Twilight of the Gods
A New York Times Book Review "New and Noteworthy" selection“A wise meditation on why classic rock stars keep trucking, both on the road and in our dreams. Every page is an irresistible argument starter.”—Rob Sheffield, Rolling StoneThe author of the critically acclaimed Your Favorite Band is Killing Me offers an eye-opening exploration of the state of classic rock, its past and future, the impact it has had, and what its loss would mean to an industry, a culture, and a way of life.Since the late 1960s, a legendary cadre of artists—including the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, Black Sabbath, and the Who—has revolutionized popular culture and the sounds of our lives. While their songs still get airtime and some of these bands continue to tour, its idols are leaving the stage permanently. Can classic rock remain relevant as these legends die off, or will this major musical subculture fade away as many have before, Steven Hyden asks.In this mix of personal memoir, criticism, and journalism, Hyden stands witness as classic rock reaches the precipice. Traveling to the eclectic places where geriatric rockers are still making music, he talks to the artists and fans who have aged with them, explores the ways that classic rock has changed the culture, investigates the rise and fall of classic rock radio, and turns to live bootlegs, tell-all rock biographies, and even the liner notes of rock’s greatest masterpieces to tell the story of what this music meant, and how it will be remembered, for fans like himself.Twilight of the Gods is also Hyden’s story. Celebrating his love of this incredible music that has taken him from adolescence to fatherhood, he ponders two essential questions: Is it time to give up on his childhood heroes, or can this music teach him about growing old with his hopes and dreams intact? And what can we all learn from rock gods and their music—are they ephemeral or eternal?

Twilight of the Gods Details

TitleTwilight of the Gods
Author
ReleaseMay 8th, 2018
PublisherDey Street Books
ISBN-139780062657152
Rating
GenreMusic, Nonfiction, History, Culture, Pop Culture, Autobiography, Memoir

Twilight of the Gods Review

  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    Twilight of the Gods by Steven Hyden is a 2018 Dey Street Books publication. Sex, Drugs, and Rock -n- Roll …This is yet another of a spate of recently released books, lamenting the death of rock music, seeming to finally admit and accept, that the rock icons still living are the last of a dying breed- no pun intended. In the past couple of years, we have lost some heavy hitters, which has left us to face the sobering reality that once those huge icons like Paul McCartney, The Stones, and Bob Dyl Twilight of the Gods by Steven Hyden is a 2018 Dey Street Books publication. Sex, Drugs, and Rock -n- Roll …This is yet another of a spate of recently released books, lamenting the death of rock music, seeming to finally admit and accept, that the rock icons still living are the last of a dying breed- no pun intended. In the past couple of years, we have lost some heavy hitters, which has left us to face the sobering reality that once those huge icons like Paul McCartney, The Stones, and Bob Dylan are gone- the last vestiges of the rock star mythology will die with them. This book doesn’t delve into the music so much, but is more of an examination of who, why and how rock stars built a legendary, creative, mythos that served to protect the image and longevity of the rock industry, especially during the sixties and seventies. The author confesses straight up that he did not, in fact, grow up during the era that produced the epic music we refer to now as ‘Classic Rock.’. He studied it, admired it, respected it, read books about it, and maybe even obsessed over it like people my age did in rock music’s prime. But, my son, and my husband, have watched every documentary, every fictionalized movie, tons of history channel programs and read countless books about world war two. This may make them feel like experts or like an aficionado on the subject, but nothing they can learn from doing all that can match the experience of being there, living during that time period, or serving in the armed forces. This is often the way I felt while reading this book. I was there, I grew up to 'classic' rock, and some of the author’s philosophies, conjectures, analyzations, presumptions and opinions contrasted sharply with my memories and opinions. Although presented with an air of humor, there were a couple of occasions when I felt my face go hot with indignation and could literally feel my blood pressure spike. In some places, where my memory conflicted with the author’s assessment, I was able to hop on over to YouTube for a quick refresher. Bob didn’t look discomfited to me during ‘My Back Pages’ at ‘Bob Fest”. I don’t know if David Bowie ever had a healthy glow about him, always looking gaunt and near starvation, but so much of that was makeup, and part of David’s genius at giving people false impressions.The author tries a bit too hard to add a dose of humor, which fell flat on several occasions, but he did manage to coax a smile from me here and there, reminding me not to take everything so seriously, to lighten up and enjoy the trip down memory lane. The author did make some valid points I could only have conceded to in hindsight, such the success and popularity of bands like Styx, Journey and Foreigner- bands I LOVED back in high school- and still listen to them today, on occasion. So, what were some things that helped create the rock star myth?Neil Young's performing at the Band’s farewell show- ‘The Last Waltz’ - with a rock of cocaine stuffed up his nose, the legendary creation and death of Ziggy Stardust, the fascination with ‘Mr. Crowley’, the destruction of motel rooms, various sordid tales involving groupies, epic and copious drug and alcohol use and abuse, and the travails of life on the road. But, of course, it wasn’t all just creativity, acting, performances, and talent that propelled some into the international spotlight. Some money exchanging