As the age-old question goes, "do we really need another book on krautrock (or as I like to call it 'German Expressionist Rock')???" If you're anything even remotely like me then you'll know in your heart of hards that the answer is most definitely YES!!! Just like we need more books on the Cleveland underground rock scene circa. 1972-1980 not to mention a few on those British groups from the late-sixties and early-seventies who took their musical cues from the Velvet Underground and Stooges. Hey, we need ALL the books we can on each and every style and genre of rock et roll that used to tingle our hammers and stirrups during that era's height and one more book on the subject is, at least for me, one more reason to stay in every night and cuddle up with such a read while some classic Can or Amon Duul I, II or III for that matter careens on the bedside boom box!
As it stands FUTURE DAYS isn't a particularly revealing read---most of the knowledge presented has been chopped away from a variety of previous krautreads not to mention the author's exhaustive collection of ancient British weeklies and ZIGZAGs cluttering up his own boudoir. Maybe I am being pickier'n I am with my nostrils because hey, once all is written and digested I gotta admit that FUTURE DAYS is dang fine enough for me!
If you like your rock kraut-y and still harbor fun memories of careening record shop import bins wishing you could dish out a good twelve smackers for one of the German imports that would often be displayed in conjunction with head supplies (really, as I once saw in a West Covina CA plaza disc emporium!) then this'll surely warm the cockles of your heart, amongst other things.
Slim onna pix but heavy on the facts, FUTURE DAYS at least gives the non-German fan a glimpse into the German music scene and the reasons as to why these bands (which actually were not that popular in Germany even if they were underground faves amongst the British heads and proto-punks) even existed in the first place being cast about due to post-war conditions and a searing sense of self-loathing. Of course all of the biggies from Can, Kraftwerk and the Amon Duuls on down are here, and although you oldtimers are probably gonna be sick to your stomachs reading these stories for the umpteenth time I will admit that author Stubbs does manage to add in a li'l more insight into the German Expressionist saga than has been spewed forth in earlier tomes. The German experience and the bubbling teenbo dissent that helped create the climate for this musical genre is delved into (with the author perhaps discerning more than is actually there!) while more information than has previously been distributed regarding the inner workings of these bands (por ejemplo the Amon Duul commune saga with all of its disturbing neo-Mansonish inner workings is presented in way more than passing) is also disseminated whether you want to know about the time Chris Karrer was forced to screw a femme Duulite or not. So if you think FUTURE DAYS is nothing but a quickie rehash cash in custom made for blobs like us who'll read just about anything plopped in front of us you are sadly mistaken.
Maybe it ain't as flippant as Julian Cope's infamous KRAUTROCKSAMPLERschpiel nor as vivid as the various oversized collections that have popped up o'er the years, but FUTURE DAYS wasn't that bad a read even if most of this was remedial rockism reading to resensify my sense of high energy. Now if only someone'll write a concise history of the Cleveland seventies underground rock scene and early Velvets/Stooges inroads into late-sixties English rock, but I ain't holding your breath.