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Getting to Dylan

D.A. Pennebaker’s Don’t Look Back (1966) – which I write about in my forthcoming book, Rock-N-Roll Plays Itself (to be published in early 2022) – might have once been seen simply asa film about a popular singer on tour told through the medium of a new kind of fly-on-the-wall kind of documentary film. But with […]

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Being Bad

A short extract from the opening chapter of John Scanlan, Sex Pistols: Poison in the Machine (2016). This is from Chapter 1, ‘I’ll Be So Bad’, which is about Malcolm McLaren in the 1960s. It was October 1964. Malcolm McLaren, then a few months shy of his nineteenth birthday and going by the name of […]

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Bowie Bonds

In the early 1990s David Bowie began to detach himself from the weight of his own musical legacy, and in doing so – which involved disappearing from the hit parade – he nonetheless ended up as one of the richest rock stars in the world. And while it is true that reinvention was more or […]

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Back to mono

I have been thinking about time recently. Rock’n’roll and time and how integral the feeling of things accelerating were to how people must have experienced the music and its ability to constantly replenish itself, often working through formulaic patterns or variations on a theme. Consider Phil Spector who, as much as anyone in his prime, […]

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40 Years Gone

On this day in 1975 William Burroughs was tasked with interviewing Zeppelin’s pied piper for Crawdaddy magazine (image from the cover pictured below). As Tom Nissley writes in his book, A Reader’s Book of Days, True Tales from the Lives and Works of Writers for Every Day of the Year (2014): “The next day at […]

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Like a Rolling Stone

It sounds like the name of an unassuming clerical officer from Stevenage, or some other provincial outpost on these islands. Stanley Booth. But, it’s a name that anyone interested in writing that is concerned with music and musicians as its subjects – rock’n’roll, R’n’B, blues – should know. But, you know, I don’t think Stanley […]

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People Screen

On Mt. Baldy

This engaging documentary was produced and filmed by a French artist, Armelle Brusq and filmed in Spring 1996 on Mt. Baldy and in Los Angeles. More details here from www.leonardcohenfiles.com: “The film describes the daily routines of the Zen monks at the Zen Center of Mt. Baldy: waking up early (2:30 or 3:00 am), marching together to […]

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Hide Your Sheep

Well, this is an odd one. As you may have noticed if you have looked at the menu on the right, one of our forthcoming Reverb books is titled, Van Halen: Exuberant California, Zen Rock’n’Roll. That’s my book, as it happens. Now, it is not my intention to use this blog to go on about […]