Metaphysical Graffiti: Rock’s Most Mind-Bending Questions by Seth Kaufman is a light look at rock music and bands. Kaufman is a recovering musician Seth Kaufman grew up overseas, in Kenya and India, the son of a foreign correspondent. He ran a popular online music store where he sold so many copies of Kenny G records he should be tried at The Hague. Kaufman’s own biography sets the tone for the book.
Well, I disagree quite a bit with Kaufman throughout the book, but his manner is not mean or without a good laugh. He opens with probably the most asked question in rock — Beatles or Stones? A lengthy discussion, with the option of it being a trick question and the real answer is Led Zeppelin, ends in — we like what we are brought up with his choice. That was when I knew I would agree with him, but having a beer was with him was definitely an option. He did put the nail in his own coffin with his Billy Joel chapter, but I did get his point.
A variety of topics are covered including air guitar and the Grateful Dead neither of which I gave much thought to throughout my life. On the subject of covers how can one not mention Janis Joplin’s cover of “Me and Bobby McGee” or Elvis Costello’s cover of “Peace, Love, and Understanding.” Under “Does Rush Suck,” Laufman makes a lot of good points. On the topic of drummers is a fun list of jokes and musings.
Kaufman gives a good mixture of praise and condemnation of some of rocks biggest names. No one will walk away in 100% agreement or 100% discord. He offers enough for the reader to agree with and just enough bad to get under your skin. This is a book that the reader will love and hate and thoroughly enjoy.