Friday, September 24, 2010

Know Your Rock Writer: Alan Betrock/Lou Reed in a Nudie suit

We can only speculate who came up with the great column idea in Rock Scene of "Know Your Rock Writer." My guess is that it originated with Lenny Kaye aka Doc Rock but even money says Richard Robinson or Lisa Robinson. Does it really make any difference? They only featured the best writers in the column and this prime example from January 1976 just makes it seem sadder that the much missed Alan Betrock is not around to introduce us to greatness that was right there under our noses. We know him from Jamz, Rock Marketplace, New York Rocker and Shake Records. As per usual, you have to click on the image to actually see the whole thing. Gotta love the PSG/Television flyer there on the back wall. And the beefcake pose? Brilliant move. Try that one Mr. Record Nerd. Personally, Betrock is responsible for my introduction to the Neon Boys and possibly to D.Boon and Watt's first listen to the Hell classic "Time." Not many of the great rock journalists and fanzine writers of the 1970’s ever published books worthy of their hard earned reputations - reputations based upon yards of written periodical space and all night sessions editing, writing and typesetting. Alan Betrock was one who did, writing what may be considered the definitive book on girl groups. Let's just say that there were a lot of music books published by hacks who did not have anything near the taste that Alan had and who now get read in college sociology classes as decoding punk's early 20th Century roots in various European movements. Uh, I think I will take a pass and just hand me my copies of Jamz and Bomp thank you very much.

From the Lou Reed in a Nudie suit issue of Fusion, comes this great letter from Alan setting the record straight. Other than Who Put the Bomp, Jamz was the ultimate record nerd guide. Enjoy Alan's good hearted take down of Jon "Prix" Tiven and David Newberger and their lack of erudite knowledge on Van the Man's back catalogue. Mere mortal, do you really think you can outsmart me. Apparently New Haven Rock Press was a good fish wrap if you wanted actual recording data and details. Makes me wonder what Alan's take on the great 1974 lp "Veedon Fleece" was? First is the great Lou cover then Alan's "take that" letter. If anyone would like it, I can post the Lou article.

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