The Doors Examiner (Review)

Review of ‘Words and Music’ by Jim Cherry, 27 August 2012

It’s rare that I recommend a book to readers, Doors and rock fans without finishing it, but this one is a rare book that comes along far too seldom. It’s a book that Doors fans and rock fans will find well written, cogently thoughtful about Rock ’n’ Roll, and insightful of the artists and subjects author Michael Anthony tackles in “Words and Music: Excursions in the Art of Rock Fandom” as well as exciting to the reader.

“Words and Music: Excursions in the Art of Rock Fandom” is a fan’s tour through fandom. Anthony is part Rock ‘n’ Roll philosopher, critic, fan, memoirist and raconteur. However, “Words and Music” is more than a fan’s diary or thoughts about his favorite bands, Anthony dares to go deeper and explore the meaning of the music, groups and albums that are part of his life and a part of our lives. Some of the questions he tackles in “Words and Music” are, what does happen if you play ‘Stairway to Heaven’ backwards? Do you have to sell your soul to Rock ‘n’ Roll? And the origins of Bob Dylan’s name?

Of course “Words and Music” has a chapter on The Doors. At first I was a little bit worried as the chapter was titled “Morrison Hotel”, which seemed a little too predictable. When I got into the chapter I found that Anthony is one of the few people that got Morrison right! Anthony’s analysis, on The Doors and their music, seems right on to me. Even for the highly subjective such as why “Strange Days” is The Doors best album, there’s even room for disagreement on “Riders on the Storm”, but Anthony hits on the darker elements of “Roadhouse Blues” because of its rollicking good time feel, which is usually missed or overlooked by writers.

The book isn’t written in any overly mannered analysis or didactic writing of the critic, but in an easily readable language of a fan. Anthony’s genuine excitement about Rock ‘n’ Roll comes through in the writing and is infectious to the reader. You will find yourself considering fandom and your favorite singer in a different way, or perhaps it will reinforce what you were already thinking about the group. Either way, it will get you thinking a little more deeply about Rock ‘n’ Roll.

I’m going to finish reading “Words and Music” and you should click on the link and buy your copy today. You can buy “Words and Music: Excursions in the Art of Rock Fandom” at Michael Anthony’s website and blog at

5 stars out of 5

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Warning: Jim Cherry writes under the influence of rock and roll!

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