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Thread: David Weigel book on Progressive Rock

  1. #1

    David Weigel book on Progressive Rock

    Forgive me if you have all known about this for months, but I'm just learning about it and didn't see any discussion here at PE. David Weigel from Slate, who did the wonderful, week-long Slate series on progressive rock, is writing a full-length book, and is taking a brief sabbatical for research and writing.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/20...ming_note.html

    "Starting today and continuing through Dec. 9, I'm taking a short leave from this blog to work on a forthcoming book about progressive rock. Based on "Prog Spring," my 2012 series for Slate, it's going to be a narrative history of/argument for the music and its unappreciated role in pop. I've been working through more than a hundred interviews; many hundreds of pages of memoirs, music magazines, and reviews; old audio chats with musicians and producers. Point is, it takes time to churn this into the sort of book people might want to read, and I'll be off for a while as I hack through the first few miles of vines and branches."

    Pretty cool news. I really enjoyed his "Prog Spring" series, so I'm interested in how the book will turn out.

  2. #2
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    That IS cool. I talked with him for a while at NEARfest and he was nice guy who really seemed to be just grokking that there was this whole "underground prog scene." Well, maybe it's more like an "aged prog fan scene."

  3. #3
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    Apparently, Weigel's book will be out in June. He's a great Twitter follow as well.
    No matter how corrupt, greedy, and heartless our government, our corporations, our media, and our religious and charitable institutions may become, the music will still be wonderful. - Kurt Vonnegut

  4. #4
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    I like his writing. This might be an auto-buy.
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  5. #5
    https://www.amazon.com/Show-That-Nev.../dp/0393242250





    The Show That Never Ends: The Rise and Fall of Prog Rock Hardcover – June 13, 2017
    by David Weigel (Author)

    $17.67

    The wildly entertaining story of progressive rock, the music that ruled the 1970s charts―and has divided listeners ever since.

    The Show That Never Ends is the behind-the-scenes story of the extraordinary rise and fall of progressive (“prog”) rock, epitomized by such classic, chart-topping bands as Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, and Emerson Lake & Palmer, and their successors Rush, Styx, and Asia.

    With inside access to all the key figures, Washington Post national reporter David Weigel tells the story with the gusto and insight Prog Rock’s fans (and its haters) will relish. Along the way, he explains exactly what was “progressive” about Prog Rock, how it arose from psychedelia and heavy metal, why it dominated the pop charts but then became so despised that it was satirized in This Is Spinal Tap, and what fuels its resurgent popularity today.
    8 pages of illustrations

  6. #6
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    Along the way, he explains exactly what was “progressive” about Prog Rock, how it arose from psychedelia and heavy metal...
    orly.jpg
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  7. #7
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulrus View Post
    Yeah, this will be quite a feat! But I'm up for this book- he's a cool dude.

  8. #8
    "Schizoid Man" was HM at that time: screaming guitars, distorted vocals, fuzz bass, heavy riff.

  9. #9
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A. Scherze View Post
    "Schizoid Man" was HM at that time: screaming guitars, distorted vocals, fuzz bass, heavy riff.
    If that's the case then the first KC album arose from itself. Sort of like immaculate conception. I'll bet even Fripp would like that idea.
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  10. #10
    Member lak611's Avatar
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    That looks like an interesting book. I'll definitely check it out.

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  11. #11
    Progga mogrooves's Avatar
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    The jacket cover is appropriately cheez-y.
    Hell, they ain't even old-timey ! - Homer Stokes

  12. #12
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    I met David at NEARfest as well. I had an extra ticket all three days of the festival to get rid of because of a late cancellation by a friend of mine, and David bought my ticket. IIRC, it was in the row of Zoellner that was the first row of the orchestra after the grouping of the first four or five rows. He didn't seem to know a lot about the bands who were performing, although he did know about prog's major players. It will be interesting to read his book knowing where he pretty much started with prog.
    "It's such a fine line between stupid and... clever" -- David St. Hubbins & Derek Smalls, Spinal Tap

