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“Twenty-Minute Fandangos And Forever Changes - A Rock Bazaar” (1971) book review


“Twenty-Minute Fandangos And Forever Changes - A Rock Bazaar” edited by Jonathan Eisen (Random House) 1971

I wasn’t even aware this book existed until a few months ago when spotting an original copy sitting in the bargain bins at Amoeba Records in San Francisco.

Comprised of submissions from now legendary mover and shaker writers such as Bud Scoppa, Richard Meltzer, Nick Tosches, Sandy Pearlman, Robert Abrams and of course editor Jonathan Eisen, “Twenty-Minute Fandagos And Forever Changes - A Rock Bazaar” not only covers the incredible music of the era in which the anthology was published, but also zones in on other cultural topics of the day.

For example, there’s a study on whether or not smoking marijuana enhances one’s sex life. Also included are contributions from psychiatrists on how to tell if your child is a potential hippie. Among these “warning signs” are if the offspring dates only members of different religions or creeds, if they have an interest in a cult rather than accepted religion, a constant ridiculing of organized government, cutting school, or “far out” interests in poetry and music.

Not surprising since the title of the book name checks a Love album is plenty of ink on the band. Even back then, Love’s greatness was realized. The Byrds, the Doors, the Stooges, Marty Balin, the Guess Who, the Rolling Stones and the US Apple Corps Band are additional entries. A good deal of stream of consciousness is strewn across the pages, particularly on an article about the Beatles and the “Abbey Road” album, and “Tennessee Ernie Sings Little Green Apples,” which was written backwards if that makes any sense!

Then there’s a salute to fan clubs, and the top ten of 1969 were (in order of popularity) Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Nazz, Roland Kirk, Bill Haley and the Comets, Oliver, Jeremy Steig, Buddy Miles, Neil Young and Fender Guitar. Can’t forget teen idol Bobby Sherman’s list of the things he loves either, which largely consists of his mom, dad and sister. Mike Curb, Bo Diddley, Mrs. Miller, the White Panther Party, and a nine year old boy who digs “Sesame Street” and had a heart transplant are just a brief mention of subsequent nuggets to be savored.

Some of the stuff here is downright wacky and archaic, but that is obviously to be expected, reading these observations and interviews in hindsight. What has remained the same over the years and still speaks to generation after generation is the cool rock and roll “Twenty-Minute Fandangos And Forever Changes - A Rock Bazaar” features, and that alone causes the rarity to be a genuine treasure.

- Beverly Paterson
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