by Gary Rainford
by Gary Rainford
For decades, experimental musicians have created new hit songs by repurposing lyrics or melodies from previous hits. In 1969, “Come Together,” by The Beatles sampled, “You Can’t Catch Me,” by Chuck Berry. In 1989, “Fight the Power,” by Public Enemy sampled, “Funky Drummer,” by James Brown. “Iron Man,” by Black Sabbath was sampled in “Hell of a Life,” by Kanye West in 2010. Lady Gaga sampled Queen. Led Zeppelin sampled Muddy Waters. And Pink Floyd sampled Tchaikovsky.
Artists inspire artists, and Liner Notes—64 ekphrastic poems describing 64 musicians as artists making music—exemplifies this rich, evocative tradition.
“Gary Rainford’s Liner Notes is a music lover’s dream. Knitting together sense and sound, Rainford blurs the lines between lyric (think Williams, William Carlos) and lyrics (think Williams, Hank). A small treasure.”
–Adam Bradley, author of The Poetry of Pop
"If you love music and you love poetry, this is the book for you."
–Johnny Dowd, American alternative country musician
“Having read Gary Rainford’s Liner Notes, I find it to be an insightful and unique book covering various artists’ music as diverse as Billie Holiday, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and Lemmy Kilmister of the heavy metal band Motorhead. The wonderful images created in these ekphrastic poems are fantastic, and Gary makes you feel like you are there and that you can almost touch the moment. It is a wonderful read. Once you start, it just draws you in, and you cannot put it down.”
–Mick Box, founder & guitarist, URIAH HEEP
“I’ve studied music my whole life, but even so, I learned on every page as I read the poems in Liner Notes, a fan-to-fan book for everyone, where a sense of place and time rings out, where the use of lyrics, woven into each poem in a seamless blend, is spot-on, and where I laughed a lot and felt that good old, rock-n-roll inspiration.”
–Joel Raymond, freelance musicologist & host of
On The Wing, WERU
Gary Rainford, author of the poetry collection, Salty Liquor, lives on Swan’s Island year-round with his wife and daughter. Gary’s suite of poems, We Are Here, was an honorable mention selected by Betsy Sholl for The Gabriel Zimpritch Memorial Poetry Prize. His poems, shaped by tides, saltwater, and music, are published in a wide range of literary magazines, university journals, and newspapers. Liner Notes, says Gary, is a tribute to great songs, inspired musicians, poetic form, his love of singing in the shower, and playing acoustic, air-guitar. Connect with Gary at www.garyrainford.com.