Saturday, May 27, 2023

Review: 'Illustrated History of Rock'

You know rock and roll has lost its bite when it becomes the subject of a big picture book for tiny little tots. What hand-wringing dads and moms once considered hymns of Satan is now fit for toddlers in Luis Demano and Susana Monteagudo's Illustrated History of Rock

Or is it? That depends on how much you moms and dads wring your hands over surprisingly frank discussions of not only the wonderful music rock wrought from the fifties through its essential death in the first decade of this century but also the sexuality, drugs, radical politics, revolution, and Satanica that so endeared the genre to kids, many of whom are presumably alright. With adorable graphic images of a metal-head in pentagram T-shirt or Michael Jackson's devolution from cute kid to predatory monster, Demano and Monteagudo tap into the outrageousness that so scared parents all those years ago. 

In fact, I might say that Illustrated History of Rock is the first rock and roll book I've read that makes rock and roll seem truly dangerous since perhaps Please Kill Me. And thank Satan for that! Plus, I'd wager dollars to decibels that it's the first children's book to ever celebrate The Pixies and PJ Harvey, have a section titled "Beautiful Corpses," depict a hippie flipping off a riot cop, and use great big words like "transgressive" and "avant garde" that would confuse and frighten Ron DeSantis. It's almost as if Demano and Monteagudo created their Illustrated History of Rock for the express purpose of having it banned from school libraries at a time when that kind of fucking bullshit has been happening with horrific frequency. I only hope that if they get their wish, scores of pentagram-T-shirt wearing toddlers storm their local Barnes and Noble and shoplift every last copy of Illustrated History of Rock off the shelves. That alone might give me hope for the future.

All written content of is the property of Mike Segretto and may not be reprinted or reposted without permission.