Rock biographies, particularly of bands, are an odd subgenre. With an individual singer or instrumentalist, the narrative may take any of the traditional “hero” arcs (rags to riches, unappreciated innovator’s ultimate triumph, temptation/fall and — usually — redemption, etc.), but the story of a hydra-headed rock band must adopt a more amorphous approach.
The last time I saw Johnny Cash was the first time I saw Johnny Cash – and he didn’t look good, but he sounded like home.
A few hundred fortunate Californians were sharing a moment of transcendence with the Funk Brothers, the legendary Motown musicians, who were entertaining that night.
Nearby, Jeffry Mitchell’s portrait as Kurt is arguably the hidden gem of the exhibit. Self-Portrait as Kurt Cobain in the Style of Jay Steensma features a skull wearing a blond wig amongst a thickly painted sea of grey. (Steensma was a “mystic” artist famous for his paintings of grey, Northwestern landscapes).
“It’s not about women’s lib, kitties, it’s about women’s libido!” manager Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon) screams to his young charges. The same could be said about the movie itself. It commences with blood when Currie (Dakota Fanning) gets her first period, and snowballs from there, touching on every aspect of sexual awakening—female sexual awakening, to be precise. Self-gratification and experimentation with both women and men occurs in the film, building an undercurrent of sexual energy that seems to buffet the band as they rise to international stardom. Coming-of-age stories for girls rarely touch so explicitly on feminine libido, and it’s a welcome change.
A photographic essay: The Rock Posters of Rich Black.
I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead is sort of an extended wake for its subject. There’s very little biographical narrative per se; instead, the book compiles a massive array of anecdotes, memories, and opinions from dozens upon dozens of the people who knew him, from engineers, girlfriends, and backing musicians to a fairly astounding variety of celebrities who spent time with Zevon.
Interest in Rosetta in Britain was part and parcel of a larger trend: the postwar blues revival, which saw the emergence of a white public who “sought a heightened reality in the realm of black American song.”
Oh, no—the cry is almost involuntary—not another Beatles book! What more could anyone possibly say? The lads from Liverpool have been by far the most chronicled musical entity of our time.