hands, some deliberate promotions of an album, while ignoring equally talented groups or music, gave a few mediocre bands a big push forward. You didn’t think this was a fairy tale did you? Of course, the rock industry, DJ’s, radio, and music studios were corrupt, which is a side the author also briefly touches on, but it is not exactly news to many people, at this point.One thing that really stands out like a sore thumb, especially in hindsight, is how racist and misogynist classic rock is. Rock didn’t exactly start off that way- if you’ll recall- Little Richard and Chuck Berry- in the fifties were listed as rock stars- but this was not necessarily the case with 'Classic' Rock of the seventies, in particular. It was all rock music in one form or another, but it seems anyone who was not a white male was listed in some other category or genre. Women, with a few notable exceptions, were not considered ‘real rock’. Some chapters address the occasion when even the zenith of rock stars made bad albums, but they might be so bad they are still good- and how rock music has played a role in politics and spirituality, and other heavy subjects, such as life and death. At the end of the day, people have been claiming rock was dead, practically since the phrase was first coined, but it has managed to pull itself up from the ashes time and time again to prove the critics wrong. But, as for me, this time I think it might finally be time to wave the white flag and surrender- not the music, mind you, but the mythos surrounding the rock star. As long as the music lives on, as long as we still have living proof of the influence of the music and the artist, the magic can still be conjured up. It might continue on for a long time after our rock heroes are all gone, at least while there are people like Steven out there who are working to keep the myths and the legends alive in our minds and hearts, even if, like gossip, it's hard to recognize it once it circles back around to you. But, as time passes, for those of us who were a part of classic rock before it was considered ‘Classic, it’s hard to capture its essence, to bottle it, and release to future generations. It somehow gets lost in translation, is not completely understood, and will sadly continue to lose its power and strength. When that song streams on your device, if it doesn’t conjure up a memory, it doesn’t bring back a feeling or create an aura around events or reignite a passion or atmosphere for you, then you can’t really ‘get’ it- not unless you lived through it- unless you were there. And man, does that make me sound old! How depressing. Rock music is still around, it still has an audience, and will for a long time to come, but it has been knocked off its pedestal, is humbled, and forced to compete in a way it never has before. But, as it has time and time and time again, it could rise up, could once again capture the public’s imagination, set the standards for fashions, opinions, and attitudes, but I don’t know that it will ever have the same power and influence of the music and rock stars that encapsulated ‘Classic Rock’. While this book has been praised and critically acclaimed by some, for me, this was almost a bittersweet journey. The author obviously loves his subject, and considers himself an authority on it, but I almost felt as though my memories were the victim of a retelling of events, a skewed view of my personal experiences, told with an air of flippancy, that reduced the intensity of the very atmosphere the author is trying to explain to the reader. One part of me enjoyed seeing events from the viewpoint of someone who, although they are in awe of the classic rock era, is able to analyze it with a more critical eye. But, on the other hand, I feel almost offended, searching for my lost sense of humor, struggling to laugh at myself. So, like the icons that are slowly fizzling away from the public’s consciousness, I am left with the frank realization that my time and place has passed, and is fizzling right along with them. The author intended this book to be fun, a sort of fan- boy homage, an ode to the rock star, and he meant well, I’m sure. If you look at it from the right angle, it is informative, and even thought provoking, and certainly has its moments of entertainment and nostalgia.
    more
  • Dave
    January 1, 1970
    Twilight of the Gods is an awesome read from cover to cover. Definitely enjoyed pretty much every page and will read it again down the road. This book is an ode to the art for, known as classic rock and a must read for anyone who grew up before the advent of Napster and Spotify changed the music world. Hyden draws the period from Sgt. Pepper to now as the classic rock period and sees that era changing because people now make playlists and don't buy albums, which used to occupy a hallowed place i Twilight of the Gods is an awesome read from cover to cover. Definitely enjoyed pretty much every page and will read it again down the road. This book is an ode to the art for, known as classic rock and a must read for anyone who grew up before the advent of Napster and Spotify changed the music world. Hyden draws the period from Sgt. Pepper to now as the classic rock period and sees that era changing because people now make playlists and don't buy albums, which used to occupy a hallowed place in our apartment living rooms. You'd check out someone's record collection when you visited or dated them to see what cool stuff they had or what crass commercial crap they were sporting. Music is becoming less categorized, less divided. And, the old rock arena dinosaurs are dying off. And, their latest concerts are possibly their last with a lineup of young substitutes and nephews replacing former band members. But what's fun about this book - which is just a blast to read - is all the discussions about Led Zeppelin vs. Floyd. About the big albums and he endless Rolling Stones lists. Chapters delve into The Rolling Stones, the Doors, Black Sabbath, Phish, Prince, the commercial success of corporate rock (REO and Chicago and Styx), etc, etc. Thanks to Harper Collins for providing a copy for review.
