The Map: Rediscovering Rock and Roll: A Journey

Paul Williams, Author And Books $9.95 (269p) ISBN 978-0-89708-166-5
When Williams was 17 years old he created a stir in the record industry with the first American rock magazine, Crawdaddy!, published in 1966 almost two years before Rolling Stone. In 15 books that followed, he moved to other topics, such as his profile of science-fiction author Philip K. Dick (Only Apparently Real). Now, at age 40, he returns to his rock roots. He views the music as a ``releaser of dark forces: sexuality, anger, God-intoxication, tribalism, hunger, and fear'' and ``my shortcut to the unknowable inside me,'' and his approach is, therefore, an introspective memoir, a personal quest into rock's mystique. The Map reads like a series of intimate letters from a close friend, and the reader joins the ``journey'' as Williams explores new forums (MTV), technologies (CDs) and performers (Violent Femmes, Tears for Fears), often presented in contrast to his 1960s experiences: ``Hanging out with Translator while they mixed down their album Evening of the Harvest was more fun and more exciting for me than hanging out with the Who and Cream backstage during their first American shows.'' He tosses in insights, speculations, rock lore and interviews (Springsteen, producer Ed Stasium, Grateful Dead's Phil Lesh) and occasionally waxes nostalgic, but more space is devoted to the current rock scene. The detours of this magical mystery tour often transcend the confines of pop-culture commentary, and the keen pages crackle with power, passion and fire like a flare signaling the author's reemergence as a major talent. (June)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1988
Release date: 12/01/1988
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