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Nick Kent - 'Apathy For The Devil - A 1970s Memoir' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/a7/d1/07/Nick-Kent-Apathy-For-The-Devil-A-1970s-Memoir-Rocktopia-Book-Review-44-1390247566.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 20, 2014    
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A light read aimed at those who are interested in the history of rock journalism.

Published by: Faber

The subtitle for Nick Kent's second book that follows his highly acclaimed collection of rock journalism 'The Dark Stuff' is 'A 1970s Memoir'. It was during the 1970s when Nick Kent worked for the NME as one of their star writers alongside the likes of Charles Shaar Murray and Ian MacDonald. He writes candidly about his failed relationship with Chrissie Hynde who would go on to have a very successful career as the frontwoman of The Pretenders, and his digs at fellow NME scribes Tony Parsons and Julie Burchill (who panned this book in The Guardian, unsurprisingly) are quite funny if seemingly bitter.

Many of his peers would actually go on to have careers that would surpass Kent's and bring them incredible wealth and/or fame. There are lots of rock clichés and his assessments of Queen, Sweet, Allman Brothers Band and Jethro Tull are certainly not aligned with mine. For a writer whose articles are hailed as some of the best of British rock journalism and having been awarded the NME's 'God-Like Genius' award the writing isn't actually that great. There are some lazy and awkward sentences and lots of bitter remarks about certain rock artists and writers that are not necessary. However, it's the stories that make this book succeed rather than the average writing style.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The 1970s was certainly a colourful period for Kent. He recounts his tales of befriending, interviewing and/or touring with Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Iggy Pop and David Bowie et al with entertaining detail. Kent was a junkie throughout much of the 1970s which forms the basis of the book and he continued his drug addled ways throughout the subsequent decade, which he recounts in a brief afterword before getting clean and starting a new life in Paris where he continues to live with his wife and son.

It's a light read aimed at those who are interested in the history of rock journalism and despite its short-comings it's a good rock memoir. (A better rock memoir, however, is Mick Wall's sadly out of print tome, 'Paranoid: Black Days With Sabbath And Other Rock Icons'.)

Neil Daniels

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