Tuesday, July 12, 2005

It's Too Late To Rewrite Now

One of the failures of Runaway American Dream is that I didn't reread Jon Landau's It's Too Late To Stop Now before I set pen to paper or fingers to keyboard or whatever it is I did. If I had Landau's collection of late-'60s/early-'70s essays fresh in my mind, I would have been able to explore how the records he has made with Springsteen have taken some of his theories and feelings about rock'n'roll and put them into practice. I will attempt to do so on this page in the entries to come.

What I do want to indicate now is how wonderful the book is. (The Straight Arrow hardcover is long out of print, but it's easily available at reasonable prices via the usual online sources.) He combines personal and aesthetic judgments with ease and style, and what comes through most loud and clear is the guy's ambition. In the best of these essays (particularly the one that gives the collection a title and "Confessions of an Aging Rock Critic"), he attempts to take everything he knows and share it with it through the prism of the rock'n'roll he loves and understands deeply. Music fans should be grateful he switched jobs in 1975 and we're lucky to have him as a practicioner -- but his voice as an observer with authority and wit is greatly missed.

(differing opinion, c/o Robert Christgau)