FORTUNATE SON: The Best of Dave Marsh by David Marsh

FORTUNATE SON: The Best of Dave Marsh

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Dave Marsh has long labeled himself America's best-known rock writer. In this collection taken from his work in magazines such as Creem, Rolling Stone and The Musician, the reader realizes why that label adheres so firmly. First of all, rock music is the only subject he writes about. Second, he writes about it well, with a depth and passion that very few of his music-writing colleagues can muster. Read Freddie's Dead and Diana Ross is Singing the Blues and you feel the heat of a white ghetto youth (Marsh is a product of Detroit's slums) angry at the thrashing the music he loves is taking; The Return of Mr. Dynamite (and other great hits) explores the swoops and swifts of James Brown; I Don't Want My MTV rips into the new, electric, violent world of music videos. Along the way, Marsh discourses on Mick and Bruce, Lennon, the Beach Boys, punk, hard rock, garbage rock and acid rock. He examines the mystique of rock 'n' roll and studies its changing patterns. He preaches of its power and argues over how and when it will change the world. The collection is long, with nearly 80 entries plus a short foreword and a windy introduction meant to serve as an explanation for the title. Like most rock writers, good and bad, Marsh never once allows himself the opportunity to approach his subject with any humor. For him, music is a mystical sound delivering a message to the people. It is not fun and games. Because of those feelings, he can (and does) come across as pompous and arrogant in some of the pieces. Fortunate Son, despite its short-comings, is useful, if for noother reason than to serve as a 30-year trackdown of the sounds and performers who have directly and indirectly influenced us. All written by a writer clear-headed enough to tell us why.

Pub Date: June 28th, 1985
ISBN: 0394721195
Publisher: Random House