How Bluegrass Music Destroyed My Life

John Fahey

A collection of fictional but semi-autobiographical stories, this work comes from one of the most influential guitarists in music history. The tales are recalled in a conversational, feverish tone, following the musician in his childhood and young adulthood in post-World War II suburbia, pausing along the way for moments of clarity and introspection. The stories resist categorization—part memoir, part personal essay, part fiction, and part manifesto they simply stand alone, having their own logic, religious dogma, and mythological history.

status Copy #1 (2810): in
genre Music » Musician Biography
publisher Drag City
publish date 2000
popularity checked out 2 time(s)


  • By Bill Svoboda -

    cv (?!)
    the eclectic master of American primitive guitar
    “I’m sick and tired of carrying things around. ” – John Fahey
    In “fish” the author fights to land a monster alligator garfish while having unpleasant flashbacks of being molested by his father (WARNING: Not for the Easily Triggered).
    “Communists” revisits Holden Caufield as a juvenile terrorist.
    (mainstream sellout ad campaign): There is a little bit of everything in this funny, dark story collection.(la la la!)
    labor of love by his friends-he actually got to see this before dying-after years of poverty, squalor, bad health (physical & mental) he DID go out on a high note. RIP.
    SPOILER ALERT: Bluegrass music did NOT, in fact, ruin John Fahey’s life. Bluegrass music isn’t even mentioned until late in the book. Much of the book is not even about music.

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