Backstage & Beyond, Volume 1: 45 Years of Classic Rock Chats & Rants

Trouser Pr. Jul. 2023. 335p. ISBN 9798985658989. pap. $25. MUSIC
Longtime Boston Globe music writer Sullivan recounts his interactions with more than 30 rock stars. The book features luminaries such as Jerry Lee Lewis, who comes across as irreverent; Lou Reed, who seems sarcastic; Lemmy Kilmister, who appears surprisingly humorous; Ray and Dave Davies of the Kinks; and folk icon Joan Baez. All the usual topics of rock journalism are covered, including the next album, concert tours, the changing styles of aging artists, and their places in rock’s pantheon. The delicate subject of past substance abuse and redemption is tackled in sections about Warren Zevon, Pete Townshend, Alice Cooper, and Iggy Pop. The book uncovers David Bowie’s incessant curiosity, which led to his many music and fashion permutations, and includes an interview with the self-reflective Brian Eno about the future of the music industry. The author captures a definition of progressive rock from former Genesis front man Peter Gabriel, discovers the origins of John Fogerty’s swampy sound with Creedence Clearwater Revival, and examines all-women groups of the ’60s with Darlene Love.
VERDICT An extensive insider’s knowledge of rock that offers new insights into the genre’s legends. Readers will find this book fascinating and entertaining.
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