Cerphe's Up is both historically significant and a fun, revealing ride with some of the greatest rock-and-roll highfliers of the twentieth century. Cerphe's Up belongs on the reading list of every rock fan, musician, and serious music scholar.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-09-12
- Reviewer: Staff
Colwells memoir provides the distinctive perspective of a rock personality, but it ultimately fails to provide a full portrait of its author. Colwell focuses on the influence of rock music on his life, sharing his viewpoint of major events such as testifying along with Frank Zappa at the Parents Music Resource Center Senate hearings on obscenity in music. The book profiles several artists, including Bruce Springsteen, whom Colwell met after Springsteens first show in Washington, D.C., in 1973, and George Harrison, whom he met at a press party in 1976. It also contains interesting factoids gleaned from Colwells proximity to the D.C. press world. However, the memoir too often focuses on telling stories the reader probably already knows, and though Colwell interjects personal anecdotes in the midst of these straightforward profiles, he often relies on quotes from reviews or articles written at the time instead of his own voice. When he puts himself into the story, as when he discusses the introductions he used to do for Bruce Springsteen at live shows or his time at D.C., radio station WHFS 102.3, the narrative comes alive. The rest of the time, the overall arc of the memoir fails to emerge. (Nov.)