About Me

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I'm the co-host of THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl (Sunday nights, 9 to Midnight Eastern, www.westcottradio.org).  As a freelance writer, I contributed to Goldmine magazine from 1986-2006, wrote liner notes for Rhino Records' compilation CD Poptopia!  Power Pop Classics Of The '90s, and for releases by The Flashcubes, The Finkers, Screen Test, 1.4.5., and Jack "Penetrator" Lipton.  I contributed to the books Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth, Shake Some Action, Lost In The Grooves, and MusicHound Rock, and to DISCoveries, Amazing Heroes, The Comics Buyer's Guide, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Comics Collector, The Buffalo News, and The Syracuse New Times.  I also wrote the liner notes for the four THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO compilation CDs, because, well, who could stop me?  My standing offer to write liner notes for a Bay City Rollers compilation has remained criminally ignored.  Still intend to write and sell a Batman story someday.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: Boys Don't Lie: A History Of Shoes by Mary E. Donnelly with Moira McCormick

I've been a fan of Shoes since college.  I don't remember if I started with their Black Vinyl Shoes LP, or if I started with hearing their sublime "Tomorrow Night" on the radio; all I can say for sure is that I knew this was a terrific pop band from first spin on, and nothing's ever challenged that belief.

While listening to Shoes on my iPod the other day, my mind drifted to Boys Don't Lie, Mary E. Donnelly's essential first-person account of the Shoes story.  I met Mary when she was a guest on This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio, promoting the book at the time of its release in 2013.  Mary's simply swell--a knowledgeable pop fan, an enthusiastic presence, and an exhaustive researcher--and it occurred to me that I should share my Amazon review of Boys Don't Lie right here.  

Enjoy!  And, once properly motivated, help a sister out HERE 

Well-Rendered Document Of A Great, Great Band

There has never been any shortage of great pop bands that deserved acclaim but achieved obscurity. The story of Zion, Illinois' Phenomenal Pop Combo Shoes lacks the pathos of a Big Star, or the heartbreak of a Badfinger, but it's nonetheless a shame that Shoes' records aren't being played around the clock on a radio near you. Mary Donnelly recounts Shoes' story in exhaustive detail, based on interviews with nearly everyone who has ever been involved with the band over the years; the book is huge, packed with information, but it never seems overwhelming, nor any less than compelling. Whether one is a pop novice or a faithful Shoes devotee, Boys Don't Lie puts you in the band members' shoe...um, footsteps, and lets you feel the frustration of an elusive brass ring, and the satisfaction of creating an irresistible body of work. An essential read for anyone who loves pop music.