The complaints here are well-founded: as a tribute to a seminal album, this book mostly fails. Long stretches pass in which The Replacements are barelThe complaints here are well-founded: as a tribute to a seminal album, this book mostly fails. Long stretches pass in which The Replacements are barely mentioned. Basically, the Decemberists guy tells you a childhood story, says something like "I sure listened to the Replacements a lot", tells another story, says "Seriously, I practically wore out the tape", and on to the next story. So if you're looking for insight, song by song breakdown, or information in general related to the album "Let it Be" by The Replacements, this book is only going to piss you off. I think I know about 4 songs total by The Replacements (something that needs to be remedied soon), and one by the Decemberists (ditto), so I wasn't looking for much of anything here other than something diverting to read, and that's pretty much what I got. I'm about memoired out over here, but for the most part I found these remembrances to be quite cozy, with a pleasing restraint that I hadn't expected of the author. Ultimately, though, this entry is more for Meloy disciples than for longtime fans of Westerberg and Co., and as such is more than a bit misleading. ...more
I love Warren Zevon. I think he's just the best. Even when he was alive, his voice sounded kind of like how a ghost might sing - all wiggly and sad anI love Warren Zevon. I think he's just the best. Even when he was alive, his voice sounded kind of like how a ghost might sing - all wiggly and sad and weird and funny. Though he undoubtedly would have been fun to have a drink or two with, I feel bad for the people who had to spend any significant amount of time with him, since, as this biography, not to mention his own lyrics, will often attest, the guy behaved like a drunken asshole most of the time. I simply do not care. He never did anything to me, other than provide me with practically half my favorite songs. He could have drop-kicked his newborn infant off a cliff (in a perhaps rare moment of forethought, he did not do this) and I'd still be into him, and that's if the only thing he ever wrote was "Carmelita".
The book does a good job stressing that Zevon was well worth knowing when he was at his best, but doesn't shy away, at all, from his less-dignified moments, of which there are apparently many to select from. I'm typically not too fast a reader, but I blew through 450 pages in about an hour and a half. It's one of them deals where a bunch of people who knew him take turns relating various incidents and takes on things, like that SNL book awhile back. It's an approach that seems to mesh well with tales of celebrity indiscretion.
I would recommend this more for people who already knew they liked Warren Zevon. Otherwise, the albums "Excitable Boy" and "Life'll Kill Ya" are probably better intros. If you were to read this book knowing nothing of him, you might come away thinking he's just a weird dick, as opposed to a weird dick who made beautiful songs. ...more