In this collection of essays, Dave Whitaker delves into his theory of musical hierarchy, tracks the technological changes in music over his lifetime, taps into why list making is so fascinating (well, it is to him), and, yes, admits to owning 21 versions of Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.” Dave also fights music snobbery, advocating for “The Styx Defense” in which people should listen to whatever they want unashamedly. He argues for Kiss to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame even though he isn’t a fan. He even confesses that he isn’t an audiophile, having never owned a fancy stereo system. Come along on a journey into the mind of a self-confessed music obsessive. Hopefully you’ll emerge unscathed.
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Dave has been musically-obsessed since an early age. In his grade school years, he was fixated with taping songs off the radio. By high school, he was anal enough (or geeky enough, depending on your interpretation) that he maintained a personal top 100 song chart. He couldn’t play an instrument or sing, but he had an uncanny ability to bore anyone with unending amounts of music trivia. In his adult life, he has worked primarily in the child care field, authoring several books related to his work. To perpetuate his music hobby, he collected music obsessively, spent hours doing library and Internet research on music, developed his own web site, and maintained the blog that became the catalyst for this book. Dave is also the author of The Top Songs of the Rock Era, 1954-1999 and writes the column “Aural Fixation” for PopMatters.com. Dave lives in the Kansas City area with his wife and two children, for whom he is a stay-at-home dad. Needless to say, his kids have been exposed to A LOT of music. How many pre-teens list the Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop” and the Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog” among their favorite songs? Dave’s wife says that if one must be addicted to something, the choices could be worse. He hopes to be out of the rehab facility for the musically-deranged before the publication of this book.
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