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David Hepworth – music journalist and writer, who has won numerous awards for his work, here presents a book which – as the subtitle suggests – catalogues the rise and fall of the rock star. Hepworth believes that there are no more bona fide rock stars; there are pop stars and other music stars, but rock stars were something else entirely (with the ‘rock’ part of the term not necessarily referring to that genre of music). And that something is a mystique, an allure that celebrities can no longer have in this age of social media, where nothing is secret and the smallest details of a star’s life becomes public knowledge almost immediately.

He charts this journey from 1955 to 1994, in an unusual and extremely readable way. Every year he takes a significant day from one rock star’s life, that had an effect not only on the person in question but on the world as a whole.

There are far too many to list, but all the major stars you would expect appear here: Dylan, The Beatles, The Stones, Bowie, Springsteen, Prince, Michael Jackson. And there are others – Bob Geldof (his day being Live Aid), Freddie Mercury (the day he died), Duran Duran (the making of the controversial Girls On Film video), Buddy Holly (also the day he died). Each chapter is short – less than 10 pages – and ends with a list of significant singles and albums from that particular year.

I found the book absolutely fascinating, and even when a chapter featured someone I am not particularly interested in, such is the writing that it made me interested. This book can either be read in huge chunks, or you can dip in and out of it, but whichever way you choose to read it, I highly recommend it to anybody interested in music and stardom.

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