Apathy for the Devil: A Seventies Memoir

Apathy for the Devil: A Seventies Memoir

5.0 2
by Nick Kent
     
 

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Chronicling Nick Kent’s up-close , personal, often harrowing adventures with the Rolling Stones, Lester Bangs, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, the Sex Pistols, and Chrissie Hynde, among scores of others, Apathy for the Devil is a picaresque memoir that bears witness to the beautiful and the damned of this turbulent decade.

As a college dropout barely out

Overview


Chronicling Nick Kent’s up-close , personal, often harrowing adventures with the Rolling Stones, Lester Bangs, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, the Sex Pistols, and Chrissie Hynde, among scores of others, Apathy for the Devil is a picaresque memoir that bears witness to the beautiful and the damned of this turbulent decade.

As a college dropout barely out of his teens, Kent’s first five interviews were with the MC5, Captain Beefheart, the Grateful Dead, the Stooges, and Lou Reed. But after the excitement and freedom of those early years, his story would come to mirror that of the decade itself, as he slipped into excess and ever-worsening heroin use. Apathy for the Devil is a compelling story of inspiration, success, burn out, and rebirth from a classic wordsmith.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The subtitle of Kent's first memoir, and first book since 2002's The Dark Stuff collected his writings on rock music, says it all: this is a staggering and vibrant account of one music critic's decadent decade. Kent, whose journalism helped define the UK's New Musical Express in its heyday, reportedly spent 15 years working on this book, sifting through his drug-addled memory to provide a blow-by-blow, year-by-year account of his dark and chaotic journey from teenage fan to celebrated music critic to serious junkie. Packed with up-close-and-personal encounters on both sides of the Atlantic with the likes of the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, and Led Zeppelin, this memoir is a refreshingly bleak and grimy chronicle of an oft-mythologized era. Kent's sometimes unfavorable recollections seldom veer into character assassinations, nor does he glorify the sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll lifestyle that nearly killed him. Along the way, Kent falls in love with Chrissie Hynde, takes a beating from Sid Vicious, and finds a life-saver in Iggy Pop. Kent's personal, candid style makes the exploits, few of which are pretty or heroic, read like an intimate all-night conversation. 10 pages of b&w photos.
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From the Publisher

RollingStone.com, “25 Coolest Rock Memoirs”

The Onion’s AV Club, 9/1/10
Apathy ping-pongs easily between personal reminiscences and more general overviews of rock’s shape each year.”

Goldmine, 10/1
“A vibrant story, an autobiography that never hits auto-pilot”

Library Journal
, 9/24
“A candid, graphic, and fascinating memoir of [Kent’s] 1970s… Amazing true stories on every page… Highly recommended for anyone interested in the dark days of rock and in British rock journalism.”
 

Hartford Advocate, 10/15/10
“Nearly every page of Apathy contains a scene about which you find yourself muttering out loud, ‘No way,’ and two pages later Kent has fleshed it out so completely that you can almost hear him responding ‘Way’…If you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall to rock ‘n’ roll debauchery, Nick Kent is your man.”

Buffalo News
Apathy is not some sordid tale of rockstar trainspotting…Kent mattered (and matters still) because he was a great writer, a passionate music love and a man able to tap into the cultural zeitgeist at will. Essential reading for anyone who cares about the rock culture of the ‘70s.”

Glide Magazine, 10/27/10
“[A]nyone who can write a memoir that includes folks like David Bowie, Chrissie Hynde, Lou Reed, and Keith Richards and never comes off as a name-dropper must be telling a pretty good story, wouldn’t you say?”

Milwaukee
Shepherd Express, 11/8/10
“[A] compelling page-turner and revealing look at the origins of heavy metal, space rock, glitter and punk.”

Crawdaddy! , 11/24/10
“At once sentimental, salacious, and sometimes shocking slice of essential music memoir…If there is redemption in Kent’s decade of groping in the dark, it’s that he lived to illuminate it; his emotional appreciation of rock’s art prevails over 30 years of chitchat and theory about it…A whistle blower and old-time investigative journalist, Kent fulfills a necessary function as truth teller in the flighty discourse of pop culture. Reporting back from a time when the complicity of the press and the audience converged to become the great rock ‘n’ roll swindle, he’s done his due diligence and given us more than a glimpse behind the curtain.”