  13. #13
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    all whight!
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

  14. #14
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    For those in the NYC area, Weigel will be having a discussion event with this new book at the Strand Bookstore:

    http://www.strandbooks.com/event/dav...tom-scharpling

    David Weigel, national reporter at the Washington Post, is here to rescue the music of groups like Yes, Genesis, and Pink Floyd from the ridicule and derision heaped on it by decades of critics and pop culture, all the way back to Spinal Tap. Described by Rolling Stone as "the deliciously decadent genre that the punks failed to kill," prog rock saw huge sales and even huger ideas--concept albums, wild and wooly cover art, advanced recording techniques, and, yes, stagecraft worthy of "Stonehenge."

    Weigel explains exactly what was “progressive” about prog rock and how its complexity and experimentalism arose from such precursors as the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper. He traces prog’s popularity from the massive success of Procol Harum’s “Whiter Shade of Pale” and the Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin” in 1967. He reveals how prog’s best-selling, epochal albums were made, including The Dark Side of the Moon, Thick as a Brick, and Tubular Bells. And he explores the rise of new instruments into the prog mix, such as the synthesizer, flute, mellotron, and?famously?the double-neck guitar.

    The Show That Never Ends is filled with the candid reminiscences of prog’s celebrated musicians. It also features memorable portraits of the vital contributions of producers, empresarios, and technicians such as Richard Branson, Brian Eno, Ahmet Ertegun, and Bob Moog.

    Join Weigel, along with Best Show host, comedian, and fellow prog connoisseur Tom Scharpling, for a victorious tour of the resurgent genre that gave us classic records and a plenty of forgotten greatness.


    Should be a fun discussion.

  15. #15
    What I dont get, in this line of thinking, is how in the hell they think they actually killed prog. What a load of crap. Ive loved it all these years. all they did was talk idiots out of loving something. What an achievement! The fact that a punk rocker who cant play - or even tune a guitar got people to throw money at them, while acting like they despised it (frackin' Hypocrites) while stuffing their pockets with dollars from all their musical success...

    I'm not dissing anyone making a buck, but the vitriol they heaped on brilliant songwriting and performances just made people like me despise their musical ignorance. I never gave the douchebags a penny. It just made prog oriented music harder to find. I despised the promoters and booking agents I had to work with, because they were totally clueless about music. They knew booking, and how to compute a 15 percent commission, but the bizarre hatred when anything got interesting, just made me resent anything the punkers would produce. It was as much an anti-music movement as it was a musical trend.

    They proved that young people are by and large, gullible and stupid and would rather pay to listen to a moron who cant play, but looks cool, than take time to "listen".

    Anyway, rant is over. Some of you love the music that hated prog, and its a little irritating to me to hear someone defending the brilliance of say, Iggy Pop, but hey, its a free country.

    Anyway, for me prog never died. I do wonder if the business savvy Prog artists kind of shied away from the beauty of their own past work, but I kind of understand that pull of human nature to want to be accepted. I say well done to those bands who still held on to the progressive sound. Everyone needs to keep paying the bills, and selling out is never easy on the conscience. But Conscience doesnt pay the light bill ( or make the Lamborghini payments )

    Anyway, I just stopped feeding the beast that was popular music for a decade until the pooh-flinging stopped, and music could be listened to again.

    Yeah, I will pick up this book.
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    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    Dan I would go to that event in a heartbeat if I was close. I go way back as a Best Show listener so it would be great to see Tom. As well.
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  17. #17
    I have an advance copy...!

    advancepic.jpg

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelgoat View Post
    What I dont get, in this line of thinking, is how in the hell they think they actually killed prog. What a load of crap. Ive loved it all these years. all they did was talk idiots out of loving something. What an achievement! The fact that a punk rocker who cant play - or even tune a guitar got people to throw money at them, while acting like they despised it (frackin' Hypocrites) while stuffing their pockets with dollars from all their musical success...

