Book Review: Twisting by the Pool

Rock & roll summer reading

Twisting by the Pool

Detroit Rock City: The Uncensored History of Rock & Roll in America's Loudest City

by Steve Miller
Da Capo Press, 336 pp., $16.99 (paper)

An oral history of Motor City music told through singers, scenesters, managers, producers, club owners, and others who lived to recall the Midwest's hardest rocking town, Detroit Rock City offers insider access to over 50 years of down-and-dirty rock & roll. "How could you trust a guy who didn't get high?" wonders early MC5 Svengali John Sinclair about Ted Nugent, whose Amboy Dukes, along with the Stooges, Alice Cooper, and to a lesser extent Kiss, dominate the book's early chapters. Their exploits with drugs, guns, and shady business, commingled with cameos from the Who, Zeppelin, Bowie, and Johnny Thunders provide plenty of intrigue. Later, the insurgence of punk and hardcore bring forth grimy greats like Negative Approach and the Meatmen, before the millennial garage boom turns half the scene into potential celebrities. DRC layers factoids, including how Iggy Pop earned high school valedictorian honors and how Dirtbombs' lead man Mick Collins has a furry fetish. There's also Jack White beating the shit out of Von Bondies' singer Jason Stollsteimer in 2004. With its scriptlike format, Detroit Rock City doesn't draw any overarching conclusions, but it does one better: It makes you feel like you were in the scrum.

READ MORE
More Detroit
Exibitionism: Road to Nowhere
Detroit
Capital T Theatre's Detroit is a destination worth visiting, but you won't want to live there

Robert Faires, Sept. 5, 2014

'Detroit'
'Detroit'
Lisa D'Amour's award-winning play finally lands in Austin, courtesy of Capital T

Robert Faires, Aug. 22, 2014

More Music Reviews
Rock & Roll Books
Seduced By Sound: Austin
Seduced By Sound: Austin – 100 Musicians on Why They Make Music

Kevin Curtin, Dec. 9, 2016

Rock & Roll Books
I Am Brian Wilson / Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy
I Am Brian Wilson / Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy

Neph Basedow, Dec. 9, 2016

More by Kevin Curtin
Updated: Strange Brew Locked Out
Updated: Strange Brew Locked Out
South Austin venue shut down for nonpayment of rent

Jan. 12, 2017

Playback: Ramsay Midwood Buys the Bar
Playback: Ramsay Midwood Buys the Bar
Ramsay Midwood co-acquires Sam’s Town Point, record store news, and Spoon teases upcoming Matador Records LP

Jan. 13, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Detroit, MC5, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, Stooges, KISS

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)