Numerous interviews with rock legends reveal how rock 'n' roll—once the soundtrack for the counterculture and rebellious youth—has gone mainstream, prepackaged by image consultants and openly bowing to authority. Kurt Loder, rock and pop culture journalist for Rolling Stone and MTV, discusses fame with the famous themselves, getting the scoop on what it means to be a rock star nowadays. Interviews focus on people who have had lengthy—in some cases two—careers: Rock wildmen turned British gentry Mick Jagger, The Who, and David Bowie; American originals Bob Dylan, Tina Turner, Iggy Pop, and Bruce Springsteen; and unclassifiables Captain Beefheart, Laurie Anderson, and Frank Zappa. Along with a few pieces on strictly-80s phenomena (e. g. Cyndi Lauper and Max Headroom), Bat Chain Puller examines a time and place saturated by media and enthralled by celebrity, and what those at the center of all this attention have to say about it.
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Kurt Loder, MTV newscaster, contributing editor to Rolling Stone, and co-author of I, Tina, lives in New York City.From Library Journal:
To many rock readers, the material herein will seem familiar; virtually all of it is reprinted from Rolling Stone . But though much of the prospective audience has already seen the text, Loder eschewed revision to maintain (he says) "historical authenticity." Well, okay. Loder, who appears on MTV as well as writing for Rolling Stone , writes well, but without the manic genius of Lester Bangs ( Psychotic Reactions & Carborator Dung , LJ 9/1/87) or the cosmic ranginess of Greil Marcus ( Mystery Train , 1975), and his array of subjects is galactic (Iggy Pop to--Don Johnson?!). Some of the article/interviews really hit the mark (e.g., Ronnie Lane, ZZ Top), but others will seem undeveloped to the unitiated; the Iggy piece, for example, deals too much with Iggy's excesses and too little with his brilliance. Loder's title, by the way, comes from a Captain Beefheart LP and has no relation to the text. Buy if you have a large rock readership without access to back issues of Rolling Stone .
- Robert E. Brown, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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