It's Only Rock 'n' Roll but I Like It by Cindy Hulsey

While public perceptions are changing, there are no doubt still plenty of folks out there who think of spinsters with buns and orthopedic shoes when they hear the word librarian. In some ways I fit the stereotype; I’m a middle-aged woman who likes books and cats, I wear glasses, and I like to create order out of chaos. But in other ways I like to defy the stereotype. I’m not a spinster, I sometimes wear sexy shoes, and I love rock ‘n’ roll.

Hearing any Rolling Stones song will instantly transport me to 1976 or so, when full of teenage angst and longing, I shut myself in my room and listened to the thudding rhythm, plaintive wailing and lurid lyrics of Mick and the boys as they sang of all things decadent and corrupting. In reality I was a good kid in high school, but in my head I was a wild one.

My heart still skips a beat when I hear the Stones or any of the other bands that provided the soundtrack of my youth, and I still find guilty pleasure in reading about them. Keith Richards, who really should be dead by now, wrote a terrific memoir called Life a few years ago. I devoured it. Who could have imagined that the most notorious Stone, whose brain is so fried that he inspired the staggering, swaggering, slurring pirate Jack Sparrow, could so lucidly and entertainingly describe in detail his storied, even mythic life. Even though he had a ghost writer, his unique voice and mannerisms shine through clearly and you feel like you’re sitting beside him, drink in hand, reminiscing about the good old days.

Other great rock ‘n’ roll tomes that recall my youth:

Just Kids by Patti Smith
Bruce by Peter Ames Carlin
Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? By Steven Tyler

What’s your guilty reading pleasure?


What a great commentary, Cindy. I'm ahead of you by at least 15 years but rock and roll is still where it's at for me as well. And I said the same thing when I read an except from Keith Richards' life...who knew this man could write! He has great stories to tell and he makes them come alive on the page. Now I want to check out Steven Tyler too. Thanks for this unexpected piece.

As long as we love Rock & Roll we librarians will never grow old! Maybe the music is the secret to Keith's longevity.

No Ms Hulsey your not a spinster ....thank you for sharing this

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