For the Records: Close Encounters with Pop Music
By: Gene Sculatti - Swingin’ 60 Productions, $15.95
Description: In For the Records, one of the nation’s first rock critics recounts his experiences with the music that has moved him, from early childhood up through the past year, illuminated by personal recollections and cultural observations.
Some records, Gene Sculatti writes, “are full-blown temblors that rearranged all the furniture in my mind-house. Others are latent flare-ups that smoldered years before igniting.”
Casual or committed music fans will be reminded of their own musical epiphanies in these celebrations. Growing up in California’s Napa Valley, partaking in San Francisco’s psychedelic scene and later making a career in the music industry in Los Angeles, Sculatti recounts a life enriched by records.
Notable among those who made them are the usual suspects (Elvis, Beatles, Beach Boys, Stones, Dylan), but also overlooked 50s doowoppers, Deep Soul singers of the 60s, 70s country artists and 80s Freestyle gals.
So, come on in, grab a copy, drop the needle down anywhere and let it play, my friends!
Verdict: Admitting, from the off, the main inspiration for having written this truly eye-opening and thoroughly engrossing book, was actually his way of elevating the boredom from within the depths of the Pandemic, along with the sidelining of his radio show, author Gene Sculatti thusly informs the reader that as he had reread half his stored books and magazine and listened to an overabundance of music, that his next logical step (of sanity) was to compile a book that embraced his love for all things spinning at 45rpm, 33rpm and even 78rpm.
Although the books opens, primarily, on his childhood, school days and general upbringing, having partaken early on in San Francisco’s psychedelic scene, whose sound refers to that swirling genre of music performed live and solely recorded by San Fran-based groups of the mid-1960s to early 1970s, Sculatti had quickly himself become associated with the counterculture community in his area during those times.
We later join him as he strides through the ever-more-illuminating-than-the-last musical decades that came thereafter - White Rabbits and Blue Bashes, All Revved Up and Ready to Go, Cha-Cha Girls and Madonna-Bes, Atomic Bombast, and amongst others Country Club and What’s So Funny: Mothers and Fudduhs - as Sculatti continues to regal us with numerous wonderous, and colorful stories of making a career in the music industry in Los Angeles; and, of course, how vinyl records themselves subsequently, and daily, enriched his life therein.
Thus, and in what has also been described as “a memoir through the prism of his record collection [that is a] personal history as revealed within musical fascination [and which is] his journey through genre and the succession of eras charts pop music’s evolution as well as a coming-of-ageless tale that will delight aficionados everywhere” by Lenny Kaye, guitarist, Nuggets curator, For the Records: Close Encounters with Pop Music is a genuine work of musical art and one that every self-respecting lover of vinyl records down the years needs to own and add to their literary collections.
About the Author - Gene Sculatti has been writing about music and popular culture since 1966, when his San Francisco Bay Rock was the first piece on the city’s new music scene to appear in a national publication.
A native Californian, Sculatti has written for the Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, USA Today and other publications. He edited the music trade paper Radio & Records, served as Editorial Director of Warner Bros. Records and Director of Special Issues for Billboard magazine.
He co-hosted and produced the radio shows The Cool and the Crazy (KCRW-FM, 1982-87) and Atomic Cocktail (Luxuria Music, 2007-, as DJ Vic Tripp).
His most recent book, Tryin’ to Tell a Stranger ’Bout Rock and Roll: Selected Writings 1966-2016, covers such subjects as San Francisco in the 60s, John Lennon, the Beach Boys, Captain Beefheart, the Ramones, Sonics, fake Dylans and faux Springsteen’s, girl groups, LA punk, bubblegum music, and Walker Texas Ranger.
Indeed, why not follow him on Facebook, where he semi-regularly pops off on various subjects!
Amazon Book Purchase Link
Gene Sculatti @ Facebook