Perennial dilemma at this time of year: what do you get for the classic rock fan who already has all 91 of Frank Zappa's albums or Bob Dylan's handwritten lyrics to "The Times They Are A-Changin'"? This is when we need to start thinking outside the box (set) and search for some of the not-so-obvious possibilities for holiday gift giving.
New autobiographies from Pete Townshend, Neil Young, Ann and Nancy Wilson and oral histories of Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix offer high gift potential for people who like to read about classic rock almost as much as they like listening to it.
We call musicians artists (because they are) just as we apply the term to people who paint, sketch and sculpt. A few, like Grace Slick, have earned the title in both music and art. Chances are, anyone you know who likes classic rock music also likes the album covers, posters, paintings and other artistic images that helped define it.
You know what they say about pictures, how one of them is worth a thousand words? These highly giftable collections of photographic images often tell more about an artist's heart, soul and spirit than any quantity of words ever could.
I don't mind admitting that I own a lava lamp. It isn't one of the ones I owned back in the '70s, but it's a pretty darned good replica. It stays in a closet mostly, but once in a while when the urge strikes, I pull it out, plug it up, and get a little high on some fond memories. This stuff is like that.
Henry David Thoreau warned us to "Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes." He probably didn't realize it at the time, but he could have been talking about the distrust of The Establishment, and the clothes that were part of that rebellion in the classic rock era.
Games & Puzzles
Almost as much fun as listening to, reading about, looking at, and making toast in honor of classic rock is having the opportunity to show off how much we know about it. These potential gifts offer many such opportunities. Trivial Pursuit™
Inside the Box
Finally, if you're still intent on thinking inside the box (and that's fine by me) here are five of the best box sets of 2012.