This is the time of year I catch up on music journalism and associated listening. I have several books at my disposal that are raising my music consciousness
One such read is an authoritative and extensively well researched book by Will Hermes, entitled Love Goes To Buildings On Fire. My son, Matthew, gave it to me as a Christmas present this year. Matthew and I have an inherent music connection that we actively share. I am proud of what he has accomplished with his skills in graphics design and music production.
I had browsed the two New York Times articles about Love Goes To Buildings On Fire, 1) “Books of the Times: When Dreamers Were Breaking The Music Apart” by David Gates and 2) “The CBGB Effect” by Gerald Marzorati earlier in the month. I had made a note to reconnoiter with this book in the music aisle of Barnes & Noble. Thankfully my son picked up on that interest and took the step for me.
I am not far along enough in the book to divulge how pivotal these five years of music evolution in New York City have been.The premise of the book as the cover art wildly articulates is that New York is an entertainment petri dish that cultures music genres with great aplomb. The era from 1973 to 1977 flourished music in fervent splendor.
I recall and relate to this era of music with my music industry past.
I was senior at the University of New Haven in 1973. I had an afternoon radio show that I did on WNHU-FM 88.7, West Haven, Ct. My goal when I graduated in 1974 was to work in artist and repertoire (A&R) for a record company. I sent my résumé to every record company in New York City. 1974 was a recessionary time. I received 23 rejection letters from each record company. I never did get to realize that dream.
I also recall it was a time that I would hop the Conrail train to New York City and go record shopping for hours on end. I would visit the East Village, Greenwich Village and the Park Row (J&R Music World) record haunts. I would come home with bags of loot that contained specialty EPs and vinyl LPs by such artists as The Talking Heads, Television, and The Patti Smith Group.
I plan to write more about Will Hermes book when I have completed reading it. I look forward to more revelations and flashbacks to follow.
My one regret with the hard copy edition of this book is that I can’t hyperlink to the citations as I would like to do. It slows down my reading to cross-reference the references.