It all started with that CREEM book that just came out. That was my favorite rock magazine back in the early eighties (I'd only seen a handful of the seventies issues, which was probably its real heyday). Rolling Stone was already past its prime, developing its self-congratulatory tone, but CREEM was still pretty hard-hitting in its criticism, and generally full of stuff to, you know, read.
And, of course, I have a whole series of book collecting articles from various music publications: the old NY Punk zine, SF's Search and Destroy, Britain's Sniffin' Glue, etc. So I thought, a CREEM compilation is a great idea. But when I saw it out at the B&N, I discovered a big, glossy, coffee table book, light on text and heavy on photos. That just doesn't seem right for a mostly black and white, sometimes scruffy-looking magazine that came on pulpy newsprint in the first place.
So I didn't buy it. Instead, I found the Christgau Consumer Guide online, which reprints his columns at http://www.robertchristgau.com/xg/cg/index.php. Lots of his other writing available there too.
Then I hit eBay to pick up a few back issues, which have started trickling in. The record review section is just pages of text. High school kids, heavy metallers, and aspiring New Wavers really used to have attention spans. Way before Ritalin, even. Hmmm.
Oh, and speaking of time travel, this is from the "Confessions of a Film Fox" gossip column, March 1981:
"Mia Farrow and Woody Allen apparently will take that long stroll down the aisle...which will make the not-quite-father-material Allen stepfather to seven little Previns...(will his next flick be a remake of Father Goose...? Or The Terror of Tinytown?)"
Yes, it's late in the day to make a Woody Allen joke. But still, this totally goes to prove that sometimes even the snarkier-than-usual isn't nearly snarky enough!