RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

G. D. Praetorius  - Babysitting A Band On The Rocks

Rating: B

G. D. Praetorius is one of a zillion rock nerds who worked in the industry ‘back in the day’ that feels the need to share his story before it is too late.

The difference between him and his peers is that he actually did it! 

In fact, G.D. followed his passion for writing the same way he followed his passion for being a production manager for a Long Island concert promotion organization in the early 1980s…he dove in headfirst!

This is a fun read, truth be told. The entire book reads like a guy who worked in the industry in the days of yore and is now telling his stories. I can imagine him pumping out these tales, almost verbatim, at a company barbecue, a wedding reception or while sitting on a barstool. That’s not a bad thing, as it helps the entire book feel more legitimate and come from a true fans point of view.

There are a lot of stories…some funny, some interesting, some boring and some just the same old, same old that every rock nerd that worked a concert experienced back in the day. Yet…for us…they are stories that need documented as they come from a time when music actually mattered to people.

Like all of us with a passion for classic rock, the burning desire to tell the tale usually outpaces the actual need for it to be told. It is easy to think you’re special because you snorted cocaine with Steven Tyler, or read a contract with brown M&M’s in it for Van Halen, or have Roger Waters act like a twat to you. And…it is cool, but these stories have been told many times before.

The challenges guys like G. D. Praetorius and me face is that we have had cool stuff happen to us and we want to yell it from the mountain top.

People in bars and pre-show concert halls find it fascinating…and it is fascinating.

When it comes to pushing books, however, it makes for a tough gig a fans tend to want to read biographies, or autobiographies, more than they want to hear stories from a roadie, a production manager, or a guy who runs a rock ‘n’ roll website.  That’s just the way it is.

That said…if you’re a major rock nerd that can’t live without this stuff…If you live and breathe ‘70s and ‘80s rock morning, noon and night… If you’re that guy, or gal, then this book will be a treasure trove for you.

If you ever worked in production for a concert then you will be the opposite of me when it comes to stories of loading and unloading equipment, or how the stage lights work. This stuff made me skip forward…and there is a lot of that in the book. If you lived that part of the rock ‘n’ roll dream then you will totally dig what G.D. has to say. If not, just skip ahead a few pages…it’s okay.

For me, the most interesting parts of the book were when we got a glimpse into an artist’s personality. When he gets behind the rock star persona then this book gets good. There is plenty of that in this sucker too. Big names…including  Ian Anderson, Steven Tyler, Dee Snyder, Keith Richards and Roger Waters. Often times during this book, G.D. had me sitting up and paying attention.

G. D. Praetorius lived the life for a few years. He saw and did some pretty cool stuff in the world of music. More than that, however, he was, and is a huge fan of the music. He wrote this as a labor of love. His love of the music comes through loud and clear.

If you wanna know what working in the industry was really like…just read this book!

Pick up your copy here http://ltcds.com/product/babysitting-a-band-on-the-rocks-book/

By Jeb “No Brown M&Ms” Wright