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There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and Roll
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There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and Roll

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  862 ratings  ·  164 reviews
From a legendary music journalist with four decades of unprecedented access, an insider's behind-the-scenes look at the major personalities of rock and roll.

Lisa Robinson has interviewed the biggest names in music--including Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, John Lennon, Patti Smith, U2, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Jay Z and Kanye West. She visited the teenage Michael Jackson many
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published April 22nd 2014 by Riverhead Books (first published April 17th 2014)
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3.29  · 
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 ·  862 ratings  ·  164 reviews

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Lisa Robinson has worked in the music industry since 1969, primarily as a journalist specializing in interviews and imagery. Her focus skews toward the behind-the-scenes dynamics of bands like Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, U2, and individual artists including Patti Smith, John Lennon, Eminem, Lady Gaga and Michael Jackson. An old hand at the rock profile, she draws here from hundreds of interviews she's collected on tape, the notes she's taken, and what she can actually manage to recall - in ...more
May 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Boring and not well written.
Joe Canas
Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
My actual rating: 4.5 of 5 stars.

I was a rock and roll teen in San Francisco in the 70s. I listened to Zeppelin, Beatles, KISS, Bowie, Queen, J. Geils, Blue Oyster Cult, Patti Smith, Foghat, Black Sabbath, and dozens of other bands on vinyl and cassettes. I wore Kiss and Zep belt buckles (though never at the same time), and proclaimed my infatuation with various bands via the reigning social media of that era: T-shirts and posters.

I was also obsessed with New York City. I sported a subway token
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
More than anything else, it was music that helped me through the awkward teenage phase of the 1970s. It was a passion. Reading came in at a close second. Reading about music pulled it all together, and I escaped into issues of Creem, Circus, Hit Parade and Rolling Stone. At that time, Lisa Robinson was a journalist in a male dominated profession, and one of the best. I always looked forward to reading her articles. Today I’m ashamed to admit that my passion for music has waned, pushed aside by w ...more
May 23, 2014 rated it did not like it
This was a disappointment. It could have been much more interesting but the writing was just flat. Not much narration, no sense of humor or excitement. Jeez you toured with Led Zep and The Stones. You were hanging out at Max's and CBGB in their heyday. You were even a frequent guest at Studio 54...well ladedah...and all you can do is copy lists from your notes of what you had for brunch that day? I returned this book. Mildly interesting but for the most part boring. Much more entertaining and we ...more
Lesa Parnham
May 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014-books
YAWN! So Lisa Robinson is a music reporter (seems more like a groupie to me. Led Zepplin this, Led Zepplin that. I was so glad that she moved on to other bands I almost cried. This book is a lot of name dropping, not just entertainers but all kinds or backstage people who (no offense) no one cares about, so you get all these names boggled down in your head.

I am 52, listen to all kinds of music Eagles, Paul Simon ( my favorite Elton John) to Gwen Stefani, Ed Sheeran, Lady Antebellum, Hip-Hop, R &
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book so much more than I actually did. I mean, this woman was one of the first rock journalists, and even more she was a woman surrounded by men, during some of the most exciting times in music. You'd think that would lend itself to some unusual insights or perspectives, rather than what this felt like - a long, long recitation of dates and events from a writer who has an encyclopedic memory (or really good diary) for who was wearing what when and names of hotels and venues ...more
Alison Levy
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The reason I loved this book so much is probably because I listened to it on audiobook while driving to and from work. The greatest thing about it is that Lisa Robinson reads it herself, in a world-weary, New York, Marge Simpson on quaaludes delivery that makes every utterance a sheer delight! Just the way she pronounces "Led Zepp-e-lin" and "The RO-lling Stones" (accent on RO), that just sent me into fits of joy every time. You can practically hear her taking a drag on a cigarette in between ta ...more
May 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
Fairly entertaining but mostly a lot of name dropping and fluff.
A lot of describing who she was with and what they wore and where they met, etc. etc.
The length of time and number of musicians she got to know was impressive, but of course, that was her job as a music reporter.
Basically I felt like she was just putting the notes and journals she wrote into one big book to make some money from people like me who want to know details about these musicians.
I feel a little ripped off by it actually.
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
I was so looking forward to reading this. So disappointed after reading it. I think it would work better as individual articles in a magazine than all together in book form. I did read an excerpt in Vanity Fair so I thought I would enjoy reading the whole book. Not so much. I felt it was disjointed and all over the place at times and then a bit boring at other times. I started to think that maybe she forgot she had a book to write and wrote out as much as she could while trying to remember every ...more
Feb 15, 2014 rated it liked it
There Goes Gravity by Lisa Robinson is a free Goodreads First Reads advance reader copy of a paperback book I began reading during the late April showers. I chose this book due to what seemed to me to be Almost Famous-style parallels.

