Hell Goes on Forever and the Stairway Never Ends

July 30, 2020: I don’t know Dave Segal (though apparently we have 43 facebook friends in common, and I may have written a review for an alt-weekly he had something to do with once), but it’s amusing how upset he’s been getting about a book I published just short of three decades ago and I can barely remember writing. Nice to know that, generations on, it can still get under somebody’s skin.

More!

Februrary 9, 2020: Seven months later, a couple hundred news cycles, and I’m apparently STILL under his skin — This time because of a typo and not liking Suicide enough 30 years ago!

5 comments

  1. via facebook

    Eric Johnson
    Chuck Eddy I mean, I disagree, but I’m not upset about it.

    Edd Hurt
    Chuck, you did your job. Good man

    Kevin Bozelka
    Oooh he likes Jimi Hendrix. How novel.

    Sara Quell
    “This sounds amazing, when does it end?”

    Edd Hurt
    Well I mean Hendrix wrote hooks, songs, created licks, used the studio, wrote a tune, Third Stone from the Sun, that is a jazz standard now, and played Bobby Womack licks better than Bobby Womack. All in all, hardly a guy who was boring, tho some of his live jams are boring. But he was a musician, even Bach had some down moments– “boring.”

    Chuck Eddy
    I still love “Crosstown Traffic.” His 3 actual LPs are good. I just never have an urge to play them. Would rather hear Smash Hits (hooks!) any day.

    Michael Little
    Hilarious! I like that “I remember opening that book up, reading some positive review of Kix, and putting it back on the shelf.” Kix’s debut is one of my all-time faves. Next he’ll be launching a full frontal assault on the Dictators. But look on the bright side. He put the book back on the shelf, when he could have thrown it out the window.

    Michael Little
    I love a good insultathon myself. I totally agreed with you on Hendrix. I don’t own any of his albums, but if I did it would be his greatest hits. No doubt Hendrix was probably the most technically (and perhaps even most inventive) guitarist of his time. But I’ll take Ron Asheton of the Stooges any day. Brute force is what it’s all about for me.

    Edd Hurt
    Well yeah, the three albums are one thing. “Highway Chile.” The 1969-’70 stuff, like the “Rainbow Bridge” version of “Hear My Train a-Comin’,” is his richest work. “Night Bird Flying.” As for the 7000 notes, I just don’t agree. Hendrix was a structural, disciplined musician. What he was going for in 1970 relates to what Miles was doing, points the way to the future. I would listen to that “Hear My Train” to get the picture. It’s no more prolix than Albert Collins.

    Michael Little
    I hear you. “Voodoo Child/Slight Return” is my favorite Hendrix song, and you won’t find it on Smash Hits. And I’ll check out “Hear My Train.” I’m famous for opening my mouth when I should be opening my mind.

    ——–

    Daniel Durchholz
    And here I thought this was gonna be about Kix. 🙂

    Chuck Eddy
    Actually, one comment there is!

    Steve Schneider
    Chuck Eddy Anybody who says a positive review of Kix makes them put a book back on the shelf is telling me they have no genuine discernment whatsoever

    Jaz Jacobi
    That book made me buy EVERY Kix album

    ———

    Like

  2. via facebook

    Joe Lunday
    In his defense, and I say this as someone who memorized large chunks of Stairway to Hell in high school and has a copy over my shoulder on the living room book shelf, some of the reviews read like you don’t really like the records. But it’s your list!

    Jaz Jacobi
    Reading this book over and and over taught me over time that not everything should be thought of as completely “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.”

    Chuck Eddy
    Of course — I start being critical with like, the second album in the book! But just because I make fun of something doesn’t mean I don’t *like* it – Jeez! (Honestly, the only nice things I had to say about Sonic Youth and Jimi Hendrix had already been said 2000 times by other people. How boring would that be?)

    John Dougan
    A couple of years ago I had a guy email me (I think he was a college student) ripping me over mildly negative comments I made about the first Saccharine Trust album on All Music Guide. I barely remember writing it, or Saccharine Trust for that matter, but what was stunning was how angry he was.

