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One man's trash is another man's garbage
on April 4, 2013
345 pages of shrieking, straight-jacketed lunacy, just a gorgeous horror theme sure to make you wake up in the middle of the night after reading it, half-sure that there is something spitting and growling, planning to jump you from under the bed as soon as your eyes close in the dark. It's had that effect on me each time I've re-read it. This is Bob Larson's sedate 1980s' BOOK OF ROCK, were it written by Stephen King on uppers, screaming at his typewriter. A masterful work of seething paranoia.
Chapter 2 opens with a bang: The essence of a hellish arena rock concert. Godwin beautifully captures the press of flesh, the claustrophobia, "the mind boggling mess of vomit, blood, urine, discarded clothing, broken glass, cigarette butts and joint 'roaches,' empty food and drink containers, and hundreds of liquor bottles." (p. 33--hmmm, reminds me of my dorm days on weekends....)
Beginning Chapter 3, "Demons in the House," running through Chapter 10, "Punks, Peace and Politics," Godwin runs the formulaic laundry list (a la Bob Larson's BOOK OF ROCK and the various Dan/Steve Peters' books) of rock acts: Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Motley Crue, Ozzy Osborne, Black Sabbath, Doors, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Rolling Stones, rounding up all the usual suspects of nubie-oriented boys' bands, but Godwin invests his examples with far more colorful invectives than more sedate authors like Larson, Peters Bros., Jacob Aranza--"Punk Rock is music made to worship death." (P. 242) Chapter 11, "Rocking For Jesus," takes a shot at Stryper, centered on the still on-going argument against THE BEAT. The balance of the book thereafter is a call to purge the rock influence, which is, again, a Godwin take on the formula with other period anti-rock juvenile writers.
The best part of the book, however, is Appendix A, as by "Elaine" (pp. 342 - 345), who states that she personally "attended special ceremonies at various recording studios...for the purpose of placing satanic blessings on the Rock music recorded. ...Placed demons on EVERY record and tape of rock music that was sold."
Godwin claims to have been a rock music addict and hauled his band's PA system in his van, but like Michael K. Haynes (THE GOD OF ROCK, c. 1982), Bob Larson, and other motivational writers/speakers of this genre, he doesn't provide any verifiable documentation to support that he was a working musician.