other than Francis Chan who is still kicking my butt, is an interesting take on Metal in the 80’s called Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odessey in Rural North Dakota by Chuck Klosterman.
i had read some reviews of this book and when i saw it at the library i thought…why not? so i picked it up.
now i definitely don’t have the same music tastes at Klosterman. he and i are roughly the same age, he loves Motley Crue and Poison while i leaned more toward The Police, the Cure, and Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper. i have to admit that i did have some of the albums he mentions and we both would be remiss to part with our recordings of Appetite for Destruction, in fact the one thing i can agree with him on is that Guns & Roses might be the best metal/rock group to come out of the hard partying 80’s.
Klosterman is a great writer. his depiction of rural America and the music that he loved and still loves is right up my alley. i grew up in small towns all over TX and i never felt as if i fit in. while all my classmates were wearing boots and Wranglers, i wore 501’s and Converse All Stars. They loved George Strait, i loved Dire Straits. it wasn’t until i went to college and the “big city” of Lubbock that i began to be around people who were more like me. Klosterman even has a term to describe this phenomenon…”redneck intellectual”. i would never claim to be a redneck, but he says that describes a person meant for the city who still has some small town sensibility.
if you like well written memoirs, then this is a good book. if you are offended by language, drug talk and the mention of commercial driven “Satan worship”, then this is probably not for you. he does make great arguments that everything that metal was and is, was driven by the labels and what the fans expected. i can say i relate to Klosterman and not just because we have the same first name. i don’t have his penchant for being drunk in public, but you can read about that in the book.
so it was a fun read, not too intellectually taxing and if you “don’t need nothing, but a good time” it’s worth your while.