Lisa Robinson's writing voice is very much like the physical proximity to the artists she writes about - close, but not intimate. She talks about the what, where and when in a lot of candid, witty detail, but not so much about the who and why. I'm thinking that she
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, biography
This was a fun, light memoir. The book is organized loosely chronologically, and loosely a chapter per iconic band or movement. I like the stories Robinson chooses to tell. For the most part she chooses to eschew (or mention in order to refute) the big stories and scandals, in favor of little personal anecdotes. She traveled with the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin and wrote about the Clash and the Ramones and Patti Smith and the Jacksons, but she met with them individually, when their public pe ...more
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Kinda meh. No real insights or interesting gossip shared. At least nothing that floats my boat!

P.S. A major inaccuracy stated in the book, re The Ramones. They did NOT continue touring until Joey's death in 2001. They officially retired in 1996. To add insult to injury this was expressed in a passage making a point about how some bands never stop performing. Lisa, the Ramones stopped while they were still ahead without coming off as pathetic. That one cost you a whole star in my rating book.
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014-book-list
Could not stand the biased comments against the South.
Jul 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I was excited to see that Lisa Robinson had written a book telling the story of her role in music journalism. As a music lover I had read many of her pieces in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and other magazines and was ready to hear her tell her story in her own words. Sadly, the stories she tells are as much about who she sat in bars with, rode on buses with, shared hotel rooms, airplane flights and social time with as it is about the artists themselves and the music they have given us. If you want ...more
Apr 25, 2014 rated it did not like it
I was so looking forward to this book after reading about it on The Cut. But I was extremely disappointed.

Lisa is a disjointed writer with lists of "recollections" that go nowhere. She is a rock snob to the nth degree who pretends to care about black music by giving lip service to the fact that she name-checked Thelonius Monk to a bunch of British rock stars. Whatever, lady. You seem to think less than five people are responsible for all the black music of the last 40 years, and none of them are
Debra Komar
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
I am not really certain what this book was intending to be. It is not a memoir, as I finished it knowing nothing about the author (other than she likes to name drop). To be honest, what little I learned did not make me like her. It is not a rock history - there is no analysis - and it is not a critique. It is very repetitious (for example, the Keith Richard's line that Mick Jagger is "a great bunch of guys" pops up more than once). The use of commas borders on insane and I would say the same thi ...more
Stefani B
Jul 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I cannot believe that I ever thought that I knew about rock music. Lisa Robinson's book is a must-read for anyone who has ever wanted to speak to rock legends, pay respect to them or to set the record straight. Lisa is a great writer and has/had access to some of the biggest bands on the planet: in production, on tours, before and during stardom, after the limelight, and through the years. There are insights in to how the music business works, about paying bills on tour, observation and above al ...more
Jul 07, 2015 rated it liked it
I found this book interesting, I had looked forward to learning more about certain artists, though by the end, in some cases, I found I wanted to know less. Less mystique and meaning, more practicalities and minutiae; if you care that Mick Jagger wore blue pants on July 15th 1968 I guess this is a fascinating read. I came away with more affection for Lady Gaga and Eminem than I expected, and the grim realization that one of my favorite bands of all time were pretty much a bunch of douchebags mos ...more
Robyn Latta
Feb 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
The writings/stories seems a little bit disjointed in the beginning, which is partly why it took me so long to read. However, the more I read the more I saw a vague-ish flow. Though I certainly know who Lisa Robinson is talking about I'm not a huge music buff, so I feel like perhaps some of the details were (sadly) lost on me. I really enjoyed this book. It's very clear that she took precise notes throughout her time on the road and during all her interviews. It's definitely a cool read, but wou ...more
John Supple
May 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
Some interesting spots but overall I thought I was just one more slant on a bunch of musicians. It's presented like it's the inside scoop and I guess it really is but I would have to say that the majority of what was told was kind of a "who cares". I did think it jumped around and there was a ton of name dropping but enough of it held my interest to keep reading. I did skim some of the chapters on people I have already heard to much about and read the parts on people I knew less about
May 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Upcoming Penguin audio galley, read by the author.