    more
  • Gus Sanchez
    January 1, 1970
    The main takeaway from Steven Hyden’s fantastic and much-deserved meditation of classic rock is that the mythology of what constitutes classic rock is greater than its sad and sordid truth. As our heroes have either departed this mortal coil (Bowie, Prince, Tom Petty, Leonard Cohen, etc.) or are contemplating retirement, we now find ourselves reckoning with what classic rock truly means. Hyden presents several illuminating (and hilarious) arguments on what Led Zeppelin and Keith Richards and Bru The main takeaway from Steven Hyden’s fantastic and much-deserved meditation of classic rock is that the mythology of what constitutes classic rock is greater than its sad and sordid truth. As our heroes have either departed this mortal coil (Bowie, Prince, Tom Petty, Leonard Cohen, etc.) or are contemplating retirement, we now find ourselves reckoning with what classic rock truly means. Hyden presents several illuminating (and hilarious) arguments on what Led Zeppelin and Keith Richards and Bruce Springsteen mean to us: surrogate fathers, road-weary keepers of solitary truths, magnificent fuck-ups whose stories serve as cautionary tales. From these, both the bands/artists and their fans have cultivated a mythology that will perhaps stand the test of time. Written as both critical essay and a love letter, “Twilight of the Gods” brilliantly explains what fandom truly means. Highly recommended.
    more
  • Ace Boggess
    January 1, 1970
    What Chuck Klosterman does for hair metal in Fargo Rock City, Twilight of the Gods does for classic rock. Hyden's book, like Klosterman's, is part journalistic take on a musical genre and part memoir exploring the author's experiences with and nostalgia for that music. The book is filled with insights, but also marvelously laced with humor. I was as surprised by how many times I thought, "Wow, I didn't know that," as I was by how many times I found myself laughing out loud. This is a strong work What Chuck Klosterman does for hair metal in Fargo Rock City, Twilight of the Gods does for classic rock. Hyden's book, like Klosterman's, is part journalistic take on a musical genre and part memoir exploring the author's experiences with and nostalgia for that music. The book is filled with insights, but also marvelously laced with humor. I was as surprised by how many times I thought, "Wow, I didn't know that," as I was by how many times I found myself laughing out loud. This is a strong work. I wouldn't call it important writing, but if you're interested in music (especially classic rock), you'll enjoy this book. If you haven't read Klosterman's book, trust me when I say this book and that fit together like an old married couple. Give them both a shot.
    more
  • John Spiller
    January 1, 1970
    To put "Twilight of the Gods" in a perspective that Steven Hyden would appreciate: it is the "Goat's Head Soup" of rock books. Let me explain.If you have an interest in "Twilight of the Gods," you are undoubtedly familiar with the Rolling Stones' "Goats Head Soup". "Goats Head Soup" is many things -- underrated and overrated -- precisely because it contains both great songs and terrible songs. (This is the band that created "Exile on Main Street"?)Hyden's "Twilight of the Gods" alternates betwee To put "Twilight of the Gods" in a perspective that Steven Hyden would appreciate: it is the "Goat's Head Soup" of rock books. Let me explain.If you have an interest in "Twilight of the Gods," you are undoubtedly familiar with the Rolling Stones' "Goats Head Soup". "Goats Head Soup" is many things -- underrated and overrated -- precisely because it contains both great songs and terrible songs. (This is the band that created "Exile on Main Street"?)Hyden's "Twilight of the Gods" alternates between pithy and accurate taxonomic dissections of "classic rock" and boring hagiography of "Dad rock" like Bruce Springsteen. When Hyden examines how "classic rock" came to exist, I found myself nodding in agreement. When he posits his five most important rock shows, it set my teeth on edge. (Altamont, really?)Hyden's regional bias is also unmistakable. He spends considerable time breaking down second-tier Midwest classic rock, but he never mentions Lynyrd Skynyrd or ZZ Top.Please take my review with a grain of salt. If you grew up listening to AOR on FM radio in the 1970's, still like Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty, and like "newer" bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam, I think you will enjoy this book immensely.
