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Various Artists

Rockin' the City of Angels written by Douglas Harr

Review by Gary Hill

This book is something very special. A good tag-line for this would be "come for the pictures, stay for the stories." The photography in this book is exceptional and will be sure to pull you into the tome. The whole package, though, is great. This is a heavy duty book printed on exceptional paper. That makes it very heavy. It's also the perfect thing to have on your coffee table. You can pick it up and open to any page and find something to grab your attention.

Once you get beyond the pictures, though, there is a whole different level here. The main thing that comes through in the text is Douglas Harr's passion for music. I think that's the thing that draws people into playing music and covering music. My most recent book (Poetry of the Air: A Collection of Love Letters from Musicians to Music) was centered around that kind of passion for the art. This is almost a different angle to that same story. It's one man's personal journey through the music about which he's passionate.

Not all the bands covered here are prog acts. A lot of them are, though. Jethro Tull, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Yes, Camel, Kansas, King Crimson, ELP and even PFM are all covered. Other acts like Fleetwood Mac, Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Queen, AC/DC, Supertramp, The Rolling Stones, The Who and Elton John make the list. Each band gets a bit written about them and their appearance in LA, along with some recommendations for music and video to buy to complete the experience.

 

You could say that the selection of musical acts is a bit odd. The thing is, it reflects Harr's personal taste. It goes back to that passion. That makes this a personal glimpse into one man's passion in a lot of ways. That also makes it intimate and very real. However you line this book up, though, it's well worth having. I can't speak highly enough about it.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

 
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