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Book Review: Rock On: An Office Power Ballad

rockondankennedy.JPGOne of the goals I’ve set for myself in 2008 is to read more books. Sure, I read a lot of comics, but I figured it was time I read more things that didn’t have pretty pictures in them (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

However, my biggest issue is, for the most part, fiction doesn’t grab me. Far too often, I find that modern fiction sticks to a rather boilerplate template, and get I bored with a novel halfway through. To counteract that, I tend to focus on non-fiction and memoirs.

So, I found myself at Amazon the other day, and decided to pick up Rock On: An Office Power Ballad, written by Dan Kennedy. Having seen a handful of positive reviews for it both online an in-print, and knowing that it deals with a topic I’m quite interested in (the ever collapsing music industry), it was an easy sale.

What’s it about? Here’s how the official synopsis describes the book.

How do you land a sweet six-figure marketing gig at the hallowed record label known for having signed everyone from Led Zeppelin to Stone Temple Pilots? You start with a resume like Dan Kennedy’s:

  • Dressed up as a member of Kiss every Halloween
  • Memorized Led Zeppelin IV at age ten
  • Fronted a lip-sync band in junior high
  • Worked as a college DJ while he was a college drop-out

In his outrageous memoir, McSweeney’s contributor Kennedy chronicles his misadventures at a major record label. Whether he’s directing a gangsta rapper’s commercial or battling his punk roots to create an ad campaign celebrating the love songs of Phil Collins, Kennedy’s in way over his head. And from the looks of those sitting around the boardroom, he’s not alone.

Egomaniacs, wackos, incompetents, and executive assistants who know more than their seven-figure bosses round out this power-ballad to office life and rock and roll.

Already, sounds like quite the fun read. But the proof is in the pudding. Kennedy writes in a very enthralling stream-of-consciousness style, putting his immediate thoughts into word, giving you an always accurate mental picture of this so-absurd-it-has-to-be-real working environment. His wit abounds, and keeps the pages flowing. I really didn’t expect to, but I tore through all 240 pages over the course of one day, enjoying every step of Dan’s ill fated run in the marketing department of Atlantic Records.

With it’s very timely subject matter, and rather informal storytelling style, Rock On: An Office Power Ballad is an easy recomendation. You can grab it today at Amazon for just shy over 10 bills. Highest Recommendation.