Monday, March 16, 2009

My Goodreads review of the 27s by Eric Segalstad

The 27s: The Greatest Myth of Rock & Roll The 27s: The Greatest Myth of Rock & Roll by Eric Segalstad

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
Rock and roll can grab you in its teeth, gnash your heart to bits, open your mind so wide you can't keep cultural debris out, change your way of thinking and dressing, make you reconsider the flowers mother says are poisonous. The great voices and minds of rock and roll wield a cultural power that is shamanic at its highest resonances. But to walk with these spirits, is to dance with death, to become an icon of your generation sometimes means staying there forever, being remembered in a bathtub in Paris or a plaid 90s sepulcher with syringes strewn about. Eric Segalstad' s the 27s unabashedly, unashamedly and unrepentantly tells the story of these tragedies with sparkling language and beautiful illustrations. He uses insights into astrology and numerology to look into the roots and consequences of one of rock's black magic numbers. This is a book like no other. While there are any number of books about Jim, Jimi, Janis and Curt, there are few that place them in the company of the other casualties of their age, others who did not get to step through the gates into adulthood. I found myself really thinking about my upcoming 27th birthday, about the trials artists go through and about the sort of person who would sing lyrics like "I wish I was like you, easily amused..." and "hey, wait, I got a new complaint". This book shines, cuts and illuminates, all without saying that Jim Morrison was a six foot penis that penetrated the world til it went soft or turning into transparent DARE propaganda. That's a true accomplishment. This book covers everyone from Robert Johnson, to Canned Heat's Alan Wilson to Jeremy Ward of the Mars Volta. A must for any rock fan's shelf. The upcoming hardcover will be a must for their coffee table too.

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