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Publisher's Summary

The author of the critically acclaimed Your Favorite Band Is Killing Me offers an eye-opening and frank assessment of the state of classic rock, assessing its past and future, the impact it has had, and what its loss would mean to an industry, a culture, and a way of life.

Since the late 1960s, a legendary cadre of artists - including the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, Black Sabbath, and The Who - has revolutionized popular culture and the sounds of our lives. While their songs still get airtime and some of these bands continue to tour, idols are leaving the stage permanently. Can classic rock remain relevant as these legends die off, or will this major musical subculture fade away as many have before?

In this mix of personal memoir, criticism, and journalism, Steven Hyden stands witness as classic rock reaches the precipice. Traveling to the eclectic places where geriatric rockers are still making music, he talks to the artists and fans who have aged with them, explores the ways that classic rock has changed the culture, investigates the rise and fall of classic rock radio, and turns to live bootlegs, tell-all rock biographies, and even the liner notes of rock’s greatest masterpieces to tell the story of what this music meant, and how it will be remembered, for fans like himself.

Twilight of the Gods is also Hyden’s story. Celebrating his love of this incredible music that has taken him from adolescence to fatherhood, he ponders two essential questions: Is it time to give up on his childhood heroes, or can this music teach him about growing old with his hopes and dreams intact? And what can we all learn from rock gods and their music - are they ephemeral or eternal?

©2018 Steven Hyden (P)2018 HarperAudio

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An important book that is a must read for any real music lover

What an accomplishment. A book I’ll definitely revisit a few more times throughout the years just to be reminded of why music matters so much.
Thank you

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting take on rock and roll history

I thought it was an overall good book. however sometimes the author struck me is an a******. Although he clearly knew his subject matter, I thought his personal bias on some occasions was uncalled for. I almost stopped the book at a couple of different points because I so disagreed with his perspective. however I am glad I continued on and three-quarters of the way through the book it appeared he had leveled his opinion base.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Snarky

I expected to like this book because I am such a fan of the genre. What I didn't expect was for the author to be so snarky. It's not even that his opinions were so different from mine, I am open minded and willing to hear a differing opinion, that's how we learn -for example, he LOVES him some Bruce Springsteen - this was the one subject that interested me, as I'm not a fan of his voice and knew nothing about him, and the author makes Bruce interesting enough that I am actually going to purchase his autobiography Born To Run, as he sounds like a complex, kind, deep and very real person I would like to know more about. So, he REALLY likes Phish, while I spent two painful hours I can never get back (the tickets were free and I feel cheated) listening to this truly awful mess that, with every single identical-sounding song, wrapped each song up by whipping themselves into a loud and unpleasant frenzy that seemed endless - and he REALLY doesn't like the Eagles or Gene Simmons. I tend to concur about Simmons, but after about the third bitchy reference to his "sex addiction" , we GET it, enough already, the guy is egotistical and a womanizer, it's a note that is simply hit way too often. if you played The drinking game to every unpleasant reference about Simmons alone, you'd be drunk by "track 2" ( it's "track" instead of "chapter" ). The Eagles, I saw live several times from the very beginning of their career, and I was never disappointed. My boyfriend and I, both being musicians, were very impressed with their ability to play, put their instruments down, and rotate to play each others' instruments, and do it very well. He made several comments about "their" song Take It Easy. I'm not sure what his problem is with that song, but it's actually a Jackson Browne song, the Eagles just sang it, and a lot of people apparently liked the way they performed it because it was a fairly substantial success. He made an awful lot of comments like the following "Paul McCartney is older than many of the stadiums he plays in." Nasty and unnecessary. He makes countless similar mentions of the Stones being "really old". I have given this two stars because, despite how unpleasant i find the author's comments to be, he actually does write well.

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  • Tom
  • Stillwater , OK, USA
  • 07-18-18

not what I had hoped

I wanted to like this book so much more than I did. I had hoped the book would be part elegy to, part dissection of what made rock music such a vital force for so long and what led to its marginalization in popular culture. Unfortunately, Steven Hyden has much more confidence in the inherent interest and generalizability of his own encounters with rock music as primary research than he should. What does it matter which of the three Springsteen concerts he attended in one tour was the best? Or how drunk he got at a Phish show? Or which Dylan song is his favorite? The result is that too-often the book comes off as either self-indulgent blogging or else lazy research—neither of which is edifying for either the author or reader. This uncertainty regarding intention also extends to questioning who the intended audience is. If the audience is long-time lovers of rock, then much of the storytelling is already well-trod with little fresh news. If the presumed audience is unfamiliar with the subject, then it will fail to convince of its importance. Ultimately, the definitive story on the subject of rock’s amazing capacity to maintain potency through the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s only to become sidelined in the aughts still waits to be told. Perhaps it works as something more like a love letter, but then it should have been called something like “Why I Still Love Rock.”