    I'm not dissing anyone making a buck, but the vitriol they heaped on brilliant songwriting and performances just made people like me despise their musical ignorance. I never gave the douchebags a penny. It just made prog oriented music harder to find. I despised the promoters and booking agents I had to work with, because they were totally clueless about music. They knew booking, and how to compute a 15 percent commission, but the bizarre hatred when anything got interesting, just made me resent anything the punkers would produce. It was as much an anti-music movement as it was a musical trend.

    They proved that young people are by and large, gullible and stupid and would rather pay to listen to a moron who cant play, but looks cool, than take time to "listen".

    Anyway, rant is over. Some of you love the music that hated prog, and its a little irritating to me to hear someone defending the brilliance of say, Iggy Pop, but hey, its a free country.

    Anyway, for me prog never died. I do wonder if the business savvy Prog artists kind of shied away from the beauty of their own past work, but I kind of understand that pull of human nature to want to be accepted. I say well done to those bands who still held on to the progressive sound. Everyone needs to keep paying the bills, and selling out is never easy on the conscience. But Conscience doesnt pay the light bill ( or make the Lamborghini payments )

    Anyway, I just stopped feeding the beast that was popular music for a decade until the pooh-flinging stopped, and music could be listened to again.

    Yeah, I will pick up this book.
    I find a lot of inspiration creatively and artistically from many of artists of what was later to become known as "punk." Actually, I think the two genres were a lot more similar in terms of their ideals than many people like to point out. Steve Jones from The Sex Pistols recently made a comment about progressive rock on a popular podcast, along the lines of "in retrospect, they were kind of punk too."

    The intention to be "progressive" or "punk" starts with an attitude and mindset to build from and/or break down what came before. The problem as I see it is that these ideals become co-opted, hijacked, and turned into marketable genres. I'll take the attempt to be progressive in nature over the safe haven of Progressive (Regressive) Rock most days of the week.

    I love Iggy Pop. I love Yes.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Lo-Fi Resistance View Post
    I find a lot of inspiration creatively and artistically from many of artists of what was later to become known as "punk." Actually, I think the two genres were a lot more similar in terms of their ideals than many people like to point out. Steve Jones from The Sex Pistols recently made a comment about progressive rock on a popular podcast, along the lines of "in retrospect, they were kind of punk too."

    The intention to be "progressive" or "punk" starts with an attitude and mindset to build from and/or break down what came before. The problem as I see it is that these ideals become co-opted, hijacked, and turned into marketable genres. I'll take the attempt to be progressive in nature over the safe haven of Progressive (Regressive) Rock most days of the week.

    I love Iggy Pop. I love Yes.
    There's hardly a discussion to speak of anymore regarding "whether" prog could be punk or vice versa. It's all established, all reckoned with and the "question" is long since treated to meticulous scrutiny with academic musicologists and others. We've had several extensive threads on the topic in here as well, such as this one:

    http://www.progressiveears.org/forum...ogressive+punk
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Buddhabreath View Post
    I go way back as a Best Show listener so it would be great to see Tom. As well.
    Nice to know there's a fellow FOT on here. Scharpling/Wurster are still the funniest thing going though I must admit I don't listen to The Best Show nearly as much since it left WFMU.

  21. #21
    Member Dave the Brave's Avatar
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    A friend of mine wrote a review in the Washington times.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...the-rise-and-/

  22. #22
    Just finished it.

    Don't waste your time or money.

  23. #23
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave the Brave View Post
    A friend of mine wrote a review in the Washington times.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...the-rise-and-/
    I'm disappointed that there are no hardline conservative comments on the review!

  24. #24
    Member Dave the Brave's Avatar
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    Well it was not a very good review anyway.

    Michael is a conservative as am I.

    DtB

  25. #25
    Just finished it. It's a fine book - written more in the style of journalism than advocacy, but the writer *is* a fan, and despite few critical/aesthetic judgments I think the book would be a good read for any prog fan, unless they have already read most of the rest of the published output on this topic (the new book contains very few new interview content).

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