Everybody Was Kung-Fu Dancing: Chronicles of the Lionized and the Notorious

Chet Flippo, Author St. Martin's Press $13.95 (292p) ISBN 978-0-312-06349-8
In these 32 varied and enlightening capsules of '70s and '80s pop culture, most still relevant today, Flippo ( It's Only Rock 'N' Roll ) defends the mercurial John Lennon against unsympathetic biographer Albert Goldman, schmoozes with gregarious crooner Tony Bennett and addresses his fellow transplanted Texans in New York (who go by the acronym TINY). All but three essays here were previously published, often in Rolling Stone ; people and events are grouped according to virtues such as prudence, temperance and fortitude or less admirable, equally entertaining qualities including lust, anger and gluttony. Illustrating the book are 15 mediocre, folk-arty linocut portraits of interviewees, among them Night of the Living Dead director George Romero, poet Jim Carroll and a Jerry Lee Lewis haunted by the ``Elvis demon'' that perpetually steals his Memphis spotlight. Interesting, if familiar, trivia abounds: Flippo tells how animal rights advocate Paul McCartney transported his chickens to Scotland via taxi and reminds us that country star Waylon Jennings, a former member of Buddy Holly's band, gave up his plane seat to the Big Bopper one fateful day. Even a fishing excursion in Tennessee seems hip thanks collection's knowledgeable and observant author. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
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