Some New Kind of New Kick

Hachette. Oct. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9780306828027. $29. MUSIC
The transformative power of the early punk rock era was liberating for so many at a very unsteady time. The ability to transform oneself in an instant, to become someone different and not look back, helped young people of the era cope with a frightening, conformist world. A shy Mexican American, closeted queer kid from Southern California named Brian Tristan became Kid Congo Powers, a non-musician who joined a successful band before learning even one guitar chord. Powers’s unique rock-and-roll story feels like a roller coaster, so full of twists and breakneck turns that it almost feels like fiction. One moment, he’s a Ramones-obsessed kid living with his parents, and shortly after, he is jetting off to New York, London and Berlin to absorb punk culture and rub elbows with musical icons of the time. He’s disarmingly open about his personal life and his struggles with drugs and alcohol, creating an endearing intimacy with readers.
VERDICT Reading Powers’s book is like hanging out with a cool guy with incredible stories to tell.
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