandemic times, concert halls) from coast to coast. That Starz doesn’t demonstrates that success requires more than talent and enthusiasm; there’s usually a fair bit of luck involved as well. Beyond the basic band origin stories, Brod highlights the influences, coincidences, connections, and directions of these proto-metal rock pioneers and those around them. He knows whom to ask and what to tell. He is an enthusiastic guide, and fans—and anyone interested in true tales of rock and rock excess—will love this.
VERDICT Devotees of Kiss, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, and/or Starz, and they are legion, are going to lick this up. Rock this way.

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