Music books

About music books

10.3.2020 14:02
Memories and thoughts mainly about domestic popular music books.

I borrowed a new book written by Juice Leski from the library Juice Speaks: Collected Memoirs Vol. 1. It is an almost word for word transcription of Leskinen's radio interviews made 30 years ago, the whole book is just the artist himself. I remember listening to a few episodes of that interview program in real time, and thanks to the piece, I was inspired to remember the music books that had impressed me.

When I really got interested in music in the early 80s, I read almost all the books in Finnish about popular music that I could find in the library. Back then it was easy, there were few of them. There were some Soundi books, some from Love Kustannu, some from larger publishers as well. Hannu Nyberg, for example, has stuck in my mind Rock the iron wire, by Jake Nyman Rock informationseries by Peter von Bagh Elvis and the memoirs of Esa Pakarinen and Toivo Kärje. My music world expanded by force, because in order to even get some information, I also had to read about artists that were otherwise of no interest to the teenager. I waded through, for example, Charlie Gillet's two-volume history of rock'n'roll The heartbeat of the city, although I didn't understand its meaning and great amount of information until a couple of decades later, when I finally got excited about African-American traditional music. As a teenager, I couldn't realize how little respect Gillet showed for Elvis Presley and The Beatles.

I remember how wistfully I read an article about Esko Lehtonen's work in Sound From the encyclopedia of Finnish rock. I cursed when it wasn't in Parikkala's library. It didn't occur to me that it could have been borrowed or even requested to be acquired by the library. Juho Juntunen Riding the windI only read the book after I went to work at the library and realized the possibility of interlibrary lending. Fortunately, my sister, who is urbane, bought me a JV on sale. The book edited by Sappinen Heavy metal. It became a bible for me, whose undeniable truths I still refer to today...

It was a big celebration when I found Philip Norman's books on The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. The Beatles book Shout! was like the word of God to me. I read it many times and even bought it for myself. When later, after getting to know the subject more, I realized that Normani was writing hay and musical analyzes that went completely wrong, I was very disappointed. I realized the badness of the Stones book already when I read it for the first time.

The situation regarding music books changed when we entered the 2000st century. Domestic, high-quality music books began to be published in abundance, and so many foreign books were translated into Finnish that I could no longer read them. In the 80s, I couldn't have imagined that I would leave Robert Plant's biography unread, for example, when I just couldn't take it anymore.

A kind of culmination point in domestic popular music literature in the 80s was the Sleepy Sleepers book Jytina in Estonia and Jake Nyman Lucky days-Books. Nyman's books were number one in Finland, England and the USA from 1955-69. Before the Internet Lucky days were invaluable to people like me. Jytina in Estonia again, there was quite a bit of gonzo journalism and it rose to such a legendary reputation that it was probably stolen from all libraries in Finland. Other most stolen materials in libraries at that time were Drug Station Zoo, The Great Shark Hunt and law books. Even the future lawyers were poor students, and the youth was ruined even 30 years ago...

In terms of domestic pop music books, Santtu Luoto's excellent book Eppu Normaali probably started the actual golden age. Hourglass sandal. After that, many good, extensive and handsome works written about different artists appeared. Popeda book by Vesa Kontiainen Thank you very much, Honey Aaltonen Hurricanes, Viljami Puustisen's 22-Pistepirkko and Kingston Wall books, Mape Ollilan Nightwish and so on and so forth. One definitely worth mentioning is Yee yee yee : the history of Finnish rock, the first comprehensive history of domestic rock since the 80s. There are dozens of fine domestic music books, and foreign books are constantly being translated into Finnish.

Among domestic music writers, Mika Järvinen has especially distinguished himself in the next few years. This jubilant musician has written brick-thick works about Uriah Heep and my all-time favorite band, Deep Purple. The latter is the best that has ever been written about Purple, according to experts, the Uriah Heep book is on par.

A lot of bad music books have also been published. The most unlucky of these are the hastily composed fan rants of stars who have emerged from various reality TV competitions or young artists who have released their debut album, the content of which is roughly the same as I like it too In mini paperbacks from the 80s. Of course, they also have their place, because Favorites no longer is.

That Juice book I mentioned at the beginning. It is an insightful document, but not an easy book to read. It is important that an extensive interview with such a significant music maker has been documented in a book, but it would have been easier to read if it had been edited in a clearer format. As a confused word-for-word transcription, it will hardly be read by anyone other than those who already like Juice Leskinen's music and literary work.

Many books have been written about widowhood. The largest of them is Antti Heikkinen A busy life. It's good, but repetitive due to too many direct interview quotes. In addition, Heikkinen's analyzes of Leskinen's records are hilarious. However, Heikkinen's gentle writing style saves a lot and it's great that the book was written by a young man. Although Heikkinen is older than his age, he has written about Kalle Päätalo and Jaakko Tepo in addition to Leskinen.

Reijo Korpeinen already wrote an interview book in 1987 Isn't it Juice oo. A memoir written by Leskinen himself That's the most important ones is great, but really narrow. There was supposed to be a sequel to the book, but it remained unwritten. Surprisingly, the most interesting Juice book is Harri Rinteen Juice on/Juice off. The relationship between Leskinen and Rinne is also on/off, and Rinne is at least as difficult a person as Leskinen himself to justify by contemporary descriptions and this book. In his book, however, Rinne has, I believe, been able to draw a valid picture of both himself and Leskines.

There are so many great domestic music books that I would only scratch the surface here. It's great that music books are still being written and published even though we have Wikipedia, Allmusic and social media. However, depending on the publisher and publishing method, the books are slightly revised, structured and hopefully also well-written information. You have to be source-critical about them as well, as for example the Philip Norman I mentioned shows. Fortunately, Norman learned from his hasty actions in the 80s, and has subsequently written excellent biographies of Paul McCartney and John Lennon, among others.

All the books I mentioned can be read from the library.

mika. kahkonenatimatra.fi (mika[dot]kahkonen[at]imatra[dot]fi)
Tel: 020 617 6602