Bonus Tracks

August 31, 2013

The History of Rock and Other Online News

Peter Gabriel Flower Power


Understanding the history of music and how different genres and artists fit in with and relate to each other can really increase and widen the scope of enjoying a record collection. It’s interesting, challenging and fun to dig a little deeper and confirm what you guessed or learned about new connections between styles and artists. And of course if you get too into it, that’s how you go from 200 records to 2,000 records to 20,000 records and beyond!

With that in mind, I just finished taking The History Of Rock Part One and Part Two – an online course offered by the University of Baltimore through The teacher was John Covach. Both classes combined were about 14 weeks long with about ten videos per week. Optional materials include the textbook What’s That Sound? An Introduction To Rock and Its History by John Covach and Andrew Flory.

Watching a ton of short videos of an instructor’s head talking to you can be really tedious even if the subject matter is rock and roll. But Covach pulls it off and kept my interest. He’s appealing to listen to and it’s funny to watch him turn bright red whenever the subject of sex or drugs came up. I bought the book, as if I could afford it, and think it’s not necessary but well worth it if you can find it used. Even an older edition should be worthwhile.

I need to know for myself if the fact that very few prog rock bands have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is because of a terrible slight or is really deserved.

Another intriguing aspect of taking a Massive Open Online Course is the other students. The Discussion Boards were really engrossing. Kids from all over the world learning about artists for the first time. And of course experts/fanboys/girls and opinionated students like me were dropping opinions like hand grenades.

I thought the course would be fun and would confirm what a rock historian I believe I am. I had no idea how much I would learn and how much more I have to learn. And by “how much more I have to learn” I mean, I know how many more records I need to collect. Because, for instance, I never cared much for prog rock, and I need to know for myself if the fact that very few prog rock bands have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is because of a terrible slight or is really deserved. It was one of the topics Covach brought up on the discussion boards that blew up. So I have to go out and get some prog rock and give it a real listen.


Record Collector News ad map

Collin Tappe’s piece in RCN issue number 34 and online at received about 26,000 views and 65 comments in four days back in June. Collin’s piece is awesome and the comments are great. But I gotta say, sometimes those $30 or even $50-plus reissues are sonically amazing and a bargain to boot. I just found a copy of Catch a Fire by Bob Marley. It’s the zippo lighter cover. The cover itself is kind of messed up and the record has some noise and one skip. I paid $25 for it. Near mint copies sell for $200 to $600. The music on this record is out of sight. Would I pay $60 for a top quality 45 rpm Bernie Grundman re-mastered reissue? Hell yes. And I would put it right next to my original copy.


The Map of our Advertisers in the center portion of this paper is by far our most popular feature. I get it. It’s a list. Who doesn’t dig a list? Well, we decided to bring our Map rocking into the new millennium — you can now access the RCN Map of our Advertisers online at our website as a Google map. With those pink thingies where the record stores are. And I hear I can even load pictures of the stores and other essential information onto the map, too. I’ll figure that out next. Someday. Any interns out there want to show me how? No pay but the work is frustrating and the student has the focus of a gnat.

Jim Kaplan

One Comment

  1. […] wurde. Dennoch habe ich zwei Bilder aus der Zeit im Kopf. Einerseits Peter Gabriels Live-Outfit als Blume, andererseits das hier: Ich weiß noch genau, das ich diesen breiten Mittelscheitel sehr abstoßend […]

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