Book Review: Summertime Peruse
Once upon a time, writers used to be the tour documentarians
Reviewed by Abby Johnston, Fri., May 30, 2014
Riverhead, 368 pp., $27.95
Lisa Robinson had a quiet role in rock's greatest moments. She posed the now iconic image of Led Zeppelin by the wing of their own Air Force One, the Starship. She introduced David Bowie to Lou Reed. She was maybe the only journalist who could look Mick Jagger in the eye and tell him his outfit was tacky. Tell-all memoir There Goes Gravity hangs with classic rock's biggest names, beginning with her start in an era when groups enlisted writers as tour documentarians, which gave Robinson unparalleled access to moments that have become legend. Although penned with little flourish, the tome gives a frank and tirelessly detailed account of her experience as one of the sole women in the industry. Robinson was never a critic, but that doesn't stop her from contextualizing present day rock gods, clearly guided by impeccable taste worthy of someone who pioneered writing about the intersection of fashion and music. At times, she lapses into Old Testament-style listing of who was at what party and when, but the book largely keeps to a down-to-earth recounting of her career. Or as down-to-earth as you can be when you're sipping champagne with Robert Plant.