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A Whore Just Like The Rest: The Music Writings Of Richard Meltzer Paperback – May 1, 2000


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A Whore Just Like The Rest: The Music Writings Of Richard Meltzer + The Aesthetics Of Rock (Da Capo Paperback) + Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung: The Work of a Legendary Critic: Rock'N'Roll as Literature and Literature as Rock 'N'Roll
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 591 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; First Edition edition (May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306809532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306809538
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,325,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This book is akin to that best-of episode of your favorite sitcom that strings together the juiciest punch lines of seasons past. Unlike most sitcom one-liners, Metzler's could actually knock you out. This trip down memory lane, via the author's past writing clips with updated introductions, provides an uncensored insider's view into the formative years of the contemporary rock scene. Overall, however, the history takes a backseat to Metzler's groundbreaking writing. His early album and concert reviews set the stage for countless copycat critics eager to steal Metzler's flare. (They're still trying.) Much like The Nick Tosches Reader (LJ 4/15/00), also published by Da Capo, this work is a chronicle of creative critique writing. Essential for anyone entertaining thoughts of a writing career, this is recommended for all academic and larger public libraries with an extensive music catalog.DRobert Morast, Pro Rodeo Sports News, Colorado Springs
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"...thought-provoking, funny and genuinely original...one of the most life-affirming books you may ever encounter." -- New York Press, May 31 - June 6, 2000

"A Whore Just Like the Rest drags the unbathed early days of rock criticism into the spit-polished present, kicking and screaming and threatening to knock the hair gel off your head." -- RollingStone.com-April 26, 2000

"A must read...Find a comfortable place to sit while reading, because this book'll knock you on your ass." -- Shout Magazine, April 2000

"Essential reading for anyone entertaining thoughts of a writing career." -- Library Journal, June 15, 2000

"Meltzer is a stylish and substantive writer - provocative and incisive." -- Boston Globe, May 10, 2000

"Meltzer, the Yale-educated smartass whose jivey patois could not conceal his intellectual heft...has written for Rolling Stone, Creem, Spin, and many others. A sampling of his prodigious output is found in A Whore Just Like the Rest." -- Detour, April 2000

"essential to anyone interested in the genesis of writing on rock." -- Billboard, May 6, 2000

Looking for madcap invention, unabashed honesty, gleeful shamelessness? Meltzer's your man, and Whore's your book. -- Entertainment Weekly, Tom Sinclair

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Douglas J. Bassett on July 30, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Joe Carducci and Byron Coley are better interpreters of rock music. Lester Bangs was certainly a better writer. If you're looking for good rock writing/good rock interpretation you're not going to find it here, Blue Oyster Cult lyrics or no BOC lyrics.
Meltzer's consistently ambivalent position about what he was doing, married to some rather bogus notions about what rock music actually is (I suspect he's the prime founder of the "rock music is attitude" school) make the first half of the book incredibly annoying, as well as a real chore to get through. Meltzer seemed to interpret rock writing as basically license to get away with as much as possible -- as such you can't rely on his work for anything except a glimpse into his skull. I find it amusing that he consistently cracks on Robert Christgau -- I'm no fan of Christgau's myself, but strip away the stylistic quirks and the two men have much in common (both men are former "angry young rebels" who've become crusty old fuddy-duddys; both men are more interested in the surfaces being presented than the music beneath them; both men have ultimately very conventional outlooks lurking underneath the bohemianism).
I'm giving this three stars, though. For one thing, Meltzer's pieces have become legendary, and it's damn nice to have such a representative selection available. For another, Meltzer did improve as a writer, and the second half of the book is far superior to the first. Meltzer is quite interesting on jazz music -- I would have liked to have seen more of that sort of thing. (I remember he published some jazz reviews in Forced Exposure.)
Final verdict? If you're "hip" enough to know who Richard Meltzer is, you'll probably want this volume. There are good things to be found here, just less than I'd hoped.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By wordnat on March 10, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well, here's something new: a music critic who doesn't like music -- kind of makes me want to go to this year's National Embroidery Festival and write 50,000 words on it just for kicks. In truth, Meltzer's a lightweight bore. I'm sure in 1966 (or whenever he started writing about rock music, I forget exactly when it was and the thought of flipping back through this lame, vindictive volume again to check my facts fills me with dread) his stuff was "interesting" -- maybe even "shocking" -- but now it all sounds dated, disingenuous, and dumb. (Hey! That last line, with all the alliteration, was pretty good -- maybe I'll send it into CREEM magazine.....naw, Christgau will hate it.)
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mark Nettesheim on February 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
When my sister asked me for Christmas gift ideas a little more than a year ago, she mentioned possibly getting me a couple of grammar and style books to befit the Journalism degree that I was about to receive, as well as my own still-budding -- "stillborn" -- future as a writer. I thought about it long enough to realize that this book here, even based on the title alone, probably reflected journalism and writing much more realistically than anything that Strunk & White had to say going on a century ago, so I suggested it to her. Well, she got it for me off here, but it still came bundled with those damn grammar books, which made for an odd pairing, indeed, to say the least.

For one thing, "A Whore Just Like the Rest" doesn't really flout the rules of standard English as much as it simply NEGATES them altogether -- as the product of some hotter, looser realm. It pretty much does that with standard rock criticism, too. The only differences are that, by his own admission, Richard Meltzer practically gave birth to that beast and regularly produced his share of bastard offspring with it. In contrast, many of those who've followed his path -- "all the way to the bank," as it were -- probably still can't acknowledge that Bastardization was only the first milepost that they faced.

That is to say, Richard Meltzer is probably one rock critic you'll never see as a talking head on VH1. (Hell, how many OTHER Baby Boomers do you know who were more shaken by Darby Crash's death than by John Lennon's?
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Eyeball Jackson on April 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
OK, so this book is not for everybody. In fact, it's not for me, and it's certainly not for you! All of the articles in this anthology were written for no one but Dick Meltzer. The rock reviews won't help you decide on your next album purchase in the slightest (there may be more pages devoted to pro wrestling than to music), and the "autobiographical" bits don't make Dick sound like the kind of guy you'd like to meet, or even an interesting person. And yes, no matter what Dick says, Lester Bangs was a better writer (better than Keroac, too).
But you shouldn't let any of that stop you from reading this. It's better than Dick's lame "Aesthetics of Rock" and it makes "Gulcher" unneccessary. Yes, you need to know the skinny on Dick's Beef with the Blue Oyster Cult. Yes, you need to know how little he remembers from his college philosophy courses. Why would you want to read a book of articles that you agree with?
This is stimulating, if petulant, material that you'll want to read from cover to cover, especially if you keep it in the john like I did. I don't think Dick would mind my saying that.
Rock and read on!
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