4.0 out of 5 stars Klosterman is highly readable
Author Chuck Klosterman loves the big hair bands of the 80's, so much in fact that he wrote this book partly as biography and partially to defend the genre that is referred to as "Heavy Metal". In the 1980's Rock'N'Roll was renamed/evolved into Heavy Metal, at least that's what a lot of people have been calling it since. It's often ridiculed; especially the Glam/Hair...
Published 15 months ago by Tommy Sixx Morais
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3.0 out of 5 stars small town bustout
As an '80's kid growing up in rural Indiana, there weren't a lot of ways to imagine the world outside. T.v. was stupid, the movie theater was forty minutes away, and even the local library wasn't all it was cracked up to be. My conduit for fantasies of a faster, more glamorous life was the radio.
It was the same for Mr. Klosterman, as told in Fargo Rock City. The...
Published on July 19 2004 by C M H
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4.0 out of 5 stars Chuck is a Rock God -- Honestly,
This review is from: Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota (Paperback)At first, I was a bit disappointed by the book and then I read the epilogue. Why wasn't it more of a memoir? Why was it filled with so much analysis? Then, I realized that isn't really the point of this wonderful book. Klosterman has made me a fan for life. What wins me over his unbashed honesty. I've long held that the lowest critic life form is that of rock critic. Klosterman calls them on their pretension. He hammers away at what I have always believed is that music is important if it touches you. My MP3 collection has Sinatra and Warrant. Who cares who is better, both form the soundtrack to important parts of my life. Klosterman tells some hilarious stories and his takes on music and life is so refereshingly honest that I can't stop smiling. He isn't mean or nasty--just tells it as he sees it. DOn't agree? That's ok. I learned more than I ever imagined about '80s heavy metal (some which I finally realized I liked about 10 years too late) and I suspect I would have gotten more out of the book if I had understood all the references, but I loved what I read anyway. Except for the passage where he compares the Gospels to GNR Lies, this book really does rock. Isn't that the most important thing?
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but includes a MAJOR error!,
This review is from: Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota (Paperback)This book is a fun keepsake on a good time in music. HOWEVER, in Chuck's description of Poison's video "Nothing But A Good Time", he is actually describing the video for "I Want Action"!!! It's hard to value Chuck's journalistic credibility with this major flub! If you read this, Chuck, I hope you'll acknowledge this grave mistake! Rock ON!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars I wanna rock!,
This review is from: Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota (Paperback)Yes, I'm digging out my old Twisted Sister tapes along with others after reading this book! I loved every minute of reading this review/memoir/rant. Being from the midwest, I identified perfectly with Chuck Klosterman. He writes in an honest style which I found refreshing. I felt like he used the perfect balance between a light-hearted approach to the subject as well as some great insights into the metal culture.
Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Chuck. My girlfriend hates you though, because she's hearing about the Crue, Priest, and Maiden - things probably better left forgotten. Only one complaint, nothing about Britney Fox (my personal favorite)!
Buy this book!
5.0 out of 5 stars Chuck's take on 80's Heavy Metal--Like goin' to the Shrink!,
This review is from: Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota (Paperback)Here's a really great book about 80's Heavy Metal that takes the subject beyond the usual clichÃ©s. Chuck writes it from his perspective growing up in a rural town where these rock maniacs where part of his upbringing and served as a way to break free from ordinary "boring" life. Chuck delivers his opinions straight-up on how he sees things--and lists tons of bands in the genre that sucks and why! Like he say's a lot of the music was crap, but (with a big but!) the stuff that didn't --were amazing! From GNR to Van Halen to MÃ¶tley Crue read about their importance for kids growing up--at least get the authors take on it and bring out those records and cassettes again!!!
4.0 out of 5 stars I Can Picture It Now...,
This review is from: Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota (Paperback)... A mixed bag of personal stories, album reviews, insights and random thoughts make this book an exciting read...This book will really hit home for your average Heavy Metal fan living in a ho-hum town; I know it did for me. And yes you can be a fan of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Slayer and still like Cinderella or (and this is funny) The Smiths. Who would have thunk it, sorry Chuck, I do. So do yourself a favor and read this entertaining book you'll reminisce about the good ol' days and maybe even stay in on a Friday night, turn on some Metal, and enjoy a "Chuck Klosterman" drink.
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and funny but flawed...,
By A Customer
This review is from: Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota (Paperback)This is a funny and interesting book, but I had some very strong differences of opinion with the author. What kind of person likes bands like Poison and Cinderella but thinks bands like Judas Priest/Iron Maiden/Slayer and old Metallica are not worth listening to? Very strange. I guess maybe North Dakota is as warped as I've heard. Anyway, this is a good little book for nostalgia purposes if nothing else. The "growing up" stories are pretty funny, and the author's take on all those Gun's & Roses videos featuring dolphins is dead on. This guy was right to be frightened of the crowd at a Slayer concert: they'd eat him alive.