    more
  • Zachary Houle
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve gotten a little behind the eight-ball in my reviewing, so my apologies to everyone (the author of this book being reviewed included) for being late on this five-star book. Twilight of the Gods is essentially an essential survey of classic rock and poses the question, is classic rock a dead genre? It may seem to be so in that its icons have either died or are on the verge of launching their farewell tours, even though new acts (Alabama Shakes and Car Seat Headrest, I’m looking at you) are tr I’ve gotten a little behind the eight-ball in my reviewing, so my apologies to everyone (the author of this book being reviewed included) for being late on this five-star book. Twilight of the Gods is essentially an essential survey of classic rock and poses the question, is classic rock a dead genre? It may seem to be so in that its icons have either died or are on the verge of launching their farewell tours, even though new acts (Alabama Shakes and Car Seat Headrest, I’m looking at you) are trickling into the void. Part of my reason for putting this book on the backburner is directly correlated to why I don’t review music anymore: music doesn’t speak to me in the way it once did. Pitchfork.com, once the Bible of everything I aspired to be as a rock critic, has recently become a web version of The Source. Nothing against rap, especially when it’s such an important genre, but living out outlandish fantasies of being a powerful messiah figure don’t appeal to me in the same way that listening to my instrumental jazz vinyl collection does. So I quit. I resigned — not only from music criticism, but music in general, perhaps.Still, if I’ve retired from music apart from old stuff that I either grew up with (the dad rock of the Byrds, which my dad liked) or had a passing fancy always to explore (jazz music, after a friend lent me a bunch of CDs that really, well, jazzed me up on the genre), a book such as Twilight of the Gods is an addictive and important read. It codifies a lot of my feelings about classic rock, and why that genre of rock might very well be on life support. I can emphatically say that — since author Steven Hyden is one big classic rock nerd who is even apologetic in his acknowledgements for the book in not writing about certain bands (how can you write about Phish, but not add space about Rush?) — this book covers a lot of ground. If you’re looking for thoughts on why the music of Dylan, Springsteen and Prince hold fascination, this book will articulate them for you. Have any guilty pleasures? Though he doesn’t want to use that term in today’s instant gratification age, Hyden goes on at length about good “bad” albums and how they impact the overall canon of any classic rock musician.Read the rest here: https://medium.com/@zachary_houle/a-r...
    more
  • Paul Olkowski
    January 1, 1970
    From the very moment I received Twilight of The Gods in the mail, I was hooked. I looked at this book as a look back at the music of my youth. Although Steven Hyden and I liked different bands and artist of CLASSIC ROCK, we both still love the genre. I was more into southern rock and California country rock. I did love Bob Seeger and The Silver Bullet Band, while Mr. Hyden loved the Who and Bowie. No two people confessing the love of classic rock are going to like the same bands. Who you like de From the very moment I received Twilight of The Gods in the mail, I was hooked. I looked at this book as a look back at the music of my youth. Although Steven Hyden and I liked different bands and artist of CLASSIC ROCK, we both still love the genre. I was more into southern rock and California country rock. I did love Bob Seeger and The Silver Bullet Band, while Mr. Hyden loved the Who and Bowie. No two people confessing the love of classic rock are going to like the same bands. Who you like depends upon the way you grew up. It is what spoke to you about your life and relationships. I could spend days on end listening to nothing but Linda Ronstadt records over and over and finding deeper and deeper meanings at each listen. I totally understand what Mr. Hyden was getting at in most of his essays in the book. If your new to Classic Rock this book may not mean much at all to you.You haven't listened long enough to understand it .If your a 50 something guy like myself, You'll get every chapter even if you do not like the topic of the chapter. The one thing that Mr. Hyden did miss in his book is the Elephant in the room fact that the reason that Classic rock still has a format on today's radio, is today's music on the radio SUCKS!!! Corporate radio ruined great music. It was already in its infancy during the Classic Rock heyday , but today's radio is totally under control of broadcasting corporations and the handful of program directors that work for them. It ruined local radio everywhere. The only place you could actually find good radio is online or Sirius XM. Even there half of XM stations are under control of program people. The Jock was killed off by the late 70's and probably will never return. My. Hyden was correct at the end of the book. Classic Rock music will probably be around for a long time even though that most of the people that created that music are already gone or on their way out. Many have retired because of age and health reasons or the loss of the muse.One day they will all be gone and so will those of us who were the first and second generation listeners of this music. All that will be left are the songs and the stories like Mr. Hyden has written down for the future generations who will listen to what will eventually be know as the Classic Rock Oldies. I'm glad that I won't be around to see those days.
