Take a Walk on the Dark Side

R. Gary Patterson

As a lifelong armchair thanatologist, I typically relish the arrival of any book that delves into the shadowy world of celebrity death, especially if it is the result of stupid human tricks, delving into the occult or, better still, a combination of both. So, it was with mouthwatering glee that I tore into this 278-page trade paperback, subtitled “Rock and Roll Myths, Legends, and Curses,” only to realize that its author is no Nick Tosches and that the dead, from Robert Johnson through Kurt Cobain, deserve better than some hack job that’s culled from other sources and then stitched together with dull, moralistic writing. While reading the laughable section on backmasking, I nearly tossed this into the loo. When people exit with style, shouldn’t their epitaphs read with a little style, too?