Patricia's Reviews > Rock On: An Office Power Ballad

Rock On by Dan Kennedy
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Jan 19, 09

bookshelves: read-in-2009, good-nonfiction
Read in January, 2009

I don't think people realize the extent of the revolutionary times we are living in. True, there are no skirmishes in the streets (at least not where I live in Portland, Oregon) but before our eyes (and ears) the way people have found and obtained music for more than 50 years is crumbling before our eyes. I'm not sorry. While I mostly reject anarchy and embrace institutions that provide services (roads, education, food etc.) the record company has always been "the man" to me. Sure they find and help bring fabulous songs and artists to the rest of the country. But the amount of money they make off of said artists is obscene. The conversion of music from something to be purchased on a record/tape/CD to a digital file has the companies on their knees and I can't say I'm sorry to see the greedy bastards in desperate shape.

My ideal music world would have the artists who create music I love fairly compensated for their creations. If, in this ideal music world some other people want to help bring along that creation and take a small part of the profit, I'm fine with that too. Small is the operative word. I think this future is not far off and it does not include the institutions I so despise.

Dan Kennedy worked for one such institution for 18 months. He chronicles his time served in humorous prose and sparkling anecdotes. There are several laugh-out-loud moments as well as more evidence that we all should stick it to the man, while still supporting our musician friends. The chapter containing the Iggy Pop concert was electric. Kennedy is a wordy writer in the vein of Dave Eggers and I found my eyes glazing in some portions, but that shouldn't detract you from his adventures. Bonus "Reading Group" questions are hilarious.
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Quotes Patricia Liked

Dan Kennedy
“On the TV screen right now, it's 1975, and Jimmy Page is playing like a man who answers to nobody. A man existing in that seductive state of extended adolescence that rock legends bask in, a man connected to something in the universe larger than even the sum total of the legendary Led Zeppelin, playing guitar because that is so clearly what he was put here to do. And it's wrong to expect that kind of divine moment to last forever, and to expect an artist to stay in 1975. Fact is, ten minutes ago I saw the guy onscreen right downstairs, coming off the trading floor of the stock exchange with a banker carrying his guitar cases for him. I sit cross-legged on the floor on a workday staring into my cereal bowl, thinking about how we all change. We all grow up. We all move on, one way or another, whether we want to or not.”
Dan Kennedy, Rock On: An Office Power Ballad


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