on life, music etc beyond mainstream

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Archives: Utopia Avenue


When the postman rings twice. As he did today. Wow! Finally! In the forthcoming German translation of David Mitchell’s latest novel (July 19), the author of many great time traveling books turns his eye on the dark end of the 1960s, a story of music, dreams, drugs and madness, love and grief, stardom’s wobbly ladder and fame’s Faustian pact. There’s Gene Clark of The Byrds, for example, who admires a guitar figure of Jasper’s. Janis Joplin, Leonard Cohen, Syd Barrett, Jackson Browne, and Jerry Garcia turn up (as does, decades later, the brilliant band Talk Talk, acknowledging a debt to the Utopians). There’s even an aside reference to how the Stones’ album Let It Bleed earned its name. Bone spurs and all, it’s realistic indeed and just the thing for pop music fans of a bygone era that’s still very much with us. So, don’t think twice: this seems to be the book some Manafonistas will dive into, no matter if they had been part of the ancient journey or not. Get it! Bong not included. (m.e.)

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