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The Other Side Of Rainbow (Book Review)
Released: 2016, Indie
I’m on a bit of a Rainbow kick since they reformed and there are a couple of books about the band I thought I would review. Also check out Greg Prato’s new book, THE OTHER SIDE OF RAINBOW.
When I learned that Prato had published a book I was wondering if we needed another Rainbow book. Then I stopped, gave me head a shake and told myself, ‘YES! Of course we need another book about Rainbow!” In terms of justification (not that any is really needed) for writing a book on the band that has many books about them already, in his introduction Prato explains that he grew up in the early days of the MTV and Rainbow videos were in heavy rotation. Fuelled by a sense of nostalgia, he recently went on a big Rainbow listening kick and hence this book was born.
THE OTHER OF RAINBOW is a standard paperback and if you are familiar with the ever-growing line of self-published, but quality productions by Prato, it is much the same, in terms of presentation as his other titles. It’s black and white and has a couple of dozen photos of the band, a discography and the aforementioned introductory essay.
Following his now familiar format of oral history interview style, Prato took pains to interview many, many people about the history of the band. The list of 30 notables includes many, in fact most of the band members over the years as well as engineers, journalists, members of Rainbow tribute acts and so on. Of course there are the notable deceased exception s and from my understanding Mr. Blackmore is a bit difficult to deal with so he was not interviewed for this book. However, that does not really matter. Some folks might say, “You can’t have a Rainbow book without Blackmore, Dio!” (and to a lesser extent Powell) but that is whole point of the title, THE OTHER SIDE. He talks to all the lesser known people who played keyboards for a year on a single tour or folks like, at times forgotten Doogie White, singer of the well-received but oft-neglected album, a late entry into the Rainbow canon, STRANGERS IN US ALL. The list of who he interviews is pretty comprehensive.
I found it all very interesting and fans and members wax nostalgic about the band but it is more than that. The focus is more on the later-era albums. THE OTHER SIDE OF RAINBOW is also very contemporary with many people commenting on the 2016 reunion shows. It would have been nice to read an interview with young Ronnie Romero (also of Lords of Black) the newest vocalist but you can’t have it all! I’ve grown to like the interview style, that I was initially hesitant on, as these may be some of the last interviews these old war-dogs do as time marches on and each year we lose more and more members of classic 70’s Metal bands to the ravages of time and disease.
As cliché as it sounds, I’d recommend this book for any fan of Rainbow or fans of Melodic Metal who really want to explore the excellence that is Rainbow in all of it’s incarnations across the ages.
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