Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Before the Chop II: LA Weekly Articles 2013 - 2014 by Henry Rollins

(pb; 2015: nonfiction)

From the back cover:

"How do you sell a book like this? It's like offering someone gum that has previously been chewed. Almost all of the material in Before the Chop II  has been published in the LA Weekly. You can probably go online and find it at the best possible price. How dare the 'writer' go slouching towards the trough with the audacity to recycle mere 'content' and slap a price on it? It is a damn outrage is what is it is! The hubris is bristling, the nest feathering obvious and repellent, the self-delusion total. Self-absorbed, much? Running for Congress, perhaps?

". . . Well, maybe we could say that these are the pieces the way they were intended to be read? That all put together, make a handy resource for those who don't have time to read them as they stagger into existence every week. Yes!

"Let's go with that. These are the versions before they were sent to finishing school to be refined and taught to keep their eyes and ears open and their mouths shut. This is the raw and 'real' stuff, which also describes the artwork of a three year old. . ."


Review:

Like the first Before the Chop collection, the articles in this second volume read like tightly edited versions of Rollins' spoken word shows: blunt, provocative, smart, self-effacing, humorous and enthusiastic about stuff he likes (music, especially listening to vinyl; touring as often as possible; etc.).  Mixed in with Rollins' recollections - musical, personal and sometimes political - is a sense of upbeat wisdom regarding and stemming from restraint and knowing one's place in the world, which we share with others who disagree with us (as individuals).

This is an excellent read, one worth owning.

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