Bill Janovitz: New solo album; Buffalo Tom; book on Rolling Stones
posted at 7/16/2013 2:35 PM EDT
Nice article re: Bill Janovitz in the Globe today. He's still a very popular local musician, and currently lives in Lexington to boot.
His new album is titled, "Walk Whitman Mall" and he's performing this Thursday at the Lizard Lounge to celebrate its release.
Buffalo Tom plays for FREE on the Boston Common at the Out of the Box Festival this coming Saturday.
"Rocks Off: 50 Tracks that Tell the Story of the Rolling Stones" (his second book on the Mick and the boys) will be released on July 23rd, by St. Martin's Press. *
He's even composed music for "This Old House." (his "day job" is a real estate business in Lexington).
* A while back I posted on the "33 1/3" book series, where Janovitz already has one book to his credit. The book series is about full, and mostly famous, albums. The book about 50 RS songs coincides with the Stones' 50th anniversary tour, and while originally he wasn't that enthusiastic about writing another book on the Stones, he couldn't resist the "50th" theme and decided to go for it.
From the article re: the book:
"Unlike other rock books, Janovitz didn’t go with a list of his “favorite” 50 or the 50 that were the most popular, meaning he sacrificed a few near and dear to his heart. Instead, he focused on the tunes that he felt, as the title says, best told the story of the band.
"I really challenged myself to try to get the whole career represented because I could easily do 50 songs from ’68 to ’73,” he said, acknowledging that it was a tough row to hoe after 1981’s “Tattoo You.”
But when he started to revisit those later records, to which he had only paid cursory attention at the time of their release, he was surprised at how many gems he found.
“I think what sets my approach to the Stones apart is that I really focus on the music and really try to give them their due as songwriters. Because they’re sort of known as almost cartoonish figures,” he says of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, adding with a laugh, “It’s weird to say that the Stones are underrated songwriters.”
Although he understands that readers might want to skip around to their favorites — “That’s probably the way I’d go about it,” he admits — because of the chronological setup, there is story within the list.
“I think each essay stands on its own, but there really is a linear narrative arc: Here are these guys that start as R&B aficionados in ’62-’63 and then, before you know it, they have to live up to this legend.”
Coincidentally, Janovitz met Richards shortly after he got the deal to write “Rocks Off” at an event at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum last February.
“That was pretty astounding. I really did have this out-of-body experience,” he says of a conversation with his musical hero about Richards’s own musical hero Chuck Berry, who was being honored that day. “I went out of my way not to say that I had written a book or that I am writing another book,” he says with a laugh, adding, “I presume they could not be bothered about another Rolling Stones book.”
So he’s not worried that Jagger will call him up with a bone to pick?
“Are you kidding? I would love to be slapped down by Mick Jagger,” he says, laughing.