    John Ned
    Hey there’s a virtual celebrity fight challenge here. Seattle vs Austin.🤜😵🥴🤛

    Ned Raggett
    Let me just salute your excellent choice in a last name.

    John Ned
    Ned Raggett 👍

    Anthony Cohan-Miccio
    Proof you truly struck a nerve. He must have gone right to the index – I don’t know how you could get that far otherwise so missing the point.

    Anthony Cohan-Miccio
    Also I saw another tweet around there saying he’s been doing this since 1983! How did he just get the “that chuck is a bit irreverent about these things” memo now?

    Dan Bukszpan
    It’s a brilliant book and it helped inspire me to start writing on my own, so fuck him

    ——–

    Kathy Fennessy
    I know and have worked with Dave (in a freelance context). Great guy, but his taste and yours are very, very different. I’m glad he’s reading your book, though! It shows he’s not restricting himself to folks who think exactly like him or like the same exact things.

    Chuck Eddy
    Judging from these tweets, he seems rather …overly literal. And lacking in a sense of humor. But clearly that’s based on a small sample size!

    Kathy Fennessy
    You’re not wrong.

    —-

    Like

  3. via facebook

    Richard Skanse
    Man you need to like that tweet just to mess with him.

    Chuck Eddy
    If I was on Twitter, I would!

    Deb Sprague
    hey, we share the honor of decades being the recipient of random rants by Chris Stigliano (how’s that for a blast from the past?)

    Chuck Eddy
    I always took his hate as a badge of honor!

    —–

    Kevin Bozelka
    You’re just jealous the he owns this:

    Chuck Eddy
    I’m sure he plays all 12 takes all the time.

    Nicole Kessler
    Is this where I can vent about how irked I was at all of his music reviews in the Metro Times?

    Chuck Eddy
    I vaguely remembered he was also from near Detroit. Wrote occasionally for Creem too, iirc?

    Kathy Fennessy
    Correct. And Alternative Press. He wrote the recent Pitchfork Sunday review on Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain. It’s very good. He was recently laid off from The Stranger after toiling away there for many years. If he’s feeling a little cranky these days, I don’t blame him one bit.

    Chuck Eddy
    Sure, but hell, I got laid off from my dream job 14 years ago, and I’ve never had a Pitchfork byline. So why he’s suddenly so cranky at my ancient book is beyond me.

    Kathy Fennessy
    He’s also complimented your word coinage. (“In his 1991 book Stairway to Hell, Chuck Eddy coined the word ‘mystijism,’ and I’m still jealous of it.”)

    Chuck Eddy
    Hmm, I must’ve missed that. But nice to know.

    ———-

    Sara Quell
    If anyone finds themselves in a Toronto classic rock/boomer bar and mentions the name of a certain local guitarist with a crossgender/prescription-drug-pun name, the denim/ponytail set will either go quiet and stare disconsolately at the floor or start fulminating about this psychopath with No God Damn Respect For Anything, and all I can say is (plz delete if too tasteless) ‘Stairway’ was kind of my ‘Catcher in the Rye’

    Mike Freedberg
    But I remember that book well and still have my copy of the original version !!

    Ned Raggett
    Dave was my music editor at OC Weekly for a hot minute — even ended up in the same apartment complex! — and he’s a fine enough fellow with a good streak in political ire and appreciation of music things I happen to like as well….but this was a bit odd of him, true.

    Annie Zed
    Dave was one of my first editors, at Alternative Press. He’s a good guy — and, as noted above, has different musical tastes than you. Which makes the world go round!

    Chuck Eddy
    Well, apparently we both like Maggot Brain.

    Chuck Eddy
    But c’mon, Annie — it was hardly my “different musical tastes” he was trying to pick a fight with.

    ——————

    Matt Ashare
    Call me stupid, but when I read Stairway to Hell I thought it was about how to listen to music amidst all of the cultural noise that surrounds the actual thing. I thought it was an insightful critique of our individual and collective need to classify and categorize. I did not think, to the best of my recollection, that it was about metal. Maybe I should reread.

