We Never Learn: The Gunk Punk Undergut, is the first and only book on the last great wave of punk rock. Musician and journalist Eric Davidson. Sold by: Book Depository US Book 1 of 5 in the We Never Learn Series Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the month in fiction, nonfiction. We Never Learn book. Read 28 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Includes a code for free CD download of many of the bands featured i.
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Messy musings sprung from the punk missives in my book, We Never Learn: The Gunk Punk Undergut, - by Eric Davidson. In the new book We Never Learn: The Gunk Punk Undergut, –, New Bomb Turks frontman Eric Davidson delves deep into the overlooked garage. We Never Learn: The Gunk Punk Undergut, – is a book written by Eric Davidson of the New Bomb Turks. The book covers a specific sub-culture.
Take that, smug Pitchfork stereotypers. Do you think he got wind that you were also talking to some of his detractors? I made the fatal mistake of trying to be open and honest, and sent him ten basic email questions; I said, answer however many you want, or not. He could imagine what they had to say.
I tried to be fair and open. He decided to compare himself to Edgar Allen Poe, via a book excerpt I think was swiped offa Wikipedia. Oh well. How about telling our readers a little about the New Bomb Turks and your ups and downs along the way?
Ah, Guernot was alright. He was what he was, as they say. He was pretty straight-forward with saying he wants his bands to tour until they drop — a sure way to get the band you just gave a big advance to increase their drug use and break up.
Anyway, New Bomb Turks guitarist Jim Weber and I met in a dorm at Ohio State, friends right away, big music fans, Jim started playing guitar, we had a college radio show, etcetera.
And early on, , we noticed that our fave local bands — Gibson Bros. Is that so weird an idea? And you can read some of them in We Never Learn, of course. First gig at CBGB. Crypt calling us and wanting to sign us! And just meeting and hanging with the whole Crypt brood; especially hanging in Hamburg with Tim and Micha Warren… Recording the albums. The first Euro tour, and the second with the Devil Dogs.
We Never Learn: The Gunk Punk Undergut, 1988-2001
I was never even on a commercial jet until our first tour of Europe in Like rolling singer Terri down a hostel hallway at 4am in a shopping cart funny.
Hanging onto girlfriends along the way, well… Downs: Honestly, not too many. With some sweet flame stripes on the side!
Having to boot original drummer Bill Randt after our Australian tour really sucked. Recommended to anyone who knows who the Oblivians are and love 'em. Aug 28, Un-j rated it liked it. Sloppily written book of a musical scene that barely gets mention.
Glad to see it from the point of someone who was there but it's arrangement of story jumping from band to band in a mix of interviews and scene-jumping , I don't really feel like I've learned why this musical scene was important. Oh well! Jul 14, Matt rated it it was ok. Maybe site has ruined my ability to read actual paper books. I certainly read much more than I did pre-tablet, but I find myself turning away from the cost and inconvenience of carrying around hard copies of books.
That said, I don't think the reason I didn't, and probably never will, finish We Never Learn has to do with the mode of transmission. I guess I kind of lived this in real time, and reading about it now gives me a weird feeling of fake nostalgia. Also the fact that the Spits are on th Maybe site has ruined my ability to read actual paper books.
Also the fact that the Spits are on the cover and get about a page mention in the book is annoying and hardly a mention of Gaunt, another band from Cleveland who helped define the scene and sound. I made it through pages and I can count on one hand the number of books I've started but not completed.
Perhaps someday when I'm older and I want to re-live this era I'll pick it up again, but for now I'll stick to reading histories of times where I wasn't so intertwined. Also it doesn't help that Davidson has a snarky way of writing that distracts from the actual events which are obviously colored by the fact that he was there.
Sep 30, Jason S. And of course, there's the joy of learning about new bands, labels, and compilations, too, that were I'm glad books like this exist, that trace the otherwise lost history of punk rock through the s, and Eric Davidson writes with the same verve and swagger that he did while penning songs for NEW BOMB TURKS. And of course, there's the joy of learning about new bands, labels, and compilations, too, that were only names in the my mind's eyes from listening to friends talk about them Nuggets, Sympathy, Crypt.
But it's also a book to be read in doses. How many times can you read about how music sounds before even Davidson's army sack of cool slang starts to become a little monotonous although I will applaud his many digs at mopey Grunge music, which I loved, but in retrospect seemed odd. To paraphrase ED, "There was no war, the economy was good, and all these bands in the burbs were complaining about the fatigue of life? What the fuck??? Be that as it may, Eric Davidson has created a map to the lost country of Gunk Punk.
And only he could have done it. It resited my interest in a lot of these bands and their bastard brood. You'll no doubt enjoy the ride. Jul 28, Steve rated it really liked it. I came of age high school and college in the mid to late 90s and loved almost all the bands Davidson discusses. His band, the New Bomb Turks, are probably my favorite band of all time; others discussed in the book, such as the Supersuckers, the Gories, Gaunt, and Billy Childish were and are huge favorites too.
