Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Recommended Reading - Our Band Could Be Your Life

What measures success? Money? Women? Cars? Houses? Or Legacy? Everyone wants to grow up to be a rock star, but few actually do and even fewer of those actually "make it." Yet, those that try are not given enough credit. They got into a garage with some friends, made some tunes, got in a van and toured. While this seems to happen more often today, over 30 years ago it seemed like a crazy idea, it also seemed even crazier to do it on your own. In 2001, Michael Azerrad released his book, Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes From the American Indie Underground 1981-1991, the book chronicles the story of 13 DIY punk, hardcore, post-punk, rock bands that gave it a go and tried.

Inside those 13 stories are 13 bands, Black Flag, Minutemen, Mission of Burma, Minor Threat, Hüsker Dü, The Replacements, Sonic Youth, Butthole Surfers, Big Black, Dinosaur Jr., Fugazi, Mudhoney, and Beat Happening. Members of each of these bands like Mike Watt, Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye, Guy Picciotto, J Mascis and others recount how they formed, recorded and did everything out of their own pocket, from touring to booking shows, to printing flyers, to eating and room and board. These stories are not "rock star" stories of trashed hotel rooms, these are the stories of starving artists who would never really see finical success but created a legacy that would outlast any dollar or any hit single.