    Chuck Eddy
    You are not stupid.

    Matt Ashare
    Chuck Eddy Thank you.

    Mike Freedberg
    Matt You were my most supportive editor

    Matt Ashare
    Mike Freedberg That is nice of you to say.

    ————–

    Jaz Jacobi
    Comments/complaints about STAIRWAY TO HELL seem to fall into several classifications:
    1] Needs Scorpions/Crue/Priest/Maiden for true “metal” cred
    2] Liking Def Lep/Poison means less “metal” cred
    3] Including Teena Marie/Jimmy Castor/Osmonds means NO “metal” cred
    4] Too complimentary of Sonic Youth/J&M Chain “alternative crap”
    5] Not complimentary enough of Sonic Youth/J&M Chain “alternative crap”

    Like

  4. via facebook

    Anthony Cohan-Miccio
    this might be what finally gets me to write the book I’ve been planning for years – the possibility 30 years later someone will be sitting in the dystopia saying “how DARE he say that about Pearl Jam?”

    Steve Crawford
    Chuck Eddy, He admitted you had a “peak.” I’ve never heard of Dave Segal.

    Chuck Eddy
    Yeah, but he says I peaked 30 years ago! (Very possibly true, but still.)

    Anthony Cohan-Miccio
    hey I last gave a political speech to the local press in 5th grade.

    Sara Quell
    100 miles an hour, gonna crash, gonna die

    Sara Quell
    ‘Giorgio Murderer’ = my new studio alias. Thx

    Like

  5. via facebook:

    Chuck Eddy
    Is it weird that I never noticed until just this second that “Electric LaDYLANd,” which has a Dylan cover, includes the word “Dylan”? (Don’t remember anybody ever mentioning it.)

    Kevin Bozelka
    No, this is not weird. It’s weird to notice it.

    Piotr Orlov
    Electric Lad Dylan. Fun. What a lovely album. Been playing it a bunch last few years.

    Graham Ashmore
    I bet it was intentional.

    Scott Bloomfield
    Also cool: “Crosstown traffic” finds Jimi predicting a traffic jam straight up ahead; and the very next track is a long jam with Steve Winwood – of Traffic!

    Chuck Eddy
    That Jimi, what a comedian!

    Kevin Bozelka
    Chuck Eddy and that title includes children’s musician Raffi!

    Chuck Eddy
    Yeah but he doesn’t cover any Raffi songs, so…

    Kevin Bozelka
    Chuck Eddy they both did the Star Spangled Banner!

    Chuck Eddy
    Good point.

    Mike Freedberg
    Not had I
    Avd I think it’s intended

    Scott Seward
    CHUCK is sooooooo stoned right now.

    Chuck Eddy
    On salad!!

    Howard Wuelfing
    spooky!

    Edd Hurt
    Jimi could have done a great Dylan album…with Manfred Mann.

    Adam Sobolak
    Jack Bruce-era?

    Edd Hurt
    Around the time of Mann’s great Coulson, Dean, McGuiness, Flint Dylan album “Lo & Behold.” ’73-ish.

    Dan Epstein
    Dude… have you ever REALLY looked at your hand?

    Edd Hurt
    I just remember the naked women on the first LP I bought of the album, when I was 16…

    Chuck Eddy
    There were certainly quite a few.

    Edd Hurt
    Seemed like a lifestyle

    Chuck Eddy
    Something to aspire to.

    Edd Hurt
    Dylan only had the one woman most of the time

    Anthony Cohan-Miccio
    I definitely assume Robbie was annoyed by BAND of Gypsys.

    Adam Sobolak
    All makes me think of how it was only quite recently that I discovered how “I Want To Hold Your Hand” invented the Kinks—that is, swap John & Paul for Ray & Dave and it wouldn’t make a difference…

    Barry Mazor
    Positively 8th Street

    Like

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s