My New Book – The Progressive Rock Handbook
Jerry Lucky Commentary July 2008
Copyright Jerry Lucky © 2008 All Rights Reserved
I’m pleased to announce that my latest book, The Progressive Rock Handbook has been shipped! It’s been up for pre-order on
most on-line book sellers and should be finding it’s way to all of you who’ve taken the time to pre-order it. You know, writing and then
publishing a book is a lot like having a child. Without going into all the details, its fun at first…then it gets a bit laborious…then you just want it
over with…and finally the excitement, stress and anxiety of actually seeing the book come out. This is the fourth time I’ve been through this experience and I have to say I still find the whole process quite amazing. Then you wait for the reviews.
So what is The Progressive Rock Handbook? How is it different from my other books and do we really need another book about progressive rock now that we have the internet. To set the stage I do have to go back in time. When I first envisioned The Progressive Rock FILES book it was going to be part of a series of books; one on prog, another on electronic/space, another perhaps on prog-metal and so forth. But the more time I spent in the progressive rock community the more I lost interest in doing those other books and simply began to expand ever so slightly the scope of The Progressive Rock Files to include the core bands or artists from each of those other genres. With the revised edition published back in 2000 I got the band count up to 1800 listing, however a few of them were incomplete. So I kept working on it in my computer; making little updates and additions here and there.
Then, when I approached my publishers about putting out a new book, I felt it was perhaps time to re-imagine the book. So I changed the body of the text, virtually doubled the band listings and of course changed the name. Over the years I’ve received many emails from individuals who really liked The Progressive Rock Files and when I took stock of the tone of these experiences I felt that it appeared more individuals found value in the band listing rather than the 150 pages of history and critical rebuttal. Also since that books publication there have been at least 3 other comprehensive books detailing the history of the progressive rock genre. So I felt it was time for a change. And since most of us still aren’t wandering around with a WiFi laptop I decided to focus more on the band listings providing a handbook that’s perhaps a tiny bit easier to carry around. The new book is still about 350 pages with pretty tiny print but that’s still easier than taking your laptop everywhere.
So what does The Progressive Rock Handbook have to offer? First off the front text part of the book is now just around 50 pages and there you’ll find individual sections about on-line CD stores that specialize in progressive rock, a section listing books about prog (both in print and out), some of my favourite prog websites and a listing of various progressive rock music festivals with a couple of interviews. I’ve also included a few of my early commentaries to help set the tone for my views on the genre and I’ve updated the section on musical genres in an attempt to get a better handle on where certain music fits. Then the last 300 or so pages is an updated listing of over 3300 bands or artists that I consider to fall into one of the progressive rock categories. Many of the earlier listings have been rewritten, expanded or updated and I’ve really attempted to ensure dates for all the releases. There are still a good number, say in the electronic or prog-metal category that I’ve left out simply due to space restrictions and again some of these sub-genres like prog-metal could do with their own book. (Maybe I should get to work on that?)
So in the end I wanted the “handbook” to be a “different” from the “files” book. Those who have or will still look to purchase The Progressive Rock Files (I only have about 50 left!) will have a book that details the history of the genre and deals with the critical response it received and more. The new book places its focus on the listings, and getting in touch with the different aspects of the progressive rock world. So the two are quite complimentary depending on what you’re looking for. The new book also features a sampler CD from ProgRock Records.
The book has been shipped, so now I wait for the reviews. I hope you enjoy it and I’d appreciate any and all feedback. To the critics, I know you’re out there and I know you’ll be looking to find the book’s flaws and you know what…I’m sure you’ll find some. There will always be those who see the glass as half empty. But that’s okay, I’ve developed a tough skin and besides I wrote the book for the fans not the critics. So for the fans, I hope you enjoy the book and get plenty of use out of it.