Detroit Metrotimes, 11/30/10
“One of the more fascinating reads of the year.”

Metroland, 12/13/10
“Englishman Nick Kent had a front-row seat for the tumult of music that spilled out of the ’60s into the ’70s…He depicts it all with the same honest flair that put him on the map as a journalist in the first place.” 
 
Houston Press, 12/15/10
“Know this: Nick Kent had more fun by age 24 than you will during your entire life. His fascinating eyewitness accounts include musical (but mostly non-musical) recreational pursuits with a who's who of '70s rock… An eminently readable and rollicking ride, Apathy for the Devil…is a great read. Kent's hero, and Almost Famous cameo, Lester Bangs would be proud.”
 

Publishers Weekly, 2/28/11
“A staggering and vibrant account of one music critic's decadent decade…A blow-by-blow, year-by-year account of [Kent’s] dark and chaotic journey from teenage fan to celebrated music critic to serious junkie. Packed with up-close-and-personal encounters on both sides of the Atlantic…this memoir is a refreshingly bleak and grimy chronicle of an oft-mythologized era…Kent's personal, candid style makes the exploits, few of which are pretty or heroic, read like an intimate all-night conversation.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780306819155
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
08/31/2010
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
921,107
Product dimensions:
14.18(w) x 10.82(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author


Nick Kent’s legendary music journalism defined the golden days of New Musical Express. He has also written for The Face, Sunday Times, Spin, Guardian, and Mojo. He lives in Paris.

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Apathy for the Devil: A Seventies Memoir 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Robby-Dobby More than 1 year ago
I always wondered what it would be like to be a "mouse in the pocket" of someone who was hanging out with the "inner circle" of Jagger & Richards, Bowie, Chrissie Hynde and other early 70's rock/punk bands, during the years that I came through adolesence to become a young adult. Nick Kent puts you there and lets you judge the atmosphere for yourself, whether its the drugs, music or mojo that is winning over the encounter. He brings to life the encounter while he is interviewing or simply hanging out with whomever the player from the english music crowd he happens to be with at the time and he lets you as the little mouse look and listen from the pocket of his always present overcoat as seen on the cover. It is truly a look at the "roots" of English Classic Rock (and some ground breaking punk) music makers that were on our "record players" and traveling through our town - Led Zepplin, Free, Soft Machine, Pink Floyd, Bad Company and on and on - Even though I was just a "receiver" of the product, I was taken back to my late teen and early 20's. There I was, sitting in the first row of the FIRST EVER Led Zepplin North American concert (DENVER COLO Auditorium Theatre where they 'opened' for the headline band Vanilla Fudge) or sitting on the hardwood floor at the earliest Free concert (later to become Bad Company) that took place in a low ceiling roller skating rink on south Broadway in Denver. I flashed back to many moments in time as I read this wonderful memoir. I always wanted to be in the world where Mr Kent writes about. But I was 17 and not about to leave a white suburban homelife --- as a kid. However this book is such a great "window" into the the life of Mr. Kent, a music scene writer with assignments to "mingle" with the stars from that time. I feel truly rewarded with this book now, some 40 years later, and to have been given this chance to experience in Mr. Kent's exceptional writing skill, what must have been a very interesting England. ARE YOU EXPERIENCED, (as Hendrix sang) you do truly experience a life on the English soil with his rock aquaintences, because of Nick's incredible writing. But what is the most profound, underlying glue to Nick's 70's memoir, is his personal lens, which back in the 70's was mostly under the influence of a narcotic or two, that makes you FEEL the "lit up" drug infected scene of the English rock-n-roll life. Not that the drugs made it what it was, but that he writes from the heart of his existence. Incredible writing. I hope Mr. Kent is healthy and continues on with more! WE WANT MORE!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book on Rock n Roll, Kent writing is captivating