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Another Little Piece of My Heart: My Life of…

Another Little Piece of My Heart: My Life of Rock and Revolution in the…

by Richard Goldstein

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Life and coming-of-age in the 60's by one of the earliest rock critics ( )
  NoTalentHack | Nov 19, 2016 |
In 1966, twenty-two year old Goldstein walked into the Village Voice and invented the job he wanted: rock critic. During his time doing this, he had some amazing adventures and met a lot of the great rock innovators. He became friends with Janis Joplin, was a passenger in a car driven by a completely stoned Dennis Wilson (who at one point in the trip said “Whoa! The road is doing these weird things.”), and had the Velvet Underground play at his wedding. But in this time of social upheaval, music came to seem less important than politics and protests. His beat changed to protests, he became friends with Abbie Hoffman, and hung with the Black Panthers. Later he became a chronicler of pop culture, and then a worker for gay rights.

The book really only spans a few years, but so much happened during that time- the core of the hippie subculture came and went. Music went from being all about the music to selling out to commercial interests. The drug scene went from happy, smiling potheads to bikers selling the hard, injectable stuff. The innocence was lost.

The book is a personal memoir, but Goldstein’s life is inextricably meshed with so much of the history of the time that you cannot tease them apart. He changed as the times did.

I loved reading this book; I was born in 1954 so I was too young to appreciate much of what was happening in the world even though I was aware of it. This was a nice trip back through time, viewed through a critical eye. ( )
  lauriebrown54 | Jun 21, 2015 |
Another Little Piece of My Heart by Richard Goldstein is the second memoir in recent months by a pioneer of rock criticism. Goldstein, a nerdy, smart Jewish boy who grew up in a working-class family in the Bronx, looked to Manhattan, specifically Greenwich Village, as the "locus of a better life", the place to be with like-minded peers, to hear music, to be saved and to be" less alone'. Involved in the Civil Rights Movement, which further alienated him from his family and community, Goldstein went to the graduate program at Columbia University's School of Journalism. It is here that he fell in love with reporting and New Journalism and after graduation Goldstein convinced the Village Voice to give him a beat as their first rock critic. His astute and passionate portrayals of rising rock stars (especially of Janis Joplin) and insights into the developing rock scene allowed him access in New York, San Francisco and wherever he pleased. He writes fervidly of his own growth and development as a writer, critic and political person in the tumultuous 60's. As Goldstein states when describing his reason for being so effective, "it was my passion about the music and what it meant to me....it was about the longing and the craving, the need to possess and adore...I tried to evoke the mythic dimension." For me the heart of the memoir lay in his disillusionment when he saw how quickly rock music became capitalized, commercialized and part of consumer culture and his own role in it. Goldstein sees the impact that the "hype" has on musicians and critics alike and decides that rock music was "no longer a revolutionary force" by 1968. What I admire is his refusal to minimize his despair and the impact that the losses of the era had on him. This spoke to me as a person who is engaged in making political change and the sorrow this brings. It is authentic and real as is this memoir.

I thank NetGalley for giving me this opportunity to review this book. ( )
  Karen59 | Mar 1, 2015 |
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"In 1966, at the ripe age of 22, Richard Goldstein approached The Village Voice with a novel idea. "I want to be a rock critic," he said. "What's that?" the editor replied. It was a logical question, since rock criticism didn't yet exist. In the weekly column he would produce for the Voice, Goldstein became the first person to write regularly in a major publication about the music that changed our lives. He believed deeply in the power of rock, and, long before it was acceptable, he championed the idea that this music was a serious art form. From his unique position in journalism, he saw the full arc of events that shaped culture and politics in the 1960s--and participated in them, too. He toured with Janis Joplin, spent a day at the Grateful Dead house in San Francisco, and dropped acid with Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys. He was present for Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, the student uprising at Columbia, and the riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention. He was challenged to a boxing match by Norman Mailer, and took Susan Sontag to her first disco. Goldstein developed close relationships with several rock legends--Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison, to name two--and their early deaths came as a wrenching shock, fueling his disillusionment as he watched the music he loved rapidly evolve from a communal rite to a vast industry--and the sense of hope for radical social upheaval fade away. Another Little Piece of My Heart is the intimate memoir of the writer as a young man with profound ambition. It is also a sweeping personal account of a decade that no one else could provide--a deeply moving, unparalleled document of rock and revolution in America"--… (more)

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