Friday, February 12, 2010

You are wondering . . .

You are wondering, "What is the best book about rock & roll I have never read?" The answer:

Sway, by Zachary Lazar. Themes: Magic, Manson, Keith & Anita, Scorpio Rising, and Mick Jagger in thrall to the power of a devil that does not live in his pants. Also: The way that the past, present and future are unfolding at the same time, or as the Rolling Stones put in the opening line of the song from which this novel takes its name: "Did you ever wake up to find a day that broke up your mind and destroyed your notion of circular time?" Who among us would answer no?


  1. I'd very much like to read this (also, Tommy James' new memoir). I read Greenfield's "Exile on Main Street," which was full of stories of Keith on the run from the cops and Anita shooting up, but had almost nothing on the music. The only song discussed in any detail was "Happy" - and all of a sudden, the scene shifts to the mixing sessions in L.A., and you're like, wait, when did they record all those songs?

    All that Nellcote stuff is great, but the reason anyone cares is because of the music they made. If the Stones had had all those adventures in the South of France in the midst of producing "Dirty Work," no one would write books about it.

  2. Well, there's the difference between us: I'd be inerested to read about the recording of "Dirty Work," since it was made basically by Keith without Mick, who was in between his first two solo albums and showed up to sing. That's the undertone that charges songs like "Had It With You" (" dirty fucker...Love you with a passion/In and out of fashion/Always got behind you when others tried to blind you.") Sounds a little dated; totally underrated.

    The Greenfield book is interesting because it's about "Exile" -- I've read entire books about that album just to get to the part where Anita talks about some pink colored heroin that showed up ("Cotton Candy we called it." Terrifying.) But Greenfield's book tells a story about living outside the rules, and I find it fascinating. His book about the Stone's 1972 tour of America, "STP," is totally worth it for the long stretch where the band shows up in Chicago, needs a crash pad because the hotel gets too hot, and ends up at the Playboy mansion, which Greenfield portrays as a generational gap of decadence. " 'God, look at all these marks,' Lisa says quietly, examining herself on the bed. 'Not awl mine, are they luv?' Mick says without looking. 'I'll have to be more gentle next time.' "