Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Boy in the Song: The True Stories Behind 50 Rock Classics by Frank Hopkinson and Michael Heatley

I actually wanted to buy their first book, The Girl in the Song, but it wasn't on the shelf at Barnes & Noble at State & Jackson. That store took over the space formerly occupied by the downtown location of the late, great, beloved Crow's Nest Records & Tapes. It is oddly invisible on B&N's website. Maybe it is somehow falsely classified as a university bookstore because it's on DePaul's downtown campus.

The Boy in the Song offers interesting tales, and I even enjoyed the stories about songs I don't like or haven't heard. That said, these aren't all rock classics—there's a bit too much from singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell (especially Joni Mitchell). Also I wish it was longer; even with lots of photos, it's only 144 pages.

One of my favorite tidbits is about the boy who inspired Suzanne Vega's "Luka" using his notoriety to try to impress a potential girlfriend!*

* I always kind of felt sorry for Vega having "Luka" as her biggest hit because it doesn't work for concerts. Most performers do their biggest hits at the end or in the encore. But who wants to finish a concert with such a downer of a song?


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