Brett Milano, the Sound of Our Town: A History of Boston Rock & Roll by jgn on Friday, September 14, 2007 in Reading and Listening

I have seen a lot of Boston rock and roll, so it was a real pleasure to see that Brett Milano's history of the Boston scene is now out. It's called The Sound of Our Town: A History of Boston Rock & Roll. When I finish it I'll have to review it here. I picked up my copy at Newbury Comics in Harvard Square. There was only one left on the shelf after I picked mine up. Brett is one of those people I call RRR (rock and roll royalty). I've been introduced to him a few times, but I don't think he's ever remembered my name, which is just as well cos I think I prefer that the RRR remain at a distance. He had a nice piece on Shepherdess today in the Phoenix -- one of the best bands going locally right now, with the sublime Hilken Mancini (ex-Fuzzy) on vocals and lead guitar . . . but the Sheperdess album was not to be found yet at Newbury's. Oh well. (For that matter, neither was the new Glenn Mercer, but they did have the new re-release of Young Marble Giant's "Colossal Youth" . . .)

I'll jump into the book in the middle, for the 80s scene I probably knew better than any of the other periods, though I am really looking forward to his take on the Remains and some of those other 60s garage rockers from Beantown.

The challenge with all of these scene histories is that they not let the players revise history. That was the problem with both the Legs McNeil book Please Kill Me and the Clinton Heylin book From the Velvets to the Voidoids. Both of those books let the subjects polish the past, which was especially wrong in the Heylin book because it positioned itself as more of a narrated history than an oral history. I doubt Milano will do that, because he is a real working journalist who knows how to get at the facts and the story.

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