Thursday, February 14, 2019


This one was a little hard for me to read. And not because of all the big words either. Let's just say that for a rabid rock 'n roll obsessive/compulsive like myself (one who is OCD about the more feral, gnarlier and bound to shock the pseudo-squares now just as much then aspect of it all) there wasn't enough meat on this particular bone.

Yeah, a book on the Kent Ohio musical scene is something that I'm sure more'n a few old tymers out there would wanna snatch up, and I'm positive that more'n a few already have. But for this particular scribe who used to prowl through small record shop bins and salivate o'er those Bizarros records we all now take for granite I wasn't that sussed.

Hell, there's no Miriam Linna or Human Switchboard to be found here, and as far as 15-60-75 goes the mere mentions and passings they get seemed to be washed over making 'em mere sideline rah-rahers next to the bigger names who happened to be in their company. Someone like myself who used to spend much cranial time pondering the importance of the Cle/Ako/Kento axis would definitely not be enticed by this tome a bit.

The problem is that SMALL TOWN reflects the local area music scene more through the eyes of the flowery hippie mentality that helped ruin rock in the first place, complete with loads of space taken up with coverage and snaps of that grinning junkoid James Taylor, Dame Elton and every other visitor to the fair city most of whom I could not stand one whit of! (And I assume you too or else you would have already clicked this post off and headed straight for Democracy Now.)  Much of this seems to be made up of reprints of past articles from various local publications (patched together by author Prufer who ain't that bad a writer when he doe cut the fat off) that might remind some Kent State University grad of various seventies good time, but frankly the results make me glad that I sorta avoided that whole bell bottom era even though this particularly fortunate occurrence took me into the misfortune of having to be bred right inna middle of Donny and Marie mania. Like any student paper of the day, I have to really trudge through the grown up kid offal to get to the 15-60-75 and Patti Smith articles that at least appeal to me on that definitely suburban slob level that makes this music sound and feel all the better. 

Sheesh, some things never do change, at least in a positive life-reaffirming way, do they?

I myself am waiting for the ultimo Cle/Ako/Kento under-the-underground rock 'n roll history book that takes the atomic age steel/rubber industry crunch of that particular era and lays it out as the survivors remember. Not holding my breath tho (other'n various Charlotte Pressler efforts past endeavors including my own left much to be desired). Until then you can do better than this, though for some strange reason I really doubt it. 


JD King said...


Cultural Marxism vs Cultural Marxism.

Might one advise reading about and listening to Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Wagner, Stravinsky, et al? Or would that be too "square" for our feral... rock crit?

Sigh. I know your heart is in the right place.

You and Roth.


Anonymous said...

They spelled Foreword right on the cover. A sign of a professional publisher, one I can trust. Thanks for the review.