It was the age when heavy-footed, humorless dinosaurs roamed the hard-rock landscape. But that all changed when into these dazed and confused mid-'70s strut-ted four flamboyant bands that reveled in revved-up anthems and flaunted a novel theatricality. In They Just Seem a Little Weird, veteran entertainment journalist Doug Brod offers an eye- and ear-opening look at a crucial moment in music history, when rock became fun again and a gig became a show. This is the story of friends and frenemies who rose, fell, and soared once more, often sharing stages, studios, producers, engineers, managers, agents, roadies, and fans-and who are still collaborating more than forty years on.
Brod parlays his experience as a onetime editor-in-chief of Spin magazine into a rollicking biography of three of the most successful bands of the late 1970s ... Beyond the basic band origin stories, Brod highlights the influences, coincidences, connections, and directions of these proto-metal rock pioneers and those around them. He knows whom to ask and what to tell. He is an enthusiastic guide, and fans—and anyone interested in true tales of rock and rock excess—will love this.
Brod gives readers a bird’s-eye view of life in a rock bubble and reminds us that, while being a rock star at 16 might have seemed like the coolest of the cool, the dwindling audiences, drugs, and other destructive distractions faced by these bands prove that reality didn’t always equal the fantasy.
More information about the infrastructure of the music industry would better contextualize the story, and Brod delves further into the bands’ compromised late-period discographies than casual fans will care about. But their shifting fortunes are a reminder of their mix of talent and dumb luck: They all could have been Starz. A fun, compassionate history of arena rock’s finest hour—and the less-fine hours that followed.