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BORN TO ROCK: Interviews and Essays
(Gorsky Press) by Todd Taylor. Gorsky Press. 319 pages. Having been a huge part of Flipside fanzine for a number of years and co-founding Razorcake zine, Todd Taylor has conducted many interviews and penned numerous essays/columns. Born to Rock is a collection of fourteen interviews and three essays. Most of the interviews are with punk bands or known punkers; NOFX, Dillinger Four, Smogtown, Duane Peters of U.S. Bombs, Fletcher Dragge of Pennywise, Rev. Norb, etc. Also interviewed: Maximum Rock-n-Roll’s Tim Yohanan (RIP), Artists Stan Winston and Mike Diana (only artist to be convicted of obscenity in the US for his drawings), and Andrew Vachss, who is an anti child abuse advocate.
In this fine collection, the essays are the main draw here, to me anyway. Todd’s opening essay, which gives you a quick but poignant snapshot of his life and how he arrived to where he is today, is as inspirational as it is gripping. To be honest, because I really do not care about any of those interviewed, I didn’t read any of the interviews with the bands/musicians. However, I did read the interviews with the remaining four non-musician individuals and was rightly impressed with how Todd conducted them. Therefore, I trust, the other interviews are most likely well conducted. Best part about Taylor’s writing and interviewing is that he is able to successfully bounce around the emotions (sad, funny, happy, anger- you know, the feelings that enable you to live an unboring and unpathetic life. Ok, there are a few of you soulless chaps and chappettes out there who may not understand this). If you’re interested in interviewing bands, Todd’s “On Interviewing” is a must read. It’ll save you from asking stupid questions and making yourself look like a moron, you dummy. The only thing that could have made this book a touch better is if there were more essays. I truly enjoyed those and encourage Todd to write more of them (like he’s going to listen to me). OK, you’re now free to visit the Gorsky Press website. – Denis Sheehan



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