As a college dropout barely out of his teens, Kent's first five interviews were with the MC5, Captain Beefheart, the Grateful Dead, the Stooges, and Lou Reed. But after the excitement and freedom of those early years, his story would come to mirror that of the decade itself, as he slipped into excess and ever-worsening heroin use. Apathy for the Devil is a compelling story of inspiration, success, burn out, and rebirth from a classic wordsmith.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-02-28
- Reviewer: Staff
The subtitle of Kent's first memoir, and first book since 2002's The Dark Stuff collected his writings on rock music, says it all: this is a staggering and vibrant account of one music critic's decadent decade. Kent, whose journalism helped define the UK's New Musical Express in its heyday, reportedly spent 15 years working on this book, sifting through his drug-addled memory to provide a blow-by-blow, year-by-year account of his dark and chaotic journey from teenage fan to celebrated music critic to serious junkie. Packed with up-close-and-personal encounters on both sides of the Atlantic with the likes of the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, and Led Zeppelin, this memoir is a refreshingly bleak and grimy chronicle of an oft-mythologized era. Kent's sometimes unfavorable recollections seldom veer into character assassinations, nor does he glorify the sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll lifestyle that nearly killed him. Along the way, Kent falls in love with Chrissie Hynde, takes a beating from Sid Vicious, and finds a life-saver in Iggy Pop. Kent's personal, candid style makes the exploits, few of which are pretty or heroic, read like an intimate all-night conversation. 10 pages of b&w photos. (Sept.)