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chuck berry

Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom!

I love it when someone tells me about something I never knew existed. I live for it in fact. Wanting to delve more deeply into mid-century noir novels, a friend hipped me to a great website where I could track down some out of print titles. On said website, I was also pleased to stumble upon a treasure trove of great books on music. One of them was Nik Cohn’s Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom. It’s the best title of a book of all time, right? Thankfully, the book lives up to its title and then some.

Nik Cohn wrote Awopbopaloobop Alopbamboom in 1968 during a feverish seven week assault on his manual typewriter. Mark Rozzo, writing in the New York Times, called the book “a monument to speed writing.” It’s a who’s who of the “Golden Age of Rock,” from Elvis to Gene Pitney, Chuck Berry to The Beatles and The Stones, all told in pithy and pitch perfect mini-biographies. Taken as a whole one of the most inspired and engaging enumerations of the birth and evolution of rock music I’ve read to date, and I’ve read several. Nik Cohn writes with great personality and pulls no punches. It’s a wholly entertaining read. Even the most steadfast rock aficionado is bound to learn something from this Nik Cohn lost classic.

-Brad Allen