I loved reading about Crypt Records honcho Tim Warren, a real unique, wacky, and unrecognized character in the history of rock music. Davidson is a good storyteller but some of his highly stylized prose gets irritating after a few chapters. Wordplay like "jalapeno-fed gorilla," "skin smasher" instead of "drummer," and "psychotic, fiery, fractured fuzz bombs" gets old real fast.
His songwriting is brilliant, but his gift for wordplay doesn't translate as well in prose. Not to mention the dozens of typos and often irrelevant, meandering asides. Definitely could have used some tighter editing, as Davidson spends a good deal of time spouting his political beliefs with which I tend to agree, but that's not the point.
All in all, a deeply entertaining book for fans, but I'm not sure just any old music fan or casual reader would enjoy it -- I think "you had to be there" would apply here. I loved the stuff, so this was a real treat for me.
May 03, Oliver Hunt rated it liked it. I expected more from Davidson, actually.
More books from this author: Taishi Tsutsui
There are some good interviews, and some good writing, but so much of the time it feels like Davidson's writing ad-copy for a fanzine page, especially given his overuse of shikka-shikka-gonzoid-hyphenates. Also, sorry, but a good chunk of wh I expected more from Davidson, actually. In this same line of complaint, omissions with this type of book are inevitable, but some here are really glaring: I mean, maybe it was a little late in the game, and yeah, they did transition into lame Warped tour pop-punk, but Denton's Riverboat Gamblers warrant some mention for their live shows and earlier MC5 by Dictators-esque recordings alone.
No Sons of Hercules? Cretin 66? Somebody was real selective about their homework.
So, yeah, it was worth a read, but didn't really work. There was no way it could have, I don't think. It's like taking a chunk of a huge picture and calling it the whole picture, or at least most of it, and it ain't.
One thing I'll say for it, it did get me to thinking about Rock N' Roll again, and all of it's possibilities. So that alone makes it not a waste of time. Aug 07, Simon Harvey rated it it was ok. There are many, many more every bit as appalling to be found inside. I'm really disappointed in this almost impossibly badly-written book. I always though Davidson was a great singer in NBT, but the schtick wore thin live-- all that mugging and posturing was so contrived.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the writing style here mirrors that tendency, and what is meant to be witty or clever is densely, relentlessly smarmy and cloying to the point of unreadability. The metaphors are clumsy, even stupid, while the grammar and blatantly misused words leave me wondering if this even had an editor. The bio, noting that the author makes a living writing and editing, is depressing.
Too bad, because I was excited to finally read a rock book about something that I experienced first hand myself. That said, there are some articulate, interesting and enlightening people interviewed herein, and when Davidson steps back and allows them to speak, the book still produces some enjoyable and informative passages. Dec 13, Ned Bajic rated it really liked it.
There are a lot flaws in this book but the author is not a novelist or historian so this is to be expected. But it fits with the kind of music he's covered, often badly recorded, released on labels you've never heard of and played in tiny run down venues to obnoxious drunks.
This is not about profesionalism or career opportunities though a few actually managed that! I'm old enough to remember There are a lot flaws in this book but the author is not a novelist or historian so this is to be expected.
I'm old enough to remember some of these bands and did see the author fronting the New Bomb Turks in a pub years ago. That was a great gig, I remember it like it was yesterday! So at least he wrote about something he was a part of. The interviews are what holds this thing together: This book is about rocking out in the face of adversity. You might even re discover some great bands and records along the way.
Nov 17, Tom Weber rated it it was amazing. Exciting book. Delves into the bowels of a music scene that smelled almost as rank as the music it was kicking out. Some of my favorite bands are here and a host that I had barely heard of before reading We Never Learn. Of important note - I recommend reading this like a short story collection.
The author has an over the top style that works great in short, spastic doses and each chapter is pretty self contained. Read straight through like a novel - I may have rated a little lower - but my coupl Exciting book. Read straight through like a novel - I may have rated a little lower - but my couple chapters a week approach had me running back to the book with excitement to read about the next set of almost big, always interesting groups that may or may not have hit my radar screen back in the day.
Sep 23, Alex rated it it was ok. I loved reading and checking out all the bands in this book, but it was a chore to work through the author's "style". You know how as a writer you have to kill your darlings? Every sentence is Eric Davidson's darling. If you edited out all the alliteration, cliches, ridiculous similes, and unnecessary adjectives, this book would be half as long as it is.
Eventually I got used to his writing enough to just ignore how over-the-top it was, but I'd still groan and roll my eyes when I'd come across a I loved reading and checking out all the bands in this book, but it was a chore to work through the author's "style". Eventually I got used to his writing enough to just ignore how over-the-top it was, but I'd still groan and roll my eyes when I'd come across a particularly obnoxious use of words.
Still, lots of great bands and this is pretty much the only book that talks about that scene. Aug 18, Gerry LaFemina rated it liked it. As much as I liked many of the bands this book talks about, and I like Davidson's willingness to poke at some sacred cows how nice to see Jack White be taken off the pedestal , the prose feels a bit forced-gunk-punk cool at times, and giving us complete transcripts of interviews with the questions, etc may work in a 'zine, but I'd have preferred those moments be delivered as oral history--we're smart enough to infer the questions.
