Collections of essays are my favorite thing to read after I’ve mixed a cocktail and sprawled out on the couch. You talk about music, and I’m absolutely rivetted. Mick Farren‘s collected writing, Elvis Died for Somebody’s Sins But Not Mine, out now via Headpress, works especially well, as he talks booze, in addition to music, politics, and assorted lyrics from his band, the Deviants.
The music writing is the big draw, here — his writing on the King, especially, given the title and all. You’ll read about somebody putting on one of Presley’s records at a make-out party and the response of all the girls just seals the deal. Farren has this way of expressing exactly why Elvis is more than just impersonators and Vegas and bad movies. Continue reading →
Max Decharne‘s new history of rockabilly for Serpent’s Tail, A Rocket In My Pocket: The Hipster’s Guide to Rockabilly, takes a little bit to get going. It’s understandable – there’s a lot of history to set up, and a lot of characters to introduce, be they Sun Records owner Sam Phllips, cover boy Elvis Presley, or the queen of rockabilly, Wanda Jackson. Basically, Decharne takes several dozen rockabilly musicians, as well as various labels that run the gamut from international to recording in someone’s garage, and gives them to the reader in a flurry of names. Continue reading →