Friday, November 3, 2017

More bad behavior

Want to read 500 pages of selfishness and egomania?
No? Not interested? What if it's really well-written?
Joe Hagan's STICKY FINGERS (2017) updates Robert Draper's excellent ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE: THE UNCENSORED HISTORY (1990), by hooking a biography of RS editor/publisher/founder Jann Wenner around his coming out as a gay man in 1995.
Along with re-telling all of Draper's best stories (some with a little more depth and context), STICKY FINGERS then chronicles who Wenner slept with, how often, how this affected his magazine, etc. Everyone close to Wenner gets the same treatment. His ex-wife Jane, for example. A fascinating psychological study, in a way.
Much of this is riveting reading -- because the stories of RS's early days (Hunter Thompson, Altamont, etc.) are great stories. But it all becomes too much, because the star of this story never for a second drops his selfishness and greed. He forgives himself for everything, and throws everyone else under the bus.
Brilliantly, vividly written. Lots of cameos by John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, Bono, etc. But do you really want 500 pages of it?

By the way, if you read Peter Biskind's DOWN AND DIRTY MOVIES (reviewed here awhile back), about the founding of Miramax Pictures back in the 1990's, the recent revelations about Harvey Weinstein should have come as a very small surprise. After reading how he abused and terrorized his employees at Miramax, it should be no surprise that he abused and harassed actresses, too. The surprise is it took so long for him to take a beating for it.

COMING SOON: Reviews of Will Romano's CLOSE TO THE EDGE: HOW YES'S MASTERPIECE DEFINED PROG ROCK (disappointing so far, but I'm only 70 pages in) and I AM BRIAN WILSON. And maybe some other stuff, too....
ALSO PLANNED: More live-blogging about Strange Music I've never heard before. Next test-listening session coming soon. Already have the intended victims piled-up and waiting....

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