I Rock ’n roll books
bly died some time in 1984 and painful childhood followed by a dreams that jump-cut without iously chilling, a brittle act of
should check yourself into a more confused, guilt-ridden rhyme or reason. And the char- imagination by someone just
morgue as soon as possible. adulthood. Some of the writing acters are difficult to identify learning the ropes of writing.
In any event, you will not is haunting, darkly beautiful, as with at all. They seem to occupy But there’s lots of talent here to
want to read any further. be- when Townshend recalls his a hazy netherworld that only make me hopeful that the next
cause “Springsteen," written by first memories of knowing his Townshend could draw real book by this brooding rock 'n’
Los Angeles Times music critic parents had a life of their own, meaning from. roller will hit paydirt.
Robert Hilburn, is definitely for symbolized 'by their riding “Horse’s Neck" is a work of
those who’ve heard the man’s horses. fiction, clearly dealing with des- A m Mollie
music and felt its magic. But most of “Horse’s Neck” is perate lives the author might've By Mltrld Mallets
You needn't be a longtime grim going. There are tales of lived. But why give a shadowy Oxford University Prees.($7.95)
fan, either. Hilburn’s book perversion, of cold eroticism, of autobiography when the real
doesn’t presume that readers ravaging alcoholism, and hardly thing could be much more pow- Wilfrid Mellers is a professor
are intimately knowledgeable a plot to hang it all on. The sto- erful? of music at York University who
about the Boss. Instead, the ries and vignettes pile up like In the end, the book is cur- has written on Bach and Beetho-
book traces his rise from a work-
ing-class childhood in Freehold,
N.J., to his current superstar
status in simple, passionate
prose that never tries to wow or
revel in the obscure and trivial.
For the fanatics who've fol-
lowed Springsteen's career on
vinyl and in the press, .
“Springsteen" may provide no ‘ ._ 2 V » , .~ t-s
revelations. But the book still of- -' | :5 .: ‘ « fl é ' ; :
fers treats — especially in the
interviews, done over the period
of a decade. A combination of
sharp insights into the music,
the artist and the cultural con-
text he worked in makes this no
mere kaffeklatsch item.
And the photographs — near-
ly 200 of them, many which nev-
er have appeared before — are
So sit back and let the glory
days roll on by.
By Pete Townshend
Houghton Mifﬂin. ($1 2.95).
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By 5 P.M. Tuesday,
Remember Pete Townshend,
the great rock ’n’ roll guitarist
who bellowed “Hope I die before
I get old” ? ,
Well, he hasn’t died yet, and '
he still plays rock ’n’ roll. But
what does a former hell-raising
rock musician with a bent for
the profound do when he hits
Write fiction, of course.
But don’t expect this to be
anything like a riotous Who con-
cert. “Horse’s Neck,” Towns-
hend’s first collection of fiction,
has more in common with T. S.
Eliot than J ohnny B. Goode.
Strung together autobiogra-
phical stories with a recurrent
theme tell us of a confused and