Rock and Roll hotels - more than a travel guide...,
This review is from: Rock & Roll Hotels (Paperback)
It's one of those ideas so simple you wonder why no-one's done it before - everyone loves a good travel guide, and everyone knows that hotels are the rock star's home away from home. Why not combine the two?
Greg Simmons' first book (as far as I'm aware) manages to tick the box marked multi-purpose: planning a trip overseas and wanting a hotel with a difference? Stuck with travel guides that are great for restaurants, but don't tell you where you can catch the local rock scene? Struck-for-cash, but in need of some voyeuristic rock thrills? This is the book for you.
Perhaps the book's greatest achievement is in avoiding the trammels of being yet another dessicated travel guide - this isn't a book that'll quickly become a dust-collector when the summer soujourn is but a memory. You've got plenty of meticulously-researched vignettes about rock's aristocracy - from the John Lennon tampon story to where Ozzy was staying when he pissed on the Alamo while wearing his wife's clothes. And it's not just the well-known, Mojo-friendly 'classic rock' sorts - we get such underground luminaries as Carcass and Napalm Death popping their heads in, and there's a brief but enlightening entry on the Norwegian Black Metal scene. As close to being comprehensive as this sort of thing can be.
Simmons' tone is light but not without bite - there's a fair amount of laconic humour peppering these pages - "...maybe a Harley Davidson would accentuate your (priapic) star qualities?" (for instance). And he's not limited himself to the sort of places that Joe Pauper can afford - there's enough entries on various shabby hostels and run-down holes to service the needs of modern rock musician (ie, born outside of the days when a musician could expect a half-decent wage) covering a fair swathe of the US, Europe and even the Bahamas and Marrakesh (who knew Marrakesh could be a pilgrimage site for the lowly rock acolyte?)
One of my worries about this book is that it'll get relegated to the odder corners of the travel guide section of your local bookshop. It's well worth a read on its own merits, and there's plenty here to sate the rock fan's appetite for destruction (or, as the sub-heading has it, fluffy pillows).
In short, a heartily recommended book that'll make a great present for the long-haired, odd-smelling hardcore rock fan in your family. And well worth a gander for yourself as well.