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Big Pink reviewed in Scotland

A very happy new year to everybody. I’m finally back from my travels, with a charming and quirky wedding venue found and confirmed, just outside of Hay-on-Wye (legendary “Town of Books”), on the Welsh border. Anyhow…

Here’s an interesting review of John Niven’s book, from the Dec 18th issue of Scotland on Sunday (Scotland’s main Sunday newspaper, for those who don’t know).

PUBLISHER Continuum has produced a startling series of monographs on some of the greatest rock albums; but in this attempt to get to the heart of Music From Big Pink by The Band, Niven opts for novella rather than any conventional discussion of the work. Wannabe musician and successful drug-dealer Greg meets – or meets people who know – Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, William Burroughs and Ringo Starr, as well as The Band. The writing is punchy, but the frequency of purple passages as he shoots up and gets down to significant songs is wearing. There is a lovely coming of age story here, wrapped around the album in an oddly parasitic manner.

I’m not sure that it’s a coming of age story at all – it’s never struck me in that way. And is there really too much filth in the book? I must have read it ten times now, and it’s never failed to move me.

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