    more
  • Jake
    January 1, 1970
    You kids don’t know Grand Funk? The wild shirtless lyrics of Mark Farner? The bong-rattling bass of Mel Schacher? The competent drumwork of Don Brewer?Steve Hyden examines what classic rock means in 2018, now that the music world is completely different, the culture is pretty different, and the rock stars of yesteryear are dropping like flies. I probably wouldn't read this book if it had been written by someone who had lived through the classic rock age, as I don't need any more Boomer navel gaz You kids don’t know Grand Funk? The wild shirtless lyrics of Mark Farner? The bong-rattling bass of Mel Schacher? The competent drumwork of Don Brewer?Steve Hyden examines what classic rock means in 2018, now that the music world is completely different, the culture is pretty different, and the rock stars of yesteryear are dropping like flies. I probably wouldn't read this book if it had been written by someone who had lived through the classic rock age, as I don't need any more Boomer navel gazing. But Hyden's age (he was born in '77) makes him a bit of an outsider--he was too young to experience it firsthand in its heyday, but old enough to come of age when the concept of "classic rock" was coming about. And even though he's almost a decade older than me, we had a remarkably similar musical upbringing. Some of the book is a little dry, with dry writing to match (sample line: "I felt I could listen to Led Zeppelin IV a thousand times and never fully plump its depths.") But I can't even get mad at it, because been there. Fortunately, the good chapters are really fuckin' good. I liked the "Heartland Rock Line of Succession" (Bruce as President, Tom Petty as VP, all the way down to Bryan Adams, the Secretary of Leather Jackets), the passionate defense of Dad Rock, the schools of thought on dealing with "The Road" (you either love it or hate it, it can feed you or kill you), and the effects of drug phases on music and public personas. Most interesting might be the chapter on "good 'bad' albums," the lesser works by the acknowledged masters. It encouraged me to check out some of Paul McCartney's solo stuff from early 80s, which is actually pretty wild!Of course, it isn't without its controversies. NIN is a classic rock band? But only up until The Fragile? (He explains his reasoning, but I'm still skeptical) BUt of course people are going to disagree when it comes to music.
    more
  • Tim Niland
    January 1, 1970
    Hyden presents an entertaining look at his journey through the mythology and reality of classic rock, beginning as a teenager listening to the radio and collecting tapes. He winkingly likens it to the heroes journey, beginning with his adolescence and yearning to understand the music he loves, but he is not blind by the limits and foibles of the genre. While people bemoan the loss of the stature of rock music in the modern day pop structure, the author is willing to cast a critical eye as people Hyden presents an entertaining look at his journey through the mythology and reality of classic rock, beginning as a teenager listening to the radio and collecting tapes. He winkingly likens it to the heroes journey, beginning with his adolescence and yearning to understand the music he loves, but he is not blind by the limits and foibles of the genre. While people bemoan the loss of the stature of rock music in the modern day pop structure, the author is willing to cast a critical eye as people of color, women and LGBT fans are left at the threshold which is seemingly stultified with aging while males only. His obsessions with particular musicians like Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen echo the love of many suburban fans, but the author is able to dig deeper into the search for literary meaning in Dylan and the nature of class and poverty in Springsteen. That isn't say this is a dry academic book, far from it, Hyden is a journalist and this is a general interest book that has wit and charm. He delves into into the lives of aging rock stars and the phenomenon of "dad rock" and the interest people carry into such "uncool" bands as Phish, who he feels actually represent a portion of the classic rock continuum in the form of guitar solos, instrumental virtuosity and honoring their ancestors through the elaborate staging of concerts covering the entirety of a classic rock LP. Finally, he asks what will happen when all the classic rock heroes have passed away? Not with a sense of morbidity, but with clear eyed eventuality, and the possibility of carrying the torch of classic rock into that distant future. This was a fine book to read, Hyden is a very good writer with some interesting ideas, making this book well worth your time.
    more
  • William Fluke
    January 1, 1970
    Not so qualified snippets/ ramblings on classic rock; I had so many issues with this book, I had to finish it to get to my review of the book. Here is what makes it NOT worth a read:- no common thread running through the book to connect the various snippets and back-stories about classic rock- some interesting, but most you already have heard/read- the author- while noted as published and a critic and by those standards could be qualified to write such a book, I couldn't get beyond the fact this Not so qualified snippets/ ramblings on classic rock; I had so many issues with this book, I had to finish it to get to my review of the book. Here is what makes it NOT worth a read:- no common thread running through the book to connect the various snippets and back-stories about classic rock- some interesting, but most you already have heard/read- the author- while noted as published and a critic and by those standards could be qualified to write such a book, I couldn't get beyond the fact this guy is 40 years old. Born in 1977 he didn't really "experience" most of the classic rock era and the experiences he does mention don't lend much to his credibility. - when he speaks of his listening and purchasing of recorded music, he speaks of CD's; Sorry, but to be a classic rock aficionado in my view, you are still listening and buying vinyl records.- his favorite Paul McCartney effort is "McCartney II" that includes "Wonderful Christmastime", which has to be one of the worst songs ever!- tangents and ramblings include a commentary on Netflix documentary- "Making a Murderer"- still not sure how that ties into classic rock- did he really mention Huey Lewis as one of his favorite rock acts? Sorry, but you lost credibility with that one..- sorry, but don't consider Prince as classic rock so that entire chapter was a waste- periodic questionable use of English grammar- page 254- "... to create something that feels a little realer...." - perhaps you meant more real? I could go on further, but you get the idea. Pass on this one. What was likely most frustrating is knowing this book is out there and selling and I could have written something on the topic so much better and more coherent than this book.
