I don’t do my Creative Loafing book blog anymore and had to cut back to 2-3 newspaper book reviews a year for the Boston Globe or the Tampa Bay Times.
But that doesn’t mean I read any less and have lost the desire to share news of a good book.
So this — a brief word of praise for Altamont by Joel Selvin.
It is a thoroughly engrossing account of what the subtitle calls ‘Rock’s Darkest Day.’ If you believe in a Higher Being and the concept of Heaven and Hell, then this is a preview of coming attractions should you think you are headed to the latter.
Three-hundred thousand people, fucked up on various combinations of acid, amphetamines and booze, cram into a small space and many get the shit beat out of them by Hells Angels as some of the best bands of the day (Burrito Bros., Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Crosby etc. and the Rolling Stones) try to perform.
It’s a wonderful book about a horrifying day.
About two years ago, Selvin wrote another great book – Here Comes the Night – about Bert Berns, one of the under-sung behind-the-scenes guys in rock (he wrote ‘Twist and Shout’ and many others).
Anyway: earns 37 thumbs up, my highest praise.