“Trouble in the Heartland,” in which I come clean about my love affair with Bruce Springsteen.
Tag Archives: review
The England-born, Long Beach-raised only child had deflected the ravages of puberty by teaching herself to play the leads of Jimi Hendrix, Ritchie Blackmore, Tony Iommi and Jimmy Page. As she tells it in her straight-talking, dirt-dishing memoir, “Living Like a Runaway,” neighbors used to visit her 1970s teen-girl version of a suburban man cave just to watch her shred.
My review of Lita Ford’s memoir Living Like a Runaway is in the Los Angeles Times today.
Chrissie Hynde’s memoir Reckless has been surrounded by controversy because of some boneheaded comments the rock icon made in an interview. Apparently, having the appropriate response to one’s experience of abuse is another one of those boxes women artists now have to check off correctly, while men can carry on doing the raping and pillaging — no questions asked. I found her book to be a story not about sexual violence as much as about the American dream turned sour, as I wrote for the Los Angeles Times.
Oral histories and punk r0ck go hand in hand. No scene lends itself better to this anti-hierarchical literary form than my little town of San Pedro, whose music scene has had a steadfastly populist vibe since before the Minutemen. Local artist Craig Ibarra documents Pedro punk of the ’70s and ’80s masterfully in A Wailing of a Town, a — you guessed it — oral history I reviewed for the Los Angeles Times.
Of course I love Lorde: She’s a feminist, she’s from New Zealand, and she makes great music. I reviewed her show at the Greek last night for LAMag.com
The website Curled Up With a Good Book says of Queens of Noise: The Real Story of the Runaways: “you need to read this.”
It still amazes me when reviewers completely get what I wanted to achieve with Queens of Noise. Fortunately for me, a lot of them do. The latest wonderful review of the book comes from Wayne Wise in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Spoiler alert: the ending follows.
“Ms. McDonnell cuts through the mythology and personal memories to find the larger story. She looks beyond the labels without losing their significance. The Runaways were exploited teenage girls. They were revolutionaries who changed history, strong women who followed their dreams.
They were vulnerable girls who were overwhelmed by sex, drugs and rock and roll. They were rock stars. They were, in their time, failures. They were all of these things. Ms. McDonnell is aware of the mythology that surrounds this band without ever losing sight of the real people involved. She gives them back their humanity while maintaining their status as legends.”