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Book Review: 'The Boy Who Cried Freebird: Rock And Roll Fables And Sonic Storytelling'
Author: Mitch Myers
By Mike Pursley, Garage Radio
(more articles from this author)
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Author: Mitch Myers
Title: “The Boy Who Cried Freebird: Rock and Roll Fables and Sonic Storytelling”
Hardcover + Audiobook
Genre: Music Short Stories
Publisher: HarperEntertainment
Details: ISBN-13: 978-0061139017

You ever wonder who that guy yelling “Freebird” at shows really is? Evidently he’s literary device Adam Coil, a recurring character in Mitch Myers’ exciting, audiophile-friendly new book, “The Boy Who Cried Freebird: Rock and Roll Fables And Sonic Storytelling.”

Mitch, who is best known for his music journalism and contributions to NPR’s "All Things Considered," as well his role as steward of the Shel Silverstein archive in Chicago, blends fiction and truth to tell tales of some of modern music’s most fascinating participants.

Freebird is quite a kaleidoscopic ride, as Mitch jumps from fables, gags, history, criticism, murder mysteries, straight reporting, and speculation. Throughout the forty plus chapters Mitch is able to change on a dime from humor to expository discourses while maintaining his voice as a writer.

“The Boy Who Cried Freebird” collects many of Myers’ pieces that have appeared elsewhere, which contributes to the great variety in style. Many chapters have previously appeared in other media such as the magazines Smug Magazine, Magnet Magazine, Harp Magazine, and also in various album liner notes. Several pieces originated on the radio program "All Things Considered" as well.

This work may be subtitled Rock And Roll Fables And Sonic Storytelling, but rock and roll is only one musical facet represented here. Acoustic Blues, Noise, Jazz, Free Jazz, and Electronic Music all get some pages. Musicians ranging from the popular (Sabbath, Zappa, Grateful Dead) to cult favorites (Harry Smith, Johnny Thunders, Captain Beefheart) to the completely obscure (Gong, Terry Riley, Varese) are featured.

A few of the shorter fictional pieces feel a bit like filler, but overall “The Boy Who Cried Freebird” is entertaining and informative. After reading, I now have a few new (to me) albums and artists to check out, and what could be better than that? In one essay Myers proudly proclaims, “ROCK GEEKS ARE FINALLY COOL!” I’m down with that, and any other constantly curious music fan will be down with this collection.

For more information and to contact the author, click on the author’s name at the top of the page.

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