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Publisher's Summary

It was the age when heavy-footed, humorless dinosaurs roamed the hard-rock landscape. But that all changed when into these dazed and confused mid-'70s strut-ted four flamboyant bands that reveled in revved-up anthems and flaunted a novel theatricality. 

In They Just Seem a Little Weird, veteran entertainment journalist Doug Brod offers an eye- and ear-opening look at a crucial moment in music history, when rock became fun again and a gig became a show. This is the story of friends and frenemies who rose, fell, and soared once more, often sharing stages, studios, producers, engineers, managers, agents, roadies, and fans-and who are still collaborating more than 40 years on.

In the tradition of David Browne's Fire and Rain and Sheila Weller's Girls Like Us, They Just Seem a Little Weird seamlessly interweaves the narratives of KISS, Cheap Trick, and Aerosmith with that of Starz, a criminally neglected band whose fate may have been sealed by a shocking act of violence. This is also the story of how these distinctly American groups - three of them now enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - laid the foundation for two seemingly opposed rock genres: the hair metal of Poison, Skid Row, and Mötley Crüe and the grunge of Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and the Melvins. 

Deeply researched, and featuring more than 130 new interviews, this book is nothing less than a secret history of classic rock.

©2020 Doug Brod (P)2020 Hachette Books

What the critics say

"They Just Seem a Little Weird tells the whole strange story of how '70s rock conquered the world, from Detroit Rock City to Budokan. Doug Brod brilliantly captures the moment when loud guitars collided with old-school showbiz glitz and helped create the future." (Rob Sheffield, author of Dreaming the Beatles)

"In uncovering the zillion interconnections between three of the most popular and influential rock bands of their era-and one that shoulda, coulda, woulda been-They Just Seem a Little Weird compellingly embodies a familiar but essential life lesson: it's a small world after all, so be nice to everyone you meet, because you might do a reunion tour with them 40 years from now." (Michael Azerrad, author of Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the Indie Underground 1981-1991)

"They Just Seem a Little Weird is a wildly entertaining study of four Me Decade bands, showing how their influence would come to shape successive generations and genres of music. Doug Brod delivers the perfect balance of reportage, reminiscence, and rock-and-roll excess. Deeply researched, evocatively written, and utterly enjoyable-this is a surprisingly essential work of pop culture history." (Bob Mehr, author of TroubleBoys: The True Story of the Replacements)

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What listeners say about They Just Seem a Little Weird

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  • Scott C
  • 2021-03-15

Cheap Trick Fan

Sure enjoyed this book and would recommend to anyone that is a fan of any of these performers. I feel that Cheap Trick is one of the most under appreciated rock bands. And this book brings much deserved attention to their overall contributions and how they have influenced so many.

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  • Jason A Worden
  • 2021-05-03

Stories I’ve never heard before

What a great listen! Two of my favorites, Kiss and Aerosmith are big parts of this book and I heard so many stories about each that I never knew. Was also great tales about Cheap Trick and Starz that made me want to here more of their music. Many other bands are mentioned as they relate to the above 4. Even if you are not a fan of one or any of these, I would recommend this book, if you love rock and roll and it’s rich decadent history 🤘🏻

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  • julie linck
  • 2020-12-29

Well researched

I’ve always felt that the music industry is well entangled within itself. But I guess I didn’t have any idea how tightly these folks get to know each other and work with one another. I feel the book was well researched and brought me into the webs of the insiders. Unlike some audio books, this one is very well read and enjoyable to the listener.

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  • spiderbucket
  • 2021-04-02

Which of these does not fit?

Stars sucks. I skipped past all that noise. The rest is great listening. Worth the time.