Love Goes to Buildings on Fire by Will Hermes

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If you're a music fan and could pick any past time and place to experience legendary artists and performances firsthand, what would you choose? Swinging '60s London? Woodstock? Grunge-era Seattle? Rock journalist Will Hermes makes a good case for mid-1970s New York in his book Love Goes To Buildings On Fire.

Hermes provides not only a historian's account of the time period, but also his perspective as a teenager witnessing many of these artists himself. In Manhattan, the club CBGBs hosted seminal acts like the Ramones, Talking Heads, and Patti Smith. In the Bronx, young disk jockeys like Joseph Saddler (AKA Grandmaster Flash) began using their turntables as instruments and turning their between-record banter into songs of their own--giving birth to Hip-Hop. The convergence of immigrants from Latin America in New York led to the rise of modern Salsa music with the Fania All Stars and the careers of Hector Lavoe and Ruben Blades. And of course, Disco was pumping out of the dance clubs throughout the boroughs, reaching its height at the infamous Studio 54. Add experimental jazz, classical and avant-garde scenes to this mix and you have a city bursting at the seams with creativity.

The author intertwines these seemingly disparate threads into a narrative that reads like a love letter to the New York he once knew. Fans of all kinds of music will find much to savor in this energetic and captivating book.

Submitted by Brett @ Central


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This page contains a single entry by Jacki published on January 26, 2012 8:56 AM.

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