    more
  • Cat
    January 1, 1970
    Spot on book! I'm from the era this book writes about and enjoyed the read. Some parts gave me a very hearty laugh (Hyden REALLY loathes the Eagles!) And, of course, off stage antics were a good reminisce! In light of all the accusations of sexual misconduct in the news of late, I wonder how many groupies will now want to cash in?!? A bunch of us are waiting to see the fall out of bad behavior 40-50 years after the fact... I am amused by our "gods" "one last tour" mentality of late and do wish t Spot on book! I'm from the era this book writes about and enjoyed the read. Some parts gave me a very hearty laugh (Hyden REALLY loathes the Eagles!) And, of course, off stage antics were a good reminisce! In light of all the accusations of sexual misconduct in the news of late, I wonder how many groupies will now want to cash in?!? A bunch of us are waiting to see the fall out of bad behavior 40-50 years after the fact... I am amused by our "gods" "one last tour" mentality of late and do wish they would quit already. It's sad to see them as old men. And I thought being dragged to an Eagles concert in 94 was awful. Funniest quote of that evening (out of an aging flower child, no less) "they've gotten so old" (in their 50's!), followed by my teen daughters quip , "and She's still SOOOOO young??!?!" lol! I refuse to attend nostalgia and going away tours. They never go away and it's ridiculous hearing the old codgers belting out tunes written by their younger selves; no fools like old fools I guess. Money trumps self respect, I guess. Too many of the old men look like bankers. Or accountants. or just plain scary. Best just listen to the old lps and remember us all back in the day. I highly recommend this book to any one interested in classic rock- loads of great fun (that you may or may not remember!) and lots of great info. Steven- loved your other book, Your Favorite Band Is Killing ME, also a terrific read! Kudos to you! Keep them coming!
    more
  • Patrick Macke
    January 1, 1970
    I was never really sure where the author was going with this book. At times the book feels like a compact history of Classic Rock, but it isn't that. What it is is a road trip through the Classic Rock landscape with stops at about fifty of Classic Rock's roadside shrines (some more meaningful than others). The dude in the driver's seat took me down a bunch of streets and back alleys I didn't want to travel down. On the radio, he wanted to skip songs I loved and then he played (really loud) songs I was never really sure where the author was going with this book. At times the book feels like a compact history of Classic Rock, but it isn't that. What it is is a road trip through the Classic Rock landscape with stops at about fifty of Classic Rock's roadside shrines (some more meaningful than others). The dude in the driver's seat took me down a bunch of streets and back alleys I didn't want to travel down. On the radio, he wanted to skip songs I loved and then he played (really loud) songs I can't stand. On more than one occasion I wanted to pull the car over and ask him to get out, but of course, I couldn't because he was driving. Still, the entire trip was a celebration of Classic Rock, a subject and a lifestyle that is really important to a lot of us ... And for organizing and sweating over this "celebration," I really ended up digging Steven Hyden. If you read a lot of books about rock music and bands, then you'll probably have the same reaction to this book that I did (flawed, but some wonderful Classic Rock moments); if you read this type of book sparingly, however, you just might find this book a fantastic, quirky overview of the greatest musical time and place the world has never known.
    more
  • Dan Eisenberg
    January 1, 1970
    I quite enjoy Steven Hyden's writing. It's extremely current and is always partly autobiographical, but when you're examining a topic as broad as classic rock, you need to filter it through your own perspective. Hyden does this magnificently. This is by no means comprehensive (Hyden's acknowledgements at the end of the book even rattle off a list of bands and artists he wishes he'd covered more in depth), but it's a fun read, and that's what you're here for. You go to a book like this to read so I quite enjoy Steven Hyden's writing. It's extremely current and is always partly autobiographical, but when you're examining a topic as broad as classic rock, you need to filter it through your own perspective. Hyden does this magnificently. This is by no means comprehensive (Hyden's acknowledgements at the end of the book even rattle off a list of bands and artists he wishes he'd covered more in depth), but it's a fun read, and that's what you're here for. You go to a book like this to read something you will enjoy reading and to learn a few little stories. You're not here for great depth or insight, though there are a few nuggets of modern perspective that Hyden gives that make a little too much sense when you think about it. Overall, this is a book that's worth a read. It's breezy and gives enough knowledge to show that Hyden has really read up and thought about the subject.
    more
  • Michael
    January 1, 1970
    I wish I could do 1/2 stars, because I'd give this 3 1/2 stars. Steven Hyden is a terrific writer and a solid critic. His first book, Your Band Is Killing Me, used the concept of rivalries in music to make observations outside of the realm of music. It was somewhat akin to Chuck Klosterman. On this book, Hyden takes on classic rock in a manner that looks less outward, as the subject means so much to him. It certainly makes me understand where he comes from as a critic. But as someone with about I wish I could do 1/2 stars, because I'd give this 3 1/2 stars. Steven Hyden is a terrific writer and a solid critic. His first book, Your Band Is Killing Me, used the concept of rivalries in music to make observations outside of the realm of music. It was somewhat akin to Chuck Klosterman. On this book, Hyden takes on classic rock in a manner that looks less outward, as the subject means so much to him. It certainly makes me understand where he comes from as a critic. But as someone with about 20 years on Hyden, the book didn't have nearly as much insight. Still, there are some great passages and some interesting observations, particularly about the future, as it were, of classic rock, and, as I said above, he's quite the writer. This book might be of more interest to younger classic rock fans.
    more
  • Justin
    January 1, 1970
    I'll admit it right up front: I'm the demographic for this book. I have been a fan of Hyden's writing since I first encountered it on The A.V. Club and I listen to his current podcast, Celebration Rock. This is his second book and in it he grapples with his relationship with classic rock, examining its strengths and flaws. It helps that he's really funny throughout the book; for example, he refers to David Bowie in the his Thin White Duke phase as a "sentient line of blow"...and in his chapter o I'll admit it right up front: I'm the demographic for this book. I have been a fan of Hyden's writing since I first encountered it on The A.V. Club and I listen to his current podcast, Celebration Rock. This is his second book and in it he grapples with his relationship with classic rock, examining its strengths and flaws. It helps that he's really funny throughout the book; for example, he refers to David Bowie in the his Thin White Duke phase as a "sentient line of blow"...and in his chapter on dad rock, he states "inside every genre lurks a whole lot of dads." A smart, funny book about music is a winner with me.* If I could give half stars, this would be a 4.5, but I'm enough of a Hyden fanboy to bump it to 5
    more
  • Jenn
    January 1, 1970
    I won a copy of this book.What do you do when all of your favorite rock stars are aging and dying? Steven Hyden talks to those aging rockers and their fans in the twilight of their lives. I am a Gen-Xer and I was able to relate to Hyden as he was watching many of his favorite bands (many created before either of us was born, but we both found in our early teens) are retiring or dying. Personally, I'd prefer to remember these bands as they were - when the music was created - and not now, as the g I won a copy of this book.What do you do when all of your favorite rock stars are aging and dying? Steven Hyden talks to those aging rockers and their fans in the twilight of their lives. I am a Gen-Xer and I was able to relate to Hyden as he was watching many of his favorite bands (many created before either of us was born, but we both found in our early teens) are retiring or dying. Personally, I'd prefer to remember these bands as they were - when the music was created - and not now, as the geriatrics their members have become. Going to concerts so I can say, "I've seen that band live!" isn't the same as "I saw that band when they were relevant!" Yes, you can still the enjoy the music, but let the musicians retire like the rest of us.
    more
  • Rob S.
    January 1, 1970
    Despite being a few years older than me, Hyden's experiences of being a neophyte classic-rock fan in a small town in the Midwest in the early 1990's hit so close to home that I'm beginning to believe he just might be my brother from another mother. If there's any justice in the world, this book will mean as much to today's young awkward rock fans as the 1987 Rolling Stone "100 Best Albums of the Last 20 Years" list meant to us. (I should note that I won an advance copy of this book from Good Rea Despite being a few years older than me, Hyden's experiences of being a neophyte classic-rock fan in a small town in the Midwest in the early 1990's hit so close to home that I'm beginning to believe he just might be my brother from another mother. If there's any justice in the world, this book will mean as much to today's young awkward rock fans as the 1987 Rolling Stone "100 Best Albums of the Last 20 Years" list meant to us. (I should note that I won an advance copy of this book from Good Reads, which is good for my cheap ass, because I would have bought this anyway. Sorry if that puts a dent in your royalty check, Steven.)
