Steven Hyden is an ex-Grantlander and that’s initially what steered me towards his new book, Your Favorite Band Is Killing Me: What Pop Rivalries Reveal About The Meaning Of Life. He takes you on a ride through some of the biggest music rivalries, most of which you can probably guess before cracking the book open. His inclusion of pop culture outside of music makes for interesting parallels. As a side note, he also talks about the Packers quite a bit in the beginning, which I didn’t mind at all. I’m actually now expecting his next book to be all about the Packers. (Go Pack Go!)
Since you likely aren’t here to read about how much I also love the Packers, let me get right to the actual meat of the book. I was tempted to deem a “winner” for each of the rivalries covered, but then I figured that would be futile since everyone will have their own opinion of that. So why should you then read a whole book about rivalries anyway? Well, let me tell you. Hyden put in personal anecdotes throughout the book that adds some color to the commentary on the rivalries. He’ll seem so far off topic that it’s amazing how he twists and turns his way back to the rivalry at hand. Plus, he talks about what they reveal about the meaning of life, as said in the title. Who doesn’t want to know that?
Overall, I found this book to be not only a great read, but a fun one. Hyden has been working as a journalist for quite a few years now and it’s a pleasure to see his first book come to life. I can only hope there are plans for future books because his writing is highly entertaining and his knowledge of music and pop culture allows for a great blend of topics. If you’re a music fan in the slightest, this book will tell you all you need to know about the major music rivalries of the last handful of decades. You can grab a copy of the book here.