Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Brett Callwood - Sonically Speaking (impbooks)
Pretty much the same reservations I have about the Television book (reviewed below) can be lined up again when it comes to this new MC5 biography. The story is there, and pretty much accurate as far as I can tell, but again there's no heart and a serious lack of new insights. Callwood did talk to most of the surviving participants and the thing actually has some weight to it (as opposed to the magazine sized TV book) But nothing in here comes close to the kind of excitement generated by the A True Testimonial film. The author keeps his distance, seems to be afraid to step on people's toes and lacks the perspective to do the job right (he came to the band relatively late and writes for metal and musicians mags) The Testimonial disaster gets glossed over, even tho' it's probably the only thing able to (re-)affirm the band's importance to future generations.
Again there's the "selected discography", and coupled to the fact that there's no index it doesn't even work as a reference guide.
I don't wanna slag this off entirely 'cause it's not that bad, but anybody who has seen the film knows that there's a real story here; inspirational, glorious, tragic, but hardly ever does that come across in the pages of this book...


Lindsay Hutton said...

I looked at this in the bookstore a couple of times. Struck me as a no meat, little motion tome that might work as an entry level introduction to the music but little else. Typical of these "Seven Ages of Rock" times where envelopes aren't even on the table let alone up for being pushed. The complete and utter disaster that went down post ATT could be a book in itself. To serve as a warning of what can happen to people who only had the best of intentions.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I really liked this book. I have to agree with Malcolm Dome's review in this month's Metal Hammer.