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Primus, Over the Electric Grapevine: Insight into Primus and the World of Les Claypool Hardcover – September 16, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Akashic Books (September 16, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161775322X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1617753220
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

"Tommy the Cat." "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver." "My Name Is Mud." Yessiree, Primus is responsible for some of the most cutting edge and original rock music of the 1990s. Although originally formed in 1984, it was not until shortly before the end of the decade that the classic Primus lineup featuring Les Claypool (bass/vocals), Larry LaLonde (guitar), and Tim Alexander (drums) was solidified. With most hard rock/heavy metal acts at the time either neatly falling into either "thrash" or "glam" categories, Primus joined a variety of underground bands that refused to be pigeonholed (and by the early '90s, had fully infiltrated the mainstream)--merging metal, funk, alternative, punk, country, roots rock, and experimental music, along with Claypool's penchant for witty and often humorous storytelling lyrics. Building a large and loyal following first in and around San Francisco (before eventually, going global), Primus kicked things off with a string of releases that are now considered classic alt-rock titles: Suck on This, Frizzle Fry, Sailing the Seas of Cheese, Pork Soda, and Tales from the Punchbowl. Along the way, Primus toured with some of rock’s biggest names (Jane's Addiction, Public Enemy, Rush, U2, etc.), headlined the third Lollapalooza Festival, and issued a variety of crafty music videos, which stood out in sharp contrast to the ultra seriousness of most other video clips at the time. Primus, with Greg Prato, is the coauthor of Primus, Over the Electric Grapevine: Insight into Primus and the World of Les Claypool.

Greg Prato is a Long Island–based music journalist, whose writing has appeared in Rolling Stone. He is the author of numerous books, including A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon, Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music, and MTV Ruled the World: The Early Years of Music Video. He is the coauthor, with Primus, of Primus, Over the Electric Grapevine: Insight into Primus and the World of Les Claypool.

More About the Author

Greg Prato is a Long Island, New York-based journalist, whose writing has appeared in such renowned publications as Rolling Stone, All Music Guide, and Classic Rock Magazine. He is the author of several popular books:

MUSIC:
'A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon'
'Touched by Magic: The Tommy Bolin Story'
'Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music'
'No Schlock . . . Just Rock!'
'The Eric Carr Story'
'MTV Ruled the World: The Early Years of Music Video'
'Too High to Die: Meet the Meat Puppets'
'The Faith No More & Mr. Bungle Companion'
'Overlooked/Underappreciated: 354 Recordings That Demand Your Attention'

SPORTS:
'Sack Exchange: The Definitive Oral History of the 1980s New York Jets'
'Dynasty: The Oral History of the New York Islanders, 1972-1984'
'Just Out of Reach: The 1980s New York Yankees'

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Harvey Birdman on September 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book just arrived and I can't put it down. The definitive story of Primus told by the people who lived it. Essential reading for any fan of this amazing band.

"Over the Electric Grapevine" is written in the "oral history" format that is all the rage these days, and it is organized well so the story flows chronologically. Starting with Les in high school (with Kirk Hammett), the book takes us (almost) all the way to the present.

Great stories about the making of the albums, the ideas behind some of the songs, and the hi-jinks of touring. Sprinkled in are the observations of some of their peers and tour-/festival-mates, most of them fawning in admiration at the talent and influence of Messrs. Claypool, LaLonde, and Herb/Brain.

It includes a small section of pictures, a lot of which I had never seen before. This is an outstanding book that was put together with a lot of care.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an "oral history" so it is both out of order and inaccurate. Everyone is overly nice in their opinions and no one wants to tell stories that get other people into trouble, that just leaves the music right? Well, this book doesn't get into technical things about playing either. There are explanations for things like who is Bob Cock and a not very clear account of why the drummers keep leaving. What starts off as a good read slowly devolves into lots of people talking for pages about how wonderful Les is as a musician and a person. Literally the last 30 pages. It also ends with Herb being out of the band and a project in the works, this could presumably be the Chocolate Factory (lots of song rights to get ok'ed) but Herb was definitely out of the band and in a better place in his life and magically he's back in the band doing the Chocolate Factory! I wasn't looking for finality in a book about a band that is still active but this type of thing happens all throughout the book with little or no explanation so I shouldn't be too surprised.
This book did keep my attention and send me running to youtube quite a few times, which makes me think it could have been better handled as a filmed documentary with clips of the show and bands that are being discussed.
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By brokendrum85 on September 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
awesome book. tons of information and praise for claypool and primus.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By storyteller on September 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I was surprised that I enjoyed reading this book as it certainly was not my cup of tea. But the stories of Primus band members written in oral history style, were interesting, eye-opening and enjoyable. This book inspired me to learn more about this style of music. Enjoyable to read.
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