Rock's gods made mortal
||By Casey Dolan,
Times Staff Writer
occasionally enraged and other times infuriatingly muddle-headed, "Kill Your
Idols" will promote screaming, either in agreement or disagreement.
Have you ever felt cheated by the lumbering
mastodon of rock 'n' roll? It promises so much — catharsis, redemption, you
name it — and is supposed to be America's great contribution to 20th century
But one day you're singing in the shower, something about "tangerine trees
and marmalade skies," and you wonder what John Lennon was thinking.
It's a shock to realize the Bard of Liverpool could also write dimwitted
Suddenly there's the creeping fear that your
childhood adulation of Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Patti Smith — pick your deity —
may have been misplaced. (And really, didn't you always suspect Led
Zeppelin's fourth album was a slag-heap of blues rip-offs led by a prancing
ninny who had supped too long at the well of J.R.R. Tolkien?)
Now you can pick up "Kill Your Idols" (Barricade Books, $16) and confirm
your worst fears. This collection of essays edited by Jim DeRogatis and
Carmél Carrillo demythologizes "classic" rock albums, including Bruce
Springsteen's "Born to Run" ("slapped together by a gaggle of Ethel
Merman-mad drama queens," says David Sprague) and Nirvana's "Nevermind" ("a
good excuse for bullies … to inflict pain," according to Anders Smith
Sometimes incisive, occasionally enraged and other times infuriatingly
muddle-headed, the book will promote screaming, either in agreement or
disagreement. It is as much about the critics themselves as it is about the
albums they deconstruct. Each offers a 10-best list that should leave
readers howling. Where is Suzy Snotrag and the Zone Mummies?
was a great band.
But it's only rock 'n' roll, right? You bought the albums. Now destroy the
thing you love.