Sometimes a rock concert is more than just an event. Every so often a band’s performance becomes a musical milestone, a cultural watershed, a political statement, and a personal apotheosis. On any given night a rock concert can tell the truth about who we are, where we are, and what’s going on in music and life right now. In The Decibel Diaries, Carter Alan, longtime DJ and music director at WZLX in Boston, chronicles a lifetime in rock with a tour through fifty concerts that defined such momentsfrom Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young playing in the rain when Richard Nixon resigned to Talking Heads and the first stirrings of punk in the basement bars of New York and Boston to the bluegrass angel Alison Krauss and the adaptable veteran Robert Plant forging a plangent, plaintive postmodern synergy. For each event Alan shows us what it was like to be there and telescopes out to reveal how this show fit into the arc of the artist’s career, the artist’s place in music, and the music’s place in the wider world. Taken together, The Decibel Diaries is a visceral and visionary portrait of nearly fifty years of rock ’n’ roll.
|Publisher:||University Press of New England|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
CARTER ALAN is the midday DJ and music director at WZLX-FM, Boston, one of the nation’s first classic rock stations. He is the author, most recently, of Radio Free Boston, and previously of Outside Is America: U2 in the U.S.
Table of Contents
Foreword • Introduction • First RideJames Gang • Don’t Be DeniedNeil Young & the Stray Gators • Balance of PowerTraffic and Free • “I’ve Been Downhearted, Baby . . .”B. B. King • The Four-Day RingDeep Purple • The Call of the WildTed Nugent & the Amboy Dukes • Setting Sail in a Topographic OceanYes • Truly Slow . . . handEric Clapton • “Tin Soldiers and Nixon Coming”CSNY/Santana • Touring in the Material WorldGeorge Harrison • The Best Stuff in TownThe Rolling Stones • Tear Gas and Toilet PaperThe Great American Music Fair • An Afro and a Fine SkylarkFleetwood Mac • Sweatin’ BulletsLynyrd Skynyrd • Six-String OutlawsThe Eagles • A New ArchitectureTalking Heads • Crosstown TrafficThe Cars • Sound and VisionDavid Bowie • “Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!”Ramones • “There Should Be More Dancing!”The Police • “I’m So Bored with the U.S.A”The Clash • An Interesting Table GuestJohn Cougar & the Zone • Even the Losers Get Lucky (Third Time)Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers • Before the Purple ReignPrince • “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)”AC/DC • Rollin’ on the RiverU2 • ShowtimeThe J. Geils Band • Sabbath vs. OzzyBlack Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne • Who’s Last . . . but, Not ReallyThe Who • In a Hard PlaceAerosmith • “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll”Joan Jett • Till the Fat Lady SingsBruce Springsteen and the E Street Band • The Global JukeboxLive Aid • Your Mascara Is RunningMötley Crüe • Live . . . and AliveStevie Ray Vaughan • Which One Is Pink?Roger Waters and Pink Floyd • Meanwhile, Back in the Jungle . . .Guns N’ Roses • “Tear Down the Wall!”Roger Waters • Getting BackPaul McCartney • Exile on Monroe DriveThe Black Crowes • A Wylde NightThe Allman Brothers Band • “This Guitar Is Brand-New, and I Decided I Don’t Like It”Nirvana • Digging in the GardenPearl Jam • The OceanBush, Goo Goo Dolls, and No Doubt • Cliff Notes from UpstatePhish • A Cheap Golden JubileeJoe Perry with Cheap Trick • U2 Reclaims its Mojo (or Fighting the Bono Mono)U2 • Side by Side, They Walk the NightRobert Plant and Alison Krauss • Power HitterJack White • Life after the Fast LaneJoe Walsh • Acknowledgments • List of Sources
What People are Saying About This
“Carter Alan somehow never gets jaded. He is still like a kid discovering rock ’n’ roll for the first time as he recalls these concerts in vivid, razor-sharp detail and makes them live anew.”
“Rock and roll, good gigs and bad, ups and downs: I’ve seen it all in Aerosmith, and Carter gets to the heart of it. He’s been witness to, as well as influential in, all of the ups and downs in the business. Who better to write a book like this? And he nailed it.”
“Few rock journalists can write about the concert scene as eloquently as Carter Alan does. The Decibel Diaries gives you a front row seat as music history unfolds. A must-read!”
“The Decibel Diaries immerses us in the glory, guts, and grit of a time when musicians were gods and rock was life itself.”
“The Decibel Diaries is like an On the Road for the post-Beatles generation. The love for the music shines through.”