Tag Archives: Book Review

It’s an Incredible Jamboree With Immortal Guitar Axes

4 Dec

Immortal Guitar Axes is a perfect and heavy coffee-table book that’s sure to be an eye pleaser.It not only puts a lot of these beauties in the forefront, but also each instrument has a story too! Lisa S. Johnson‘s love for the six-string is very clear in the prose, and I suspect she did a lot of fieldwork to find out where some of them have disappeared to. Some were lost to history for one reason or another, and others thought destroyed.

For example, just when Peter Frampton (who played with many talents, ranging from David Bowie to Ringo Starr) thought he lost his beloved after the cargo plane crashed over Venezuela, it survived! Although not every guitar has a story like this one, what’s recounted is a look back about where it was either bought or made. Many artists’ instruments are profiled here, and while we already know everything about some axes, namely Brian May’s Red Special, others aren’t as widely known. I really appreciate the chapter about Suzi Quatro since it’s her music which got me to love that classic rock n’ roll all over again ever since I saw her on Happy Days.

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Examining I Want to Believe’s Investigator’s Archive

19 Dec

I Want To Believe: An Investigators' ArchiveBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available to purchase on Amazon USA

I Want to Believe, An Investigator’s Archive delves into the backend that television shows rarely feature–getting to know the people. In this book by Jason Hewlett and Pete Renn, we get a down to earth interviews with various paranormal investigators from across the world (North America mostly) who are truly dedicated to this craft, and why they’ve made it their life’s passion.

To cap things off, we hear a story or two of their most memorable finds about the hereafter. They won’t send shivers down your spine, but here, you’ll get a better sense of what these people do than seeing a dramatized take on television. This book is a loose extension these author’s own YouTube series, We Want to Believe, where they investigate the occult.

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Vancouver’s Most Haunted in Review

22 Oct

screen shot 2021 10 21 at 9.04.50 pmBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Torchwood Editions
Available to order on Amazon USA

Although Ian Gibbs of Victoria’s Most Haunted (2017) didn’t take a road trip to explore the rest of Haunted Vancouver Island to put into a new book (it’s been tackled by Shannon Sinn), he is back examining the Lower Mainland instead! This time, he’s delving into the secrets Greater Vancouver has tucked away. Instead of always tackling the most well-known places, he went around to find other incidents in Vancouver’s Most Haunted: Supernatural Encounters in BC’s Terminal City.

I’ve looked at his first collection (review here) and it’s an enjoyable read. This latest shows how his narrative has developed over the years. When Gibbs is not telling tales of meeting the undead as one of the many guides in Victoria, BC’s Discover the Past’s Ghostly Walks, he’s working on his next Ghost n’ Bears podcast. What he enjoys the most is extoling the incident that helped shaped the transition of human to spirit. Sometimes, as with a certain “Private Home on Marine Drive,” it’s about testing the cultural mainstays of whether other ethnic cultures believe in this world or not. Kristy’s (not her real name) experience of staying at her grandparent’s luxury home is a standout. It is this chapter and another run-in at a private residence that I found the most engaging to read.

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Lugosi’s All Right in The Rise & Fall of Hollywood’s Dracula

8 Oct

Lugosi: The Rise and Fall of Hollywood's Dracula | Book by Koren Shadmi |  Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster CanadaBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Publication Date: Sept 28, 2021
Available to order on Amazon USA
Spoiler Alert

Ask anyone who their favourite cinematic version of Dracula is, and it’ll either be Bela Lugosi or Gary Oldman. The former lived under the shadow of the vampire Bram Stoker brought to life, and the latter is a man who simply upped the ante. From playing Norman Stansfield in Léon: The Professional (1994) to Commissioner Gordon in The Dark Knight (2008), these two performers have one thing in common, they played many types of characters throughout their life. They both suffered from alcoholism and married many times. 

Goldman is lucky to not get typecast but Lugosi did. Bela’s life and times are excellently handled in the graphic novel, The Rise and Fall of Hollywood’s Dracula. We see something of his young life, how his father hated his decision to become an actor, his work before and after Dracula, and how he never got the recognition he truly deserved. His private life became a thing for tabloids to play up.

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Breaking Barriers with Rock Critic Confidential

22 Jul

Rock Critic Confidential: Morgan, Jeffrey: 9781912587537: Books - Amazon.caBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Released: June 28, 2021
New Haven Publishing Ltd
Available to purchase on Amazon USA

Canada’s best known rock critic Jeffrey Morgan has a secret. Not everything he’s written or published in the past can be retrieved. He’s been in the business of covering the music scene since 1964, and he has a style that many people, musicians included, like. He’s made a name for himself and has a way of getting his interviewees to open up. It’s funny to think his first career goal was to write for comics (more on this later).

Rock Critic Confidential is a salacious tell-all lands as a hardcover coffee-table book and reading it is a wonderful trip through memory lane—especially when those big names were just getting their start. The distinguishing feature in the book is how readers get to learn something they may not have known. Was it hearsay or from someone in the know? Within this book are his “interrogations” with Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Meatloaf, Nash The Slash and many more.

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