book Archive

Only in America: The Lloyd Price Interview, Part 2

Continued from Part One… Any biographical sketch of Lloyd Price makes mention that he was one of the organizers of the legendary Rumble in the Jungle, the 1974 prize fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. That event took place in Kinshasa, Zaire. But what always goes unmentioned is Price’s involvement in Zaire 74, the

Only in America: The Lloyd Price Interview, Part 1

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Lloyd Price is a pop music legend. The Kenner, Louisiana native scored an impressive string of major hits, beginning with 1952’s “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” (#1 r&b), and continuing to rack up nearly thirty singles in the top 100 of U.S. pop and/or rhythm and blues charts. Several of his

Book Review: Experiencing David Bowie

A few years back, Book publishers Rowman & Littlefield initiated an intriguing series. Each book in that series – each with its own author – would explore a particular slice of music, be it a genre (say, jazz) or artist (Led Zeppelin, for example). The author would endeavor to provide the reader with a new

Book Review: Baby You’re a Rich Man

One can and should be forgiven for greeting the news of yet another book about The Beatles with more than a hint of skepticism. I mean, the Beatles phenomenon has been exhaustively dissected from most every vantage point: artistic, sociological, cultural, and so on. Not to deny for a second the value and importance of

Book Review: So Many Roads, The Life and Times of The Grateful Dead

I’m on record as being very critical of The Grateful Dead. Despite what some of the hardest of hardcore Dead Heads might think, I don’t hate the Dead; not at all. I own and enjoy quite a few of their studio albums, and even like a couple of the live ones, most notably, Europe ’72

Book Review: Feedback: The Who and Their Generation

I’ve mused before on these virtual pages about the uncomfortable – and arguably even tenuous – relationship between scholarship and rock music. Somehow the pairing just doesn’t seem natural, even though a significant portion of rock is intelligent, and (I imagine) some scholarly works are at least in part informed by a rock’n’roll sensibility. But

Book Review: How to Talk to Rockstars

Like most writers, I read a lot. But I rarely read fiction; I think the last work of fiction I read prior to last week was Stieg Larsson‘s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. But when I learned that Alli Marshall – Arts Editor at Asheville’s altweekly Mountain Xpress – had published a new novel

Book Review: Geek Rock

Rock’n’roll and scholarship make strange bedfellows. At first blush, the idea of approaching the work of rock bands from a scholarly point of view is patently absurd; such juxtapositions give rise to the aphorism (of indeterminate origin) “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” But it can be done – and successfully – if

Back to School with Les McCann (Part 3)

Continued from Part Two… I make the (not at all original) observation that many American musical forms seem to get more respect in Europe than at home. “That’s all right,” says Les McCann. “Ninety percent of the stations are playing the same thing every day. It’s about playing that number-one. And it’s songs, not really

Back to School with Les McCann (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… Among the most celebrated releases in Les McCann‘s extensive catalog, Swiss Movement is his 1969 live collaboration with saxophonist Eddie Harris. The album was controversial on its release thanks to its inclusion of “Compared to What,” a tune with lyrics that remain as provocative today as they were thirty-five years ago.