3.0 out of 5 stars A reformed (?) metalhead looks back on 80s hair metal,
This review is from: Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota (Paperback)The author of Fargo Rock City is only a few years younger than me, and growing up in the 80s when all of my friends were into bands that touted big hair, tight spandex, makeup, and songs about girls, cars and partying, Klosterman's book was a fun flashback to those days. Images of high school keg parties where Motley Crue and Bon Jovi were the party tunes of choice began to flood my brain.
I must admit that other than an Iron Maiden cassette and Def Leppard's "Pyromania," I was not much of a metalhead and usually laughed at those bands' depiction of women and obsession with having the proper look and "attitude" over real musical originality. But again, growing up in the 80s, you couldn't avoid glam metal. It was everywhere, and the author of this book reminds you of its dominance of the charts.
Klosterman really doesn't go into much detail about life in rural North Dakota in the 80s. I think the book's title is misleading and may just be a cheap capitalization of the Coen Bros' film Fargo. The author also does not do a scientific or cultural critique of 80s metal, and that's OK with me. The book is more of a personal memoir of how 80s metal was played out in his adolescence - drinking, going out with friends, working lousy jobs, etc., and I laughed along with his typical teenage antics and interpretations of the whole metal scene - what girls liked which bands, heavy metal magazines, record shopping, etc.
I always wondered what these metalheads did after the depressing nihilism of grunge took over corporate rock in the early 90s. Metal took itself so seriously on the eve of "Smells like Teen Spirit," (think Yngwie J. Malmsteen) could it ever step back and see how silly it really was? As soon as grunge hit the commercial airwaves, hair metal fans went into hiding, denying their desires to copy the look of Rikki Rocket or Sebastian Bach.
Klostermann really waffles with this issue. Writing the book in 2000, he looks at 80s metal like the hipster music writer he now is. Back in 1987, he probably thought Husker Du was a Scandinavian dish served with Lutefisk at Christmastime and would have watched as his friends beat the living vinyl out of any nerdy indie record collector in school. In Fargo Rock City, the author gives the impression that he is older and wiser, and that 80s metal was just another example of his teenage impulsiveness and rash behavior. I sometimes doubted if any praise he gave 80s metal was genuine, and that he was one of the reformed metalheads who was embarrased of his musical tastes in the 80s and was coming clean with it in the present age.
Still, if you grew up in the 80s (or just like to read about a little-mentioned era in rock music), the book will bring you many laughs and some intelligent conversations among friends.
4.0 out of 5 stars 80's revisited!,
By A Customer
This review is from: Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota (Paperback)Oh my god this book takes me back. . . As a fan of 80's metal, I found myself saying . . . "YES! I REMEMBER THAT!" While the author's opinions somewhat differed from my own (he IS a rock critic), I thought that it was a good mix of nostalgia and criticism. The author also brings his own experience to the book that is just plain funny, and also a little bit of what we all went through. The end of the book gets a little bit depressing and pretty bitter. I could have done without the last 2 chapters.
2.0 out of 5 stars Read At Your Own Risk!!!,
This review is from: Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota (Paperback)I got this book as a gift from a friend who dubbed me the "last heavy metal hero"(ha ha)! Although I know his assumption is way off course, I do know my music, including my share of "metal". The author of this book, for the most part, seems to know his share of metal and music in general but pretty much, this book misses the mark. To start off, Chuck Klosterman contradicts himself bigtime and he spends so much time sarcastically ripping on most of the bands mentioned, that I find it hard to believe he calls himself a fan! Secondly, it appears that he is trying way too hard and this is something I really can't explain, even being a writer myself! It is just the vibe I got when I read this book. Lastly, his facts aren't totally correct! For example, right at the closing of the book, he tells of being at a show in 1996, where Jani Lane of Warrant, asks the crowd to please sit through some "new" songs off the DOG EAT DOG album and then they would play their well known hits. "Sorry Chuck but DOG EAT DOG was released in 1992, which means in 1996 those songs wouldn't be considered new...and DOG EAT DOG happens to be the best album Warrant ever recorded." It would have been the Warrant 96 album! Oh well, I guess it's true that there are just critics and then there are musicians who really "tune in" to music and listen in a different way! Who knows, maybe I am the last heavy metal hero but it's better than being nobody's hero at all!!!
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Pop-Culture Read!,
This review is from: Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota (Paperback)This is a great, easy to read book for anyone out there who grew up in the 80's and/or was/is into metal or hard rock. Brought back a lot of memories for me! Generally well written and engaging. I disagreed with some of his arguments about keyboards (hey, Dio used keyboards, and they were heavy!!) and i think he missed the significance of Operation:Mindcrime (which is eerily relevant today. check it out!!). Also, he didn't give enough credit to Iron Maiden, et al, in my opinion, but he obviously liked the Crue and Poison's more, so can't fault him there. I thought his excuses for some of the racism and sexism and homophobia in some of the 80's metal was a bit thin as well. All in all though, this is a great book, and it's fantastic that someone is thinking about this stuff seriously, and trying to give it some of the context and relevance it deserved. So, if you like heavy music, well worth your time. You won't be disappointed!
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Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota by Chuck Klosterman (Paperback - April 30 2001)
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