Wednesday, October 15, 2014

BOOK REVIEW! SPACE DAZE by Dave Thompson (Dave Thompson books 1996, 2009)

Really, this ain't a bad book if you're interested in coagulating a li'l history regarding the birth and development of space rock, but if I didn't just tell you that there's something missing in this outerworldly tome well, this wouldn't be a BLOG TO COMM review now, would it?

For what it is, SPACE DAZE is a rather patchworky cut 'n paste that purports to be a history of that bizzaroid form of rock 'n roll music that popped out of the strange miasma known as late-sixties psychedelia we've been calling space rock. Or at least we started to call it that ever since that debut Captain Beyond LP with the 3-D cover came out. Oh yeah, there was space rock before that creeping about on the instrumental charts (who'd doubt that "Telstar" was the unheralded granddaddy of it all?), but we're talking about the more sci fi-ish-cum-fantasy musings that were birthed outta way too many readings of EC comics while West Coast rock wailed from the speakers (and don't forget the extracurricular stimulation while you're at it!). And as far as relaying that primal feeling, sound and energy goes I would say that Thompson does it hit and miss. It's all here but it just doesn't gel the way I wished it would which leads me to believe that maybe """""I""""" am the one in need of insight and inspiration. And you know how much that costs an ounce these days.

Well, at least author Thompson covers most if not all of the major bases in these 216 pages so we get nice 'n perhaps even hefty rundowns on alla our outer space favorites from Pink Floyd to Gong and quite a few points in between. Not ALL points since I did mention that the author forgot a whole load of outerworldly gems in his search for the cosmic crown (and he does at times put down some of the acts I do go for, like Sameti which doesn't exactly "bug" me but does chalk up a few pangs of negative energy), but I guess he just hadda've left some things out! Hey, it ain't like you're bound by law to cram it all into your book in the here and now, right? I mean, leave something for the 2029 update!

Thankfully the author's propeller beanie is on tight most of the time which is a relief considering the interstellar turdburger this book coulda been. Hawkwind naturally earn beaucoup pages which is totally fitting if expected, and come to think of it so do the rest of the Ladbrook Grove groovers like the Deviants and Pink Fairies even if their music wasn't exactly the same sorta space rock that I think most planet orbiters had in mind. The Floydian camp rates high as well as do the krautscapaders which really gets one drooling and hefty big huzzah freom me, and thank heavens that Thompson also seems to have the proper BLOG TO COMM taste modes firmly in gear so we're thankfully spared the Chris Welch version of seventies rock with massive heartfelt dribbles directed at the likes of Emerson Lake and Palmer and their rather erudite ilk. Gotta admit that's something that really helps this book go down smoothly especially since you just happened to pick up that latest ROLLING STONE your hippie sis left onna counter and you just gotta cleanse your system with something!

SPACE ROCK does have the tendency to jump around from one subject and chapter to another with nothing but the barest thread to keep it all ever-so-slightly connected. Thus the tome begins with a hefty appreciation of the Hawkwind journey before leaping into the realm of Syd Floydism before heading into Jimi territory with such a free for all approach that I kinda get the idea that Tristan Tzara did the editing. But I guess that by the time you finish it's all just one nice juicy blur to the point where everything does seem make sense in that all encompassing cosmic way, and come to think of it that's how I usually end up feeling after spinning SPACE RITUAL in its entirety! Yes Thompson does have not only his music, but his readers down pat 100%.

As you'd expect there ain't much new information regarding these acts presented that you can't really find elsewhere so it's probably gonna come off like old hat to many of you olde tymey readers. But if you're a new tymey one this might make for a good starting place. I for one really enjoyed it as a reminder of my old musical listening days gone by and if you're the kinda blubberfarm who used to prowl the import bins wishing you could dish out the twelve bucks that those Ohr albums were going for a good thirty-five-plus years back then man, this is the book for you!

No comments: