Picks and Pans Review: Cool Cats
edited by Tony Stewart
These are a different breed of cat altogether. Stewart, a British pop music writer, has collected more than 300 photographs depicting changes in rock 'n' roll performers' appearances over the last 25 years. Some enduring trends are intriguing—the Elvis sneer, Buddy Holly twerpism (still seen on the Clash and Elvis Costello) and the crew cut (once a Pat Boone trademark, it is now 180 degrees away, decorating the punk-New Wave scene). The changes are likewise fascinating—the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, for instance, started out as nice, proper young gentlemen wearing sweaters, suits and ties. Too many of the photographs are murky, and so is much of the British vernacular—"Only a few of the real nutters would swear in front of a bird." Nice comparisons and contrasts are drawn, though, and there is a lesson in how desperately hard show people work to be nonconformists. (Delilah, $9.95)
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