Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Born to Rock!

I just finished BORN TO ROCK by Gordon Korman and I really liked it. I always feel bad for people named Gordon because they have no good nickname. They are either called Gor (which brings to mind zombie carnage) or Gordy which makes them sound like a Scottish youth pastor. But I digress.

This here book is about a young Republican who finds out that his birth father is the angriest man in punk rock. Through a series of people acting completely unlike they do in real life - he ends up on tour with his birth-dad's band. It is a funny book that keeps your interest. Some of the characters (okay, all of them) are "types". You know how sometimes a writer will say "she was a goth girl" and tell you really nothing about her personality. Or "he was an excellent student" and you think, "Okay, that tells me one little bit about them - but who are they really?" Those kind of questions go unanswered. That being said - it's a fun ride of a book.

My favorite punk rock book has always been and will always be AND I DON'T WANT TO LIVE THIS LIFE by Deborah Spungen. Leave it to me to find a punk book by somebody's mom... But this tells the fascinating (and heartbreaking) story of Nancy Spungen, Sid Vicious' girlfriend who he stabbed to death at the Chelsea Hotel in 1978. Not the feel-good book of the year, but really interesting. I was also, in my youth, slightly obsessed with I'M WITH THE BAND by Pamela Des Barres which was recently reprinted. It is the story of a good natured groupie and was considered extremely filthy when it first came out. But apparently, not so much any more. I hope that by mentioning it, I don't encourage groupie-ism and bad behavior. Realistically, I think that, for the way Des Barres paints her life as adventerous, she also presents a clear-eyed view of the pitfalls of the "decadent rock lifestyle" particularly in the story of the sad story of Gram Parsons. However you slice it, it is a picture of a time when rock and roll was a completely different animal than it is today!

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