Thursday, February 24, 2022

All over again

I'm only in the early pages of Lenny Kaye's Lightning Striking, and I can already tell it's going to be one hell of a read. If you think you've read everything about rock and roll's formative and epochal eras, this book will disprove that: Kaye's knowledge is unsurprisingly vast and sturdy, but he's also witty, evocative, and often poetic in his writing, shedding new light, and insight, into the oft-scoured corners of music history. 

As the great music books do, his sent me back to my collection. Thirty four years ago I was living in Athens, Ohio; one typical night I closed down the bar(s), staggered home, and switched on the television, which back then was still airing late-night commercials plugging Elvis albums. I counted my change and bravely ordered an album that I couldn't afford. As Presley comps go, it's a great one, well-chosen if poorly annotated, and was where I first heard his Sun recordings, "Mystery Train," "That's All Right," and "Good Rockin' Tonight" issuing from my crappy stereo and changing my life. I'd later collect the Sun recordings via the proper reissues, but I still retain deep affection for this album, which also includes a ton of great early- and mid-60s tracks. I pulled it out last night and, after Kaye's words, the music crackled with life all over again.

No comments: