What’s the Story, Morning Glory?
Here’s where we give a brief description of the book’s plot, structure, and pacing.
Who are you?
Has the author has been successful at giving us a nuanced look at the actual person behind the rock star persona? Sometimes this is easier than others – artists like Tommy Lee, Keith Moon, and Bono fairly jump off the page due to sheer force of personality, no matter who’s writing about them – but we believe a truly skilled author can get behind the “larger-than-life” facade of a famous rock star and delve into the mortal man (or woman) behind the icon.
Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?
We don’t necessarily apply this category to every book we read — mainly just the bios. Basically, after finding out more about the person being profiled, do we totally wanna make out with them or would we be all “see ya later” if we ever met them in real life.
Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About
No self-respecting book about rock & roll would be complete without the tales of debauchery, scandal, and excess that are endemic to the music industry. We fully expect the author to have gotten close enough to their source material to be able to include some salacious anecdotes.
This is where we critique the author’s writing skills, as well as assess the level of fanboyism going on. Nothing distracts from a good rock & roll story like the gushings of a hero-worshipping superfan writer. That doesn’t mean that the author can’t say anything nice about the musician or band that they’re profiling — it’s not often that people sit down and write books about subjects they hate, after all — but the best kind of storytelling is balanced and objective.