    more
  • Bryan Winchell
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book. The author’s experience growing up after the big classic rock bands of the 1970s had mostly faded but still hearing them and about them on classic rock radio mirrors my own in many ways.The book is very well-written with chapters devoted to various big names like Dylan and Springsteen and then, in my favorite chapter, one devoted to the band Phish and how he overcame his ignorant dismissal of them and now considers them to be the ultimate post-modern take on classic r I really enjoyed this book. The author’s experience growing up after the big classic rock bands of the 1970s had mostly faded but still hearing them and about them on classic rock radio mirrors my own in many ways.The book is very well-written with chapters devoted to various big names like Dylan and Springsteen and then, in my favorite chapter, one devoted to the band Phish and how he overcame his ignorant dismissal of them and now considers them to be the ultimate post-modern take on classic rock.Anyway, if you are a rock fan, I think you’ll enjoy this book.
    more
  • Travis Cook
    January 1, 1970
    At times cultural analysis, at times personal memoir, at times laugh out loud, and at times powered by melancholic nostalgia, this is a must-read for anyone who has ever listened to Les Zeppelin IV and marveled at rock star mythology. Steven Hyden touches upon the twilight of the classic rock generation, referencing the "death of rock", "dad rock", Springsteen and Dylan, and countless other touchstones that you've heard on the radio all these years. Highly, highly recommended.
    more
  • John
    January 1, 1970
    It's fine, but feels incredibly inessential. Adds nothing to the already crowded field of articles and books covering the 70s. The "hook" is to discuss those artists as they exists in 2018 - touring and making a ton of money. But Hyden doesn't seem interested in why these artists continue to be huge beyond "I like these bands so I go and see these bands". And maybe that's all there is to it, but then why the book?
    more
  • Jay Gabler
    January 1, 1970
    Steven Hyden has written what amounts to a requiem for classic rock, told from the perspective of a gen-X fan who's watching the idols of his youth die off one by one. I reviewed Twilight of the Gods for The Current.
  • Tyler
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes the prose is sort of purple, and, like every piece of cultural criticism that name checks Joseph Campbell, the “hero’s journey” stuff becomes quickly embarrassing. Still, Hyden’s thoughts on “the death of rock” are probably going to be my go to reference whenever that old assertion is thrown at me next.
    more
  • Ang
    January 1, 1970
    Very enjoyable. (But isn't Hyden a little bit the bobo Rob Sheffield? I mean, doesn't Sheffield just do the music memoir/history perfectly? Do we NEED another Rob Sheffield? I don't imagine so; I won't be re-reading this one, and I've read all of Sheffield's books more than once. So...)Anyway, highly recommended for fans of classic rock especially.
    more
  • James
    January 1, 1970
    Steven Hyden's new book, Twilight of the Gods, is an amazing journey through the history of CLASSIC ROCK (not CLASSIC rock) full of great insights, anecdotes, and surprises. The book has me going back to some of my old favorites as well as convincing me to check out some new ones. Highly recommended!
    more
  • Ben Shakey
    January 1, 1970
    It so strange to think that Rock n' Roll is becoming an outdated and irrelevant art form. There still great stuff out there but the same can be said about genres like opera or jazz. Like those, playing it involves studying an existing structure rather than an act of rebellion and being a fan is viewed as an eccentricity rather than the dominant unified expression of the culture.
    more
  • Du
    January 1, 1970
    Fun and energetic look at a "dying" genreGreat read. The observations and experiences the author has cling to home for me, which makes sense as we're basically the same age. The classic rock vs new rock vs dad rock vs musical enjoyment is decoded in multiple ways with a clean and original manner. Fan to fan the author shares what makes rock, rock.
    more
  • Brian Salvatore
    January 1, 1970
    The first 200 pages are enjoyable, if a bit disjointed. The last 80 are riveting. The book is an interesting way to view the end of an era that is really unparalleled in popular culture. (But only really in the last 80 pages. The first 200 are anecdotal but fun)
    more
  • Spencer
    January 1, 1970
    Another fantastic book from Hyden. A great trip down the memory lane of classic rock. Brings me back to first worshipping so many of these gods in high school and beyond. Definitely recommended for any fans of classic rock or rock n’ roll culture, or any fans of good writing in general.
    more
  • Andrew Ford
    January 1, 1970
    What can I say? It’s a brisk read, and Hayden and I share a lot of similar experiences with the titular “gods of classic rock,” and it captures the galvanizing air of possibility that rock and roll still engenders in me. When done right, of course.
    more
  • Evan
    January 1, 1970
    I grew up on classic rock, I’ve listened to the radio stations, seen the greats in concert, watched my idols die, and love Phish. This book was made for me and captured a lot of my feelings on the state of music. I highly recommend it for anyone who loves books about music.
    more
Write a review