Akashic Books, PO Box 1456, New York, NY10009, Usa, www.akashicbooks.com
If you know – and you should – that the author played in The Make Up and The Nation of Ulysses you might imagine what to expect – and you are partly right. This is not only a instructional guide, but also to some extent occult esoterica and of course alot of truth and attitude, all packed in a not so easy to read textbook. After a Introduction, Part I – True Secrets Revealed – starts off with a couple of séances talking to a few ghosts of dead musicians (Brian Jones, Richard Berry, Mary Wells, Paul McCartney [not dead], Buddy Holly, Jim Hendrix and Jim Morrison) about orgins of the group, how RnR emerged from American gang culture, the influence of Black Phanters and such…..
parts of it is fun and some good thoughts, quote: „Indeed, the modern variety of rock groups is often a predictable, soulless, silly, and quite boring entity, comprised of boarding school bankers‘ sons, parading about onstage and playing a passable pastiche of some wrongheads critic’s desert island discs. The groups they cite as influences become more banal every year.“ but largly not my cup of tea. Part II – Supernatural Strategies for making a Rock’n’Roll Group – is the „how-to“ guide in 20 chapters that deal with everything a band has to deal with: Initial Disgrace, Determining Goals (Politics don’t require talent, intelligence, or good looks.
In the beginning, you won’t even need to own a suit. Just announce some „provocative“ (creationist, bigoted, or otherwise reactionary) vitriol into a microphone, and you’ll attract financial backers who will arrange televison appearances, fundraising events and bespoke finery. Your notoriety will be more long lasting and more pervasive than any fame you could achieve in music. Truly, someone like Donald Rumsfeld, a mediocre government functionary with no discernible talent, intelligence, or charm, is a greater international celebrity than rocker Mick Jagger, who has reached the apex of his craft.
Rumsfeld, despite being a has-been, is known in every corner of Asia, the Middle East, and Africa for his insanity and arrogance, while Jagger is admired by a mere couple hundred million music enthusiasts, huddled mostly in the first world.), Photo as unveiling, Group Name, Finding the Group, Practice and Rehearsal, Recording, Producer, Van, Label, Sex, Drugs, Performance (However, this audience – even if they are snared by your group, for whatever reason – are a fickle bunch who dont’t acutally listen to music exept as a distraction whilst out in the car or at the bar.
They don’t care about the narrative you create from record to record, or that you added horns to this song, or that the whole group cut their hair. In fact, they won’t notice your name, your lyrics, what you look like, or much of anything about you. They are not the sort of fans the group should seek out, as they display non of the blind loyalty it craves.), Manufacturing Nostalgia, Communication, Leadership, Discipline, Critics („Everyone’s a critic“ is a common complaint, and one that certainly resonates in the modern era of self-publishing and electromagnetic commentary. And, indeed, there is fierce criticism from all quarters, which will bedevil your group if you let it.
But public criticism is best ignored, as it’s arbitrary and often anonymous. Even when it bears a signature, the ideas are usually clueless and quite audacious. After all, who are these critics and who asked them anyway? A critic is one who believes that his or her opinion should be a guide to other people’s taste. This is normal. It is the impetus behind deejaying, mix tapes, records as gifts, and so on. There are many musician or scenester writers who want desperately to steer their milieu in a way that suits their aesthetic or ideology. These people’s ideas on groups and records can be valueable and should be encouraged. They have helped shape – and even invent – some of the more interesting trends and movements of the group era.
But there is also an industry of establishment critics who write judgments on music, whose purpose is more sinister.) Communicating with those outside of the Group, Packaging and the Diminishing Meaning of the Group. Followed by a Closing Statement from the Bureau of Postphysical Rock’n’Roll Workers. This is a thumbs up, thumbs down book, fortunally the up outbalances the down. Of course there is lots of conspiracy theorys, very Svenonius-style, a bit too much of creative writing for my taste, but I do know that some people enjoy exactly that. The core of the book and the attitude are good and true. There is also a few illustartions in this 250 page paperback. And from now on everybody please say „souvenierstand“ instead of „merchtable“… Lets go to the souvenierstand and see what kind of souveniers the band has to offer. 14,95 US $ (dolf)
Isbn 978 1 61775 130 1
[Trust # 161 August 2013]