Wednesday, October 25, 2017


There have been a whole hunkerin' load of good rock reads these past few years, and I must admit that Hozak Books must take credit for releasing what I would call THE BEST OF THE BATCH! From the Brian McMahon autobiography to the DENIM DELINQUENT compendium which still gets hefty reading time here at BLOG TO COMM, Hozak has done a superb job in publishing rock 'n roll books that appeal to the heavy duty fans like us who have been in on the game for ages and sure hated to see how the entire kaboodle wasted away as time rolled on.

Hozak is perhaps thee leader in the rock book game (or at least one of 'em), because unlike many attempting to capture the spirit of the 1964-1981 years of ROCK 'N ROLL AS A MEDIUM WHERE ANYONE COULD BE A STAR (even if it was only kids like us in our own outta kilter record collecting way), Hozak thankfully eschews the whole failed dream of late-sixties self-conscious youth piety and the we are one people and culture mantra that the sickening likes of ROLLING STONE would marinate their entire oeuvre in. Sadly enough this inescapable trait unfortunately carried over into many other sensitive/touchy-feely books dealing with a subject matter that was (in its right state) feral beyond belief which is where we separate the Lester Bangses from the Anastasia Pantsioes I guess. And besides that Hozak knows what kind of bands and what kind of flash best emphasizes the entire rock 'n roll credo, something which Jann Wenner never could understand from the ever-crumbling bulwarks of what frankly was everything WRONG with the supposed "youth culture" these past fiftysome years. It sure ain't movements or backstabbing's ROCK 'N ROLL and if that makes me a seventh grade stooge better than than a college degree'd prissy.

So Sal Maida wrote his own autobiography, and frankly it's pretty good. You may remember the guy from his appearances in the pages of WHO PUT THE BOMP! during his time with the famed teenypunk band Milk & Cookies, or maybe ya knew him through his tenures as temporary bassist with both Roxy Music and Sparks, or perhaps you caught the interview with Rudolph Grey in the sixteenth issue of my crudzine where Sal gets a mention hanging out with Grey and Beaver Harris. However you heard about him, he's a guy who has been around for ages playing in a variety of rock acts and experiencing the whole New York/London scene first hand so if anyone out there is destined to create the Great Amerigan Rock 'n Roll tome for the times it's this guy for sure!

Not quite the autobio one would expect, Maida skips around from the seventies and Roxy and Sparks then goes back to his growing up days before telling us all about his time in England and the people he met there and all of those things cloistered suburban slobs like myself could only dream about doing. And for outta the loopers like myself it's all pretty fine reading, especially when Maida gets to meet up with those heroes of his from the Stones to George Harrison as well as the eternally wasted like Steve Took in a rather funny interlude which naturally didn't seem so funny to Maida at the time. It's not exactly a detailed and intricate account of his life and even an outsider like myself could tell that certain things were missing (such as in his paragraph or two on Funeral of Art which does not mention fellow bandmates and personalities in their own right Otto von Ruggins and Von Lmo), but if Maida wants to woosh over such things its like his biz...I mean he doesn't exactly have an obligation to mention everybody he knew even if his brief meeting with Jerry Garcia will appeal to the virulently anti-Dead readers who may chance upon this particular writeup.

That's the first half---the second lists Maida's 300 fave singles and man does he have some good taste in music! Loads of oldies of course with a few surprises and a general feeling of awe as if the guy just got hold of said record THIS VERY DAY and he's all enthralled about having it in his calloused paws! This is the next best thing to breaking into Brad Kohler's apartment and thumbing through all of his singles while he's at work, and maybe playin' a few and accidentally breaking some in the process which I will admit happens when I'm playing your discs. You can't have any more fun than that, and besides Maida ain't gonna come after you with the garden shears after he finds out about it so have fun and don't raid the fridge!


Charles Hodgson said...

Great put down of the Rolling Stone ethos in para 2, Chris. Tou still got IT!
Want this book, like, now! And a box set of the 300 singles, or at least a yew choob playlist...

Jim Parrett said...

The reviews of the 300 45's really make this book fun. I blasted through the personal history part and it is a fun read but the reviews of the singles are what keeps me coming back. Maida has this way of encapsulating my thoughts in ways I hadn't thought of. We must be soul-mates!