Fun, dishy, moving memoir of Rock and Roll writer Lisa Robinson's friendships and experiences over years chronicling Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bono, The Clash, Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Eminem, and many more.
Sep 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-books
Once I got past her first few chapters of Led Zeppelin worship, I really enjoyed this book. Her musical and popular culture knowledge come from an insiders' perspective and a passion for the subject.
Katherine Matychak
May 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
You'd think it would be interesting but you'd be wrong. Are rock stars really this boring, or just when they're around the author?
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was fun to read in part, since the author, one of the first rock'n'roll journalists, traveled, partied, and fraternized with so many famous musicians (for example, the Rolling Stones, the New York Dolls etc), and became close friends with so many of them.

However, after a while one gets the sense of a holding back - the discretion of a friend, perhaps? - in the reporting of all the goings on. She also never discloses much of anything about any indiscretions of her own while doing all t
Gregory Totman
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lisa had the ringside seat in rock and roll ( "don't abbreviate it " says Lisa ) touring with led zeppelin and the Rolling Stones for those famous mega tours of the 70's .
Only Lisa is a down to earth music journalist ( not critic ) married and has a very sensitive bullshit detector .
Which when you read on you certainly needed to survive.
Chapters include extensive essaying on Michael Jackson, U2 , John Lennon, the blues & lady Gaga the only artist to have ever cooked her a meal ! The devil
Lots of her rock and roll behind-the-scenes gossip is irresistible. Her access was extraordinary particularly in her younger years but her delivery is smug - sometimes It seems she is telling us just to tell us that she was on the band plane or that she had a full-access backstage pass. Many pages came across as if she had copy and pasted her notes.

“Every success story has an influential mentor or a scene. Often it’s it’s someone or something that happened years before. “New” things happ
I mostly skipped around this one. Some of the stuff was pretty entertaining (Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Eminem [Miss you Proof !!!] David Bowie, whenever she calls out someone she doesn't like or respect, no F's given). Some stuff was pretty boring (JohnandYoko, JohnandYoko, JohnandYoko!!!!!) (Seriously, I started thinking a little less of The Beatles after getting through half that chapter.) and not worth finishing. I don't know....
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music
Lisa Robinson gives an account of her time as a Music Journalist. The stories span over 30 years from the 70s to 2000s. She tells stories about the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, John Lennon, Clash, Bono, Patti Smith, Eminem, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Kanye West and more. Robinson uses her recorded tapes to recap the scene and specific interviews. Her love of music is apparent throughout this book. This book is moderately paced and well written.

Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
If you are in your 50s, like classic rock/punk music and grew up in NYC, then you can relate to everything that Robinson describes in her book. She describes the music scene as it was in NYC at that time (1970s). You almost feel as if you were back in time. If you are not described by the above then you may find this book uninteresting. Up to you if you choose to read.
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