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Jajouka rolling stone : a fable of gods and heroes /

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Random House, 1993
Edition: First edition.
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Review by Booklist Review

The music of the hills of Jajouka in Morocco is some of the oldest and most beautiful in the world, and the current interest in "world music" appearing in the repertoire of such rock musicians as Paul Simon and David Byrne should revive interest in this almost extinct form. Davis, most known for his hedonistic portrayal of Led Zeppelin in Hammer of the Gods, uses a fictitious 1970s diary to explain his involvement in the music created by the descendants of tribal god Bou Jeloud. Initially, Davis worked as a reporter for National Geographic with music expert Joel Fischer and photographer Morgan Robbins, and even after their assignment was complete, all were drawn back to the strange world of Jajouka many times over the next two decades. And strange it is; some readers may be shocked by the bizarre sexual practices of the people of Jajouka. In addition, there are brief interviews with mystical U.S. expatriate author Paul Bowles and even the guru of the beat movement himself, William Burroughs. Unfortunately, despite colorful anecdotes about the culture, the diary/novel suffers from the fate that befalls all books about music: the reader needs to hear the music to find out just what all the excitement is about. Thus, despite Davis' best efforts to relate Jajouka music to that of former Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones, the reader might be better off hunting through a record store. ~--Joe Collins

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Rock writer Davis's ( Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga ) first novel about an ancient culture's struggle with modernity founders under the weight of its ambition. Set predominantly in the remote Moroccan mountain village of Jajouka, the first-person narrative chronicles an American journalist's encounters with the town's ``Master Musicians'' between 1973 and the present. Following in the real-life footsteps of pilgrims like William Burroughs, Ornette Coleman and Brian Jones, Davis's narrator sets out to penetrate the mysteries of Jajouka, its music and its rituals for National Geographic . Over the next 20 years, he sees this ancient society weave between atrophy and turmoil in response to both Western influences and pressures to change from within their own country. Davis convincingly portrays life in Morocco but fails to evoke the magic of the music. His superficially sketched Moroccan cast of characters soon blurs into a jumble of indistinguishable Arabic names. Readers whose curiosity is stirred by the glimpse of Jajouka might find greater satisfaction in one of the recordings or publications described in these pages. Photos not seen by PW. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Stephen Davis is the author of numerous books, including "The New York Times" bestsellers "Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga" & "Walk This Way: The Autobiography of Aerosmith", & coauthor of "Fleetwood", the memoirs of Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood. His journalism has appeared in "Rolling Stone", "The New York Times", "The Boston Globe", & many other publications. He lives in New England.

(Bowker Author Biography)

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