The Decibel Diaries: A Journey through Rock in 50 Concerts

The Decibel Diaries: A Journey through Rock in 50 Concerts

by Carter Alan, Stephen Davis

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Sometimes a rock concert is more than just an event. Every so often a band’s performance becomes a musical milestone, a cultural watershed, a political statement, and a personal apotheosis. On any given night a rock concert can tell the truth about who we are, where we are, and what’s going on in music and life right now. In The Decibel Diaries, Carter Alan, longtime DJ and music director at WZLX in Boston, chronicles a lifetime in rock with a tour through fifty concerts that defined such moments—from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young playing in the rain when Richard Nixon resigned to Talking Heads and the first stirrings of punk in the basement bars of New York and Boston to the bluegrass angel Alison Krauss and the adaptable veteran Robert Plant forging a plangent, plaintive postmodern synergy. For each event Alan shows us what it was like to be there and telescopes out to reveal how this show fit into the arc of the artist’s career, the artist’s place in music, and the music’s place in the wider world. Taken together, The Decibel Diaries is a visceral and visionary portrait of nearly fifty years of rock ’n’ roll.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781512600476
Publisher: University Press of New England
Publication date: 04/04/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 332
File size: 11 MB
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About the Author

CARTER ALAN is the midday DJ and music director at WZLX-FM, Boston, one of the nation’s first classic rock stations. He is the author, most recently, of Radio Free Boston, and previously of Outside Is America: U2 in the U.S.

Table of Contents

Foreword • Introduction • First Ride—James Gang • Don’t Be Denied—Neil Young & the Stray Gators • Balance of Power—Traffic and Free • “I’ve Been Downhearted, Baby . . .”—B. B. King • The Four-Day Ring—Deep Purple • The Call of the Wild—Ted Nugent & the Amboy Dukes • Setting Sail in a Topographic Ocean—Yes • Truly Slow . . . hand—Eric Clapton • “Tin Soldiers and Nixon Coming”—CSNY/Santana • Touring in the Material World—George Harrison • The Best Stuff in Town—The Rolling Stones • Tear Gas and Toilet Paper—The Great American Music Fair • An Afro and a Fine Skylark—Fleetwood Mac • Sweatin’ Bullets—Lynyrd Skynyrd • Six-String Outlaws—The Eagles • A New Architecture—Talking Heads • Crosstown Traffic—The Cars • Sound and Vision—David Bowie • “Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!”—Ramones • “There Should Be More Dancing!”—The Police • “I’m So Bored with the U.S.A”—The Clash • An Interesting Table Guest—John Cougar & the Zone • Even the Losers Get Lucky (Third Time)—Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers • Before the Purple Reign—Prince • “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)”—AC/DC • Rollin’ on the River—U2 • Showtime—The J. Geils Band • Sabbath vs. Ozzy—Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne • Who’s Last . . . but, Not Really—The Who • In a Hard Place—Aerosmith • “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll”—Joan Jett • Till the Fat Lady Sings—Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band • The Global Jukebox—Live Aid • Your Mascara Is Running—Mötley Crüe • Live . . . and Alive—Stevie Ray Vaughan • Which One Is Pink?—Roger Waters and Pink Floyd • Meanwhile, Back in the Jungle . . .—Guns N’ Roses • “Tear Down the Wall!”—Roger Waters • Getting Back—Paul McCartney • Exile on Monroe Drive—The Black Crowes • A Wylde Night—The Allman Brothers Band • “This Guitar Is Brand-New, and I Decided I Don’t Like It”—Nirvana • Digging in the Garden—Pearl Jam • The Ocean—Bush, Goo Goo Dolls, and No Doubt • Cliff Notes from Upstate—Phish • A Cheap Golden Jubilee—Joe Perry with Cheap Trick • U2 Reclaims its Mojo (or Fighting the Bono Mono)—U2 • Side by Side, They Walk the Night—Robert Plant and Alison Krauss • Power Hitter—Jack White • Life after the Fast Lane—Joe Walsh • Acknowledgments • List of Sources

What People are Saying About This

Steve Morse

“Carter Alan somehow never gets jaded. He is still like a kid discovering rock ’n’ roll for the first time as he recalls these concerts in vivid, razor-sharp detail and makes them live anew.”

Joe Perry of Aerosmith

“Rock and roll, good gigs and bad, ups and downs: I’ve seen it all in Aerosmith, and Carter gets to the heart of it. He’s been witness to, as well as influential in, all of the ups and downs in the business. Who better to write a book like this? And he nailed it.”

Donna Halper

“Few rock journalists can write about the concert scene as eloquently as Carter Alan does. The Decibel Diaries gives you a front row seat as music history unfolds. A must-read!”

former DJ and program director Oedipus

“The Decibel Diaries immerses us in the glory, guts, and grit of a time when musicians were gods and rock was life itself.”

Bill Janovitz

“The Decibel Diaries is like an On the Road for the post-Beatles generation. The love for the music shines through.”

Customer Reviews