The title says a lot: this is a book written buy a guy who prefers “classic rock” to “EMO.” What’s great about the author’s take is that, even if you’re a fan of newer music, the humor with which the book is written allows you to still enjoy it. You may not agree with everything or anything he says, but you’ll still enjoy the reading and probably learn something along the way. Dave Thompson has penned over 100 books. That’s stunning! He is the author of the highly-acclaimed Kurt Cobain bio, Never Fade Away, as well as books on Cream, George Clinton, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, David Bowie, Red Hot Chili Peppers and many more.
In this book, Thompson writes against the forces he sees as killing rock’n'roll from the inside out. Mostly, he rails against particular bands that represent particular genres of modern music, and usually argues that, at the end of the day, it’s already been done, and done better. Among many arguments, he makes an interesting case for the ultimate audio format being the 8-Track tape as opposed to the CD or even vinyl. While he obviously respects Nirvana, he also argues (quite hilariously) that the group owes its entire career to Boston’s “More Than a Feeling.” Bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Queen, and KISS are put on a pedestal. Groups like The White Stripes and Coldplay get crucified. It’s all done with a grain of salt, though, and Thompson’s writing (his style, vocabulary and knowledge of the English language) is some of the best in the business.