A good read, but a book that pales in comparison to other histor As much as I liked many of the bands this book talks about, and I like Davidson's willingness to poke at some sacred cows how nice to see Jack White be taken off the pedestal , the prose feels a bit forced-gunk-punk cool at times, and giving us complete transcripts of interviews with the questions, etc may work in a 'zine, but I'd have preferred those moments be delivered as oral history--we're smart enough to infer the questions.
A good read, but a book that pales in comparison to other histories of alternative music. The link to the 20 song download doesn't work anymore--so downloading the book new and getting the code is moot. Aug 15, Nicholas Coleman rated it liked it Shelves: Very comprehensive tour through the garage-rock scenes of the 80's, 90's and 's. The writing can be a bit precious and the organization of the book is a bit slapdash, but oddly enough the roughness works as an asset by reflecting the anarchic character of the music it describes.
Unfortunately the publisher or aut Very comprehensive tour through the garage-rock scenes of the 80's, 90's and 's. Unfortunately the publisher or author did not bother to renew the registration on the website where the free downloads are hosted, so I didn't get to listen to those. Jun 08, Beverly rated it it was amazing Shelves: Unromantic but affectionate and written by the leader of The New Bomb Turks We Never Learn is required reading for any fan of garage punk or whatever you want to call it.
The best thing is that Eric Davidson has an endless supply of things to call it. Few books on rock history evince as much love for language as they do for a scene or genre like this one does.
Writing in the tone of a smirking carnival barker Davidson never runs out of inventive ways to call a band a bunch of drunk assholes who Unromantic but affectionate and written by the leader of The New Bomb Turks We Never Learn is required reading for any fan of garage punk or whatever you want to call it.
Writing in the tone of a smirking carnival barker Davidson never runs out of inventive ways to call a band a bunch of drunk assholes who play inept punk and so We Never Learn never gets dull -- even as it goes into minute detail with its histories of bands and labels that mostly self-destructed years ago.
Jan 01, Andy rated it liked it Shelves: I enjoyed reading this book even though it does become a bit samey as it goes on. A few bands have very similar 'they were great but not amazingly successful and broke up' stories without much extra meat. However even in those cases the author's enthusiasm for the music really shines through and makes you want to listen to almost every band - I haven't been disappointed in that respect yet! There are a lot of genuinely fascinating characters who are a joy to read about too, Tim Warren and Billy I enjoyed reading this book even though it does become a bit samey as it goes on.
There are a lot of genuinely fascinating characters who are a joy to read about too, Tim Warren and Billy Childish being prime examples. Aug 12, Matt Ogborn rated it liked it. This book has a lot of flaws, but I ended up enjoying it quite a bit despite the fact that it's not about a type of music I've ever cared about too much. The Billy Childish stuff was my favorite, though May 21, Alex Herter rated it really liked it. Really informative read regarding late 80s-through 00s of underground music rarely covered in mainstream music rags.
Most bands featured in this book are named checked these days in current independent music. Dec 27, Bryce Warman rated it really liked it. Overly anecdotal and subjective. Tries to wrangle too many divergent sound under one umbrella. The 90's were a fallow period for real punk bands. A handy compendium of band profiles and tour stories from the underground.
Jan 07, Joe Ehrbar rated it liked it. Pretty good survey of dirty, nasty, garage-y punk rock from the dates listed on the book's cover.
Jul 10, Monty rated it did not like it. Jul 28, Aude Lising rated it did not like it. Never managed to finish this, kept it through two moves, thinking I'd pick it back up someday. Finally pawned it off to my roommate today, maybe she can tell me how it ends. Feb 08, Martin rated it it was amazing Shelves: Essential for all fans of scuzz punk.
Nov 11, Andrea Rizzo rated it really liked it. A nice time capsule of a burgeoning underground garage rock scene.
Apr 23, Jon Rose rated it liked it. The interviews were good but I expected the author to better tie together all of the different stories. Alexander Rubin rated it liked it Oct 02, Scot rated it really liked it Mar 09, Michael Dube rated it it was ok May 29, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
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Readers also enjoyed. About Eric Davidson. Eric Davidson. Eric Davidson had his share of sleazy good times and success as the singer of the Columbus, Ohio punk band New Bomb Turks, who have played hundreds of gigs in dozens of countries on three continents and countless labels.
Visit www. Books by Eric Davidson. Trivia About We Never Learn: No trivia or quizzes yet. Welcome back. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.About Eric Davidson.
Jan 09, Duke Haney rated it it was ok. At that point I said to myself that we were all going to die here on this wet floor.
That was a big draw for me. Bands who never truly got their due, yet spawned the garage-styled sound of more successful acts like White Stripes and The Hives. Writing in the tone of a smirking carnival barker Davidson never runs out of inventive ways to call a band a bunch of drunk assholes who play inept punk and so We Never Learn never gets dull -- even as it goes into minute detail with its histories of bands and labels that mostly self-destructed years ago.
We Never Learn may just provide all the legacy the gunk punks will ever need.
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