... reading Gruen’s memoir, I got the impression that it takes a certain type to rise to the top in that profession ... [But] on the page, at least, Gruen comes across as amply, abundantly, massively, unfathomably and titanically bland ... In the end, though, it’s Gruen’s innocuous character that gives his career a charge and this book its charm ... This is really a coffee-table book pretending not to be one. The writing is tepid, the pictures priceless.
While much of Gruen’s narrative, which is sometimes laid-back enough to be soporific, seems an exercise in name-dropping, there are a number of takeaways for aspiring rock chroniclers. Better yet, there’s a constant sense of awe that he’s walked among gods and goddesses for so long ... It’s not Lester Bangs or Greil Marcus, but rock-history buffs will enjoy Gruen’s reminiscences.
Gruen chronicles his adventures as one of the preeminent photographers of rock and roll in his spectacular memoir ... His tales of far-ranging assignments, ecstatic concerts, and wild times with famous folk make for a roller-coaster narrative ... Gruen’s (mostly) open, matter-of-fact telling brings readers in beside him, from rooftops to club back rooms. Brimming with singular period photographs and incredible personalities, Gruen’s story is a must-read for any rock and roll fan.