The Worst Gig by Jon Niccum (4 out of 5)

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I saw this in an upcoming Sourcebooks catalog; the lovely Valerie sent me an advance copy. It’s a small collection of amusing stories, 236 pages in all. It’s a quick read, and it’s a welcome read. I love these sorts of books; collections of artists far and wide reaching across different musical landscapes to tell of the worst possible things that have happened to them throughout their career. I would like to see a heavy metal version only of this book; you can bet the stories would be far more salicious. 

Jon Niccum is an entertainment writer at a Kansas City newspaper, and former music editor of The Pitch, KC’s alternative press magazine. He’s been around the block with a number of different artists, and that’s the collection you have here. There’s also the website, TheWorstGig.com, which he adapted to this book. All in all, a seamless adaptation. 

I loved the variety of musicians whose recollections are told here- anywhere from Wilco to John Mayer to Semisonic to the Sex Pistols. There were many acts that I did not know, so that was even better, as far as writing down some new artists to dig into. That’s usually how I find new music to listen to; if it’s not something I read about in a UK music magazine( because they still have great music magazines, something the US no longer has. One Direction my ass!), it’s something I’ve heard about from co-workers or books I’ve picked up. 

Best stories? In my opinion, it’s a tie between Steve Lukather and Fugazi. There are many, many great stories in here. I kind of expected the Sex Pistols story given it was, well, the Sex Pistols. Those were the laugh out loud stories.. I would encourage Steve Lukather to write a book if he has more stories like that one. Richard Simmons? Priceless! 

All in all, a quick read, a funny read. The stories are short, except for poor Semisonic at the Billboard Awards, and Fugazi being stuck in Poland, and even those stories are only a couple of pages. It’s an incredibly easy book to flip through, read, and come back to without missing a beat. I haven’t had the luck of finding many of those this year, so points for that. I’m ridiculously pleased that there are no Nickelback, Creed, or Limp Triscuit stories (personal bias in place, I’m sure Jon Niccum would do them justice). I wish that the book were longer. I think, seriously, that’s my only complaint. I really did enjoy this book and the lightness it brought to me this crummy week. I hope you pick up a copy when it comes out in October. 

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~ by generationgbooks on August 3, 2013.

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