Variety, "Best Music Books of 2020"
Best Classic Bands, "Best Music Books of the Year"
Best Classic Bands, "Best Music Books of the Year"
"Once upon a time, in the faraway galaxy known as the '70s, there were four tightly knit gangs of misfits and screwups-three mega-platinum Hall of Fame bands and one near miss. Doug Brod thoroughly and seamlessly chronicles their interlocking stories, and how their ups and downs, friendships and rivalries, lucky breaks and twists of fate rewrote the rules of rock and roll for America's denim-clad masses."—Alan Light, SiriusXMradio host and author of The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen,Jeff Buckley and the Unlikely Ascent of "Hallelujah"
"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
"Doug Brod gives the '70s hard rock world of KISS, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, and Starz the scholarly research, historical narrative, and--above all else--respect it deserves. You'll be constantly entertained and enlightened by his backstage stories and newly unearthed-and eye-opening-connections between all those bands. The book rock and rolls and parties all night, on every page."—David Browne,author, Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, JamesTaylor, CSNY and the Lost Story of 1970
"Doug Brod's detail-rich book exemplifies the same transfixing qualities of the bands he profiles: The over-the-top hysteria of KISS, the creative tension of Aerosmith, the charming accessibility of Cheap Trick, and the competency of Starz."—Chuck Klosterman,author of Fargo Rock City
"Doug Brod surrenders to his passion for '70s pop rock in this thoroughly researched and meticulously wrought group portrait, and, much to his credit, he is happy to give himself away as a lifelong fan of music he defends as well worth the attention. This a rock book of the rarest kind: unaffected, unpretentious, and unafraid to be fun."—David Hajdu, authorof Positively 4th Street
"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, authorof Dreaming the Beatles
"Doug Brod describes KISS as 'smart guys writing dumb songs for smart people.' In this loving and detailed book, Brod is a smart guy writing about dumb bands for smart people. He turns over every rawk in finding connections between four proudly ludicrous bands who have rarely been taken this seriously, except by their accountants. Brod follows these longhaired scallywags from obscurity to debauchery to (usually, not always) sobriety, and tells a story that isn't about just rock music, but about America."—Rob Tannenbaum,coauthor of I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music VideoRevolution
"You wanted the best and you got it, the hottest rock-history book of the year... They Just Seem a Little Weird! Doug Brod expertly weaves together the stories of three iconic bands and a fourth act, Starz, you may never have heard of-but by which you'll be no less intrigued. It's a smart, funny, and thoroughly fascinating look at an incredibly influential era in American rock music."—Mark Yarm, authorof Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge
"I'm a little older than Doug Brod, so my rock heroes were Dylan, the Stones, Roxy Music, and the underappreciated Procol Harum. But Brod grew up with Kiss, Cheap Trick, Aerosmith, and the tragically underappreciated Starz. They Just Seem A Little Weird is a wonderful account of the incestuous relationships of these four groups. Brod is a first-class music historian-he's interviewed musicians, promoters, managers, radio programmers, and even fans to fill out the interlocking family trees of these groups and, in the process, provided much more detailed accounts than those available at Ancestry.com. So pour a glass of cold gin, crack open the book, let the music do the talking and surrender to the glory of rock and roll."—Larry "Ratso"Sloman, author of On the Road with Bob Dylan
"They Just Seem A Little Weird pays tribute to the bands I started loving as a young teen. When Kiss, Aerosmith, and Cheap Trick finally broke through, I could say, 'I told you so' to all of the disbelievers, but Starz were also important to me. I saw all of these bands live in New York City and loved every minute. Doug Brod nails it and takes me back. It's a fun read."—Matt Pinfield, radioand TV host
"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 Underground1981-1991
"Starz 4ever! Doug Brod delivers on the preposterous bands that made the '70s fun and the '80s a blur, all while feeding sincerity to the crocodiles and reinflating the rock star."—RJ Smith, authorof The One: The Life and Music of James Brown
“A fun, compassionate history of arena rock’s finest hour—and the less-fine hours that followed... [Brod] interviewed deeply, writes with a fan’s enthusiasm about all four bands, and braids their experiences to keep the book from reading like four separate bios.”—Kirkus
“[A] rollicking biography... [Brod] is an enthusiastic guide, and fans—and anyone interested in true tales of rock and rock excess—will love this…Devotees of Kiss, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, and/or Starz, and they are legion, are going to lick this up. Rock this way.”—Library Journal
“This absorbing new book is like four complete rock biographies in one, detailing how the ongoing intersections of the four bands of the title influenced rock for a lifetime to come, with a deep level of reporting that results in one hilarious or trenchant detail after another.”—Variety
“What’s better than a terrific rock biography? Four terrific rock biographies packed into one…It’s a music nerd’s biographical delight…There’s a deep level of reporting by Brod that results in one amusing or trenchant detail after another, as he brings the funny and, more importantly, brings the fondness.”—Variety
"[This book] seamlessly interweaves the narratives of KISS