Wednesday, January 17, 2007

 

Band-ographies

I'm in the middle of reading "Bono: In the Name of Love" by Mick Wall. You know, I've read a few band-ographies (and believe me, this is more a band-ography than a biography, albeit a band-ography from the Bono point of view) and most of them leave me feeling oogie. There's a sloppy passion about band-ographies that detracts from telling the story. Now, when you're writing a book, you definitely have to have passion about your topic, or you're not going to get through the 100 to 400 pages you've set out to write. However, there can be such a thing as too much passion, a drippy, sticky syncophantic fanaticism that draws the attention away from the band at hand. I'd like to see a band-ography written by a historian who understands how to communicate passion with a fair amount of dispassion. Maybe it's easier to write historical biographies because, in many cases, the subject is dead and there's no need to impress a dead subject.

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