The Magic Years: Scenes from a Rock-and-Roll Life

Heyday. May 2021. 344p. ISBN 9781597145251. $28. MUSIC
On the surface, this book might seem like yet another aging boomer ’60s rock memoir, filled with piquant episodes of sex, drugs, rock and roll, and the associated excess. However, there’s far more to this work. Taplin (Move Fast and Break Things) was an independent film producer and road manager for Bob Dylan and the Band, among many other career highlights, and he has previously written sagely on intellectual property, social media, and the internet. In this book, he discusses his involvement in a number of cultural touchstones, such as the iconic cover art for the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main St., which he facilitated; and Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets, which he produced. Taplin is still involved in the music and film scenes, and he adeptly deconstructs the current musical and artistic marketplace, providing sharp insight into how we arrived at the current business models—and sharing juicy anecdotes along the way.
VERDICT Readers will ride shotgun as Taplin journeys through some of the great moments in late ’60s and ’70s popular culture, with a significant coda on the forces that drive today’s artistic output. There is much to savor here.
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