Book Review: Supernatural Strategies For Making A Rock ‘n’ Roll Group

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Supernatural Strategies For Making A Rock ‘n’ Roll Group
Ian F. Svenonius
(Akashic Books)

If you can read, read this book. Even if you’ve never really entertained the notion of forming a rock n’ roll group, or any group for that matter, this book should be at the top of your reading list. In fact, having no preconceived notion on what it means to be in a band might even be advantageous when reading Supernatural Strategies.

Ian Svenonius is unrelenting in his depiction of every pitfall, false stereotype, and dead ideal held by vrahophiles and propagated by the music industry, media culture, and the “it” groups (which are almost always the spawn or adopted children of these establishments). He pulls no punches and delivers the truth with sardonic wit.

Yes, as pessimistic and cynical as this book may sound, it is all done in good humor. Much in the same way that George Carlin joked about the false pretenses of American culture, Svenonius snickers at modern music trends with the same genius and verve. Some would argue that the written word is a safer and more detached form of expression than the open stage, but Svenonius speaks from a place of personal experience, being a member of numerous bands in the D.C. area, his current being Chain & The Gang.

The basis for this work grows around a séance Svenonious and friends performed in order to channel the souls of dead rock stars. Some notables being Brian Jones, Richard Berry, Jim Morrison, Willie Mae Thornton, and Paul McCartney (Paul is dead man, miss him, miss him, miss him). Whether Svenonius is serious or not I’m not really sure, but this book is quite enjoyable when one suspends their own disbelief.

Supernatural Strategies is a comprehensive text that encompasses the world of rock as we know it. The chapter on critics is worth a read in particular. From the ground up, from coming up with your band’s name to garnishing attention and shaping the culture at large, Svenonious will serve as your medium from this world to the next.

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