Monday, April 17, 2023

Books (Kat, Ava and C.I.)



We're attempting to again increase book coverage in the community.  Kat's "3 books to skip" Bertill Nordahl's CAT SEVENS, CARLY SIMON AND LEONARD COHEN AND ALL THE OTHERS, David Redford's NEIL& JONI: 2 LIVES, 21 ALBUMS and Ellen Sanders' ROCK AND ROLL WOMENHOOD: CASS ELLIOT, GRACE SLICK, LINDA RONSTADT, FANNY AND MORE.  So, which book did you loathe the most?

Kat: Probably Nordahl's book since it was in Danish.

You got it to read about Carly Simon?

Kat: Yes.

You missed nothing. It's 11 sentences on Carly -- one of which is a quote from "You're So Vain" -- the clouds in my coffee line.  It also has a factual error crediting BOYS IN THE TREES to 1976.  Her 1976 album is ANOTHER PASSENGER.  BOYS IN THE TREES is released in 1978. 


Kat: Thanks.  With her photo on the cover and her name listed second, I would've thought it had a great deal on Carly.  Now I know.

Let's move over to Ellen Sanders who was a semi-popular music writer in the 60s and 70s.  She was no Ellen Willis, she was no Lillian Roxon, she as no Patricia Kennealy-Morrison.  As her place in history is overlooked, she's been repacking her old stuff with no real context or anything of interest which is actually dragging down her legacy.  , Trina's "Ellen Sander's The Lifestyle That Classic Rock Unleashed" covered a collection earlier this year and when we spoke with Trina ["Books (Trina, Ava and C.I.)"], Trina contrasted her with Ellen Willis and others and stated, "They wrote with passion and they made the music come alive.  Her tired writing is dead on arrival and how can you cover the music of the sixties and be so damn boring?"

Kat: I love Cass Elliot and we could all use more coverage of what she gifted the world of music with.  But Ellen Sanders appears to have no idea of what that was.  She's just the name of someone famous that Ellen briefly interviewed.  Same with Grace Slick.  It's boring as hell.  And it's tired and recycled.  And she considers herself a feminist -- then and now -- but you didn't get published in CREEM, for example, back then without sporting sexism.  I can't imagine that she's so busy today that she couldn't find time to provide context for these pieces, to provide overviews on these artists.  

That still leaves David Redford's book on Joni Mitchell and Neil Young.

Kat: I don't get it.  They're both singer-songwriters.  They're both born in Canada.  They both had polio.  But if you're writing a book about music, there's no reason to compare them.  Neil Young is not -- and has never been -- as mature as Joni.  His outlook is that of a child, largely to this day.  Joni was an old soul when she started out.  She's an incredible one of a kind guitar player.  He knows how to strum.  She writes deep, perceptive songs over and over.  He writes fluff the bulk of the time and every now and then stumbles upon a "Helpless." Now if I hold Neil up to his true peers, he's a very strong artist.  But Joni's not his true peer.  Joni is a one-of-a-kind, once-every-hundred-years artist.  Compare him to David Crosby, et all and Neil is pretty amazing.  But he's not -- and never will be -- the male equivalent of Joni.  


Previous book discussions this year:

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