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Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap Stories (edition 2012)

by Randy Bachman

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3016367,255 (3.74)3
Member:ZoharLaor
Title:Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap Stories
Authors:Randy Bachman
Info:Pintail (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Randy Bachman's vinyl tap stories by Randy Bachman

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A really enjoyable book of tales from Randy Bachman about his upbringing in Canada as well as his career in music and a whole lot of other topics like guitars, radio, travel on the road, et al. I enjoy re-reading this book from time to time. ( )
  Beukeboom | Dec 3, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Great book for the musician in all of us. Bachman writes as if he is sitting on the dock with you having a beer and telling his stories. I would have liked to read more about his record collection and his radio show. ( )
  jeffsdfw | Jun 23, 2013 |
Randy Bachman’s musical life started way back in his childhood, with violin lessons from the age of five. That was in the 1940s, and by the ’50s Randy had discovered another stringed instrument, the guitar – in particular the rock’n'roll guitar – and his future was set. Blessed with a hear-it-once-and-play-it mind – Randy calls it his “phonographic memory” – Randy forged ahead single-mindedly absorbing every new lick and chord and riff, and hanging out with the rest of the young wannabees in Winnipeg’s surprisingly fertile breeding ground for the rockers of the next few decades.

Teenage garage bands evolved and moved on, and the young musicians traded high school gyms for recording studios, doggedly saving their money to produce demos and singles and eventually albums, and one day, not too far into his musical journey, Randy found himself playing among the greats. Having converted to Mormonism when wooing his first wife, Randy was that rare figure: a rocker who embraced the third element of the stereotypical sex, drugs and rock’n'roll lifestyle while remaining a sober observer of the excesses of his compatriots in the first two departments. Perhaps that’s why his memory is so darned good?

And it – his memory – is amazing. The guy is a fount of trivial detail and anecdotes galore. To listen to him chatting away on Vinyl Tap, picking on his guitar to illustrate the details of what chord so-and-so played on his/her greatest hit/forgotten classic is mesmerizing. The guy is a literal sponge. He’s soaked up everything he’s ever heard or seen, music-wise. I repeat – amazing.

This book is a collection of Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap radio show monologues, expanded and cross referenced and generally polished up, with playlists of referenced songs at each chapter end, apparently available as collections on iTunes. (I haven’t checked this out personally, but I read that somewhere in the book end notes. It’s not prominently mentioned – a point in favour, in my opinion.) Another cool feature is the themed lists of songs at the end of the book, reflecting the themed Vinyl Tap shows where the featured “common thing” among diverse songs highlighted by Randy may be, say, cowbells, or songs for your funeral – how about “I Shall Be Released” by The Band, or “Wasn’t That a Party?” by the Irish Rovers, or “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen, among all the sad and sobby tearjerkers also listed - or food songs (“Catfish Blues”, “Cheeseburger in Paradise”, “I Want Candy”.) Sometimes a little bit silly, but a whole lot of fun.

Speaking of food, Randy shares some deep down and personal stuff here as well, like how his own appetite led him to the point where he weighed almost 400 pounds a few years ago, and his resolve to turn his life around. He opted for gastric bypass surgery, and it appears to have done wonders for him; he’s downright svelte in his later photos.

All in all, an interesting book for a Randy Bachman fan or a guitar aficionado – the guy’s a guitar monomaniac too, and there is a long, super-detailed chapter on rock guitars and their ins and outs and how to get various details of sound which, though fascinating in an “I’ll never use this information but it’s cool to see someone so passionate about it” way is something that was mostly lost on me, as I suspect it would be on most of us who aren’t aspiring rock band guitarists. ( )
  leavesandpages | Feb 21, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I really enjoyed this book. I especially enjoyed the song lists that the book contained. I really enjoy reading rock star biographies and this one did not disappoint. Liked the inside information on the rock life style. I enjoyed the stories behind the song lyrics. ( )
  sherylcalmes | Jan 10, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
For fans of Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap program, this book is a treasure. For the rest of us, it can be a bit of a chore to read. It isn't that the stories aren't compelling; they are. It is just that the book reads as episodes of the program. As a result, something mentioned in the story from chapter 1 will be repeated in chapter 4, and then again in chapter 8. It isn't that the author doesn't think we can remember; it is that he is addressing his radio audience anew in each chapter. Since people could be turning into the radio station that have never listened before, background needs to be set up each time.
I did enjoy the stories, once I got past the redundancies. I was a bit bored with the minutia in the guitar chapters. My husband is a guitar nut, so he was thrilled. It all depends on perspective, after all. ( )
  TheBoltChick | Dec 27, 2012 |
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Collects stories and anecdotes from the life of the rock musician, including lists of his favorite one-hit wonders and novelty songs.

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