Fargo Rock City
I saw Chuck Klosterman speak at Calvin College’s Festival of Faith & Music about a month ago, and one of the funniest things he said was he originally submitted his heavy metal history book, Fargo Rock City, as an academic book about the history of metal and the fascination of rural and surburban America with it. This is funny for a number of reasons: 1) there is far too much swearing for it to be an academic book, and 2) the book is largely opinion-based and features tons of Klosterman’s famous mind trails where he goes off into completely different subject for analogy or comparison and 3) who writes an academic book about a frivolous genre like heavy metal? Klosterman explained that for some strange reason, a woman at one of the academic presses actually read the book and sent him a pretty funny email explaining that the book is good, but it should be more memoir than academic history book. Fortunately for us, the North-Dakota born culture critic followed her advice, and wrote one of the essential modern-day books about music on a much neglected yet hugely popular genre in rock history.