Review: Street Player, My Chicago Story by Danny Seraphine

Quick Note: Just a quick note before we get to the review. Yesterday I was meant to be posting my decision in regards to BA’s Posting Challenge. I got side-tracked! The post will be going up tomorrow now. If you have any feedback or thoughts on the meme you’d like to add, please do so.

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The inside story of Chicago, one of the most successful and enduring rock bands ever.

Street Player: My Chicago Story by Danny Seraphine

With their distinctive blending of soulful rock and horn-infused urban jazz, Chicago has thrilled music fans for more than forty years with their lyrical brilliance. In this no-holds-barred memoir, legendary rocker Danny Seraphine shares his dramatic—and often shocking—experiences as the popular supergroup’s cofounder and longtime drummer. He reveals behind-the-scenes anecdotes about Chicago’s beginnings as the house band at Los Angeles’s legendary Whisky A Go Go, where they were discovered by music icons Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, and personal insights about the group’s many comebacks and reinventions over the years.

  • Offers a lively inside account of the music and history of the perennially popular band Chicago, one of the most successful American bands ever with over 122 million albums sold, by the band’s cofounder and longtime drummer Danny Seraphine
  • Includes riveting tales and rare photographs from Seraphine’s time on the road touring with performers including Dennis and Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Bruce Springsteen
  • Candidly tackles many rumors about Chicago, including Mafia ties, accounting and payola scandals, and major drug abuse
  • Discusses the mysterious circumstances surrounding Seraphine’s 1990 firing from the band as well as his comeback with his critically acclaimed new band, California Transit Authority

Whether you’re a diehard Chicago fan or just love a well-told rock-and-roll memoir, Street Player will entertain and surprise you.

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Continue reading

Fun Fridays: The Booklovers by The Divine Comedy

This song is by the band The Divine Comedy. I barely know who they are, but I know about this song, it’s from their Promenade album for anyone who is interested and it lists over seventy authors. I think this song may be more entertaining to particular humour and reading tastes, but even so, there’s also a lot of reading ideas you can take from this as well.

These are the authors mentioned if you wish to check any of them out; Continue reading

Fun Fridays: Baby Got Book

I’ve been seeing I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie around on bags and buttons like these;

When I first saw it on the badge it amused me because I know the song it’s from and I even remember it being played a lot at clubs I went to when I was going through my clubbing phase and in all honesty I prefer the book version. I’m not just saying that because I love books either, I don’t mind the song even though the lyrics are crap because it’s fun to dance to, but there’s something about the idea of that song being transformed for book lovers and then I found this – Both Eyes has reworked the lyrics to fit in with books! I am impressed and highly recommend the read, especially if you know the song as well as I do.

If you have no idea what the song is or the lyrics here’s the video clip for you, but also a warning: The song is sexist and there is a lot of bum action in the clip because it’s all about big bums afterall

Sir Mix-A-Lot – Baby Got Back.

Review: Godspeed, The Kurt Cobain Graphic Novel

Godspeed: The Kurt Cobain Graphic takes Cobain’s story and plays it out as a totally unique graphic novel. From the luminous colours of an idyllic childhood through the flamboyant hues of success and stardom, Cobain’s story inevitably declines into a much darker palette.

The script draws from the singer’s tortured self image as well as straight forward biographical fact so that the tone of the book fluctuates between subjective dream state and objective reality

In the beginning there is an introduction saying that Godspeed: The Kurt Cobain Graphic starts with suicide and ends in suicide, but don’t think of failure, think of heroism. It tries to make you see it in a positive light, but how can someone when they’re reading about a child who does not see himself with a future? How can you see a positive when you’re reading about a child who sees his end in self inflicted death at such a young age? He hasn’t even lived yet and he is already dreaming of dying.

I don’t think failure when I read this, but I also don’t think of happiness. Sure Kurt Cobain made an impact on the music world, but this is not a pretty or happy story. Just because a man was born who made a change and a difference to so many people, does not mean that his story will ever be a happy one so how can I think positively?

It’s not as if I don’t know about Kurt Cobain’s short life. I was obsessed with Nirvana myself, had a Cobain t-shirt which I wore to pieces, and have even read plenty of books about him so I don’t expect a pleasant story. None of this story is a surprise to me, but it’s different seeing it visualised and told from such an early age. Images can make such a huge difference when they accompany words and this is one of those cases.

In this interpretation music was really his life line, but at the same time it is his death sentence. And it’s interesting how one moment everyone hated the young musicians and then the next they loved them. People think they don’t like change, but really we change our minds so fast that it’s not funny. This is a perfect example of the fickleness of the human mind.

I like how the art and panels are set out on some of the pages. There is one page dedicated to Kurt sharing visions of what his future is going to be where he’ll be a rock star and then die. There is a series of panels depicting the band’s rise to fame, a full page of Kurt tripping on acid and crowd surfing, and I really love the page where he discovers as a child how dreams can be an escape and how close they can be to the surface of sleep.

There’s a page dedicated to him beginning his heroin addiction which I love (even though I’m against drugs)  because it is such a lethal act taking place, but it ends on an embracing note as if the heroin is nurturing him. It’s quite depressing, but shows how he feels he needs it and I guess that’s what those images set out to do. I’m quite impressed with the artist and the writer. I don’t necessarily love the art, but the combination of the art and the words make it quite poignant.

I recommend this graphic novel even if you don’t care for Nirvana or reading yet another interpretation about Kurt Cobain’s life, but at the same time I also recommend reading it when in the mood because there are no happy endings in this story and it really makes one reflect on unpleasantness.