Rock and Read
I recently wrote a post about the intersection of two of my favorite subjects, music and literature. Now I have discovered a series of posts on the Los Angeles Times’ Jacket Copy blog about rock music books and related topics, capped by The 46 essential rock reads, on Sept. 1. Obviously a list of this sort is going to be not only incomplete but controversial, as shown by the comments. But it does provide interesting food for thought. Among the 46 books is Get in the Van, by Henry Rollins, an account of his early ‘80s days as lead singer of Black Flag. Right before he moved to California to join that band in 1981, he and I were neighbors in the same apartment building in Arlington, Va. I knew him even before that, having first met him around 1979 or 1980, when I was working a part time job at the late, lamented Olsson’s Books and Records. Henry has been highly successful for many years, and he’s an intriguing example of living in more than one world: as a singer, poet, actor, DJ, entrepreneur, public speaker, etc. I met him at the same time as his friend Ian MacKaye, who has also been a longtime, huge success both in music (with Minor Threat, Fugazi and The Evens) and in business (starting and leading Dischord Records). I know from experience how hard it is to start and run an independent record label – I didn’t last long — and his success over nearly 30 years is well-earned. Among the best LA Times posts is Robin Benway’s Favorite Storytelling Songs. I was unfamiliar with her before this, but Benway is an interesting writer, and has done well with her novel, Audrey, Wait! Let’s hope that Jacket Copy returns to rock themes before a year from now.