Incoming: Chris Stamey Memoir on dB’s and NYC in Late ’70s


By Fred Mills

The University of Texas Press is well-known for publishing top-notch books about music and musicians, in particular the American Music Series which has yielded memorable volumes about Ryan Adams, Los Lobos, John Prine, Chrissie Hynde, and Vic Chesnutt (penned by fellow musician Kristin Hersh, no less), and others. That series is overseen by Acquiring Editor Casey Kittrell and edited by Jessica Hopper, David Menconi (who wrote the Adams book), and Oliver Wang.

Now word arrives that in April of next year the series will yield A Spy in the House of Loud: New York Songs and Stories, by Chris Stamey. The product description reads thusly:

A cofounder of the dB’s, Chris Stamey re-creates the music scene in late 1970s New York City, recalling the birth of punk and other new streams of electric music as well as the making of the cult albums Stands for deciBels and Repercussion.

It’s definitely a book indie music lovers will eagerly embrace, as Stamey had a front-row seat to – and was a part of – the punk and New Wave explosion in NYC. He’s also the kind of guy who’s blessed with a sharp memory (something a lot of us ’70s refugees can’t necessarily lay claim to) and even sharper observational and analytic skills. It’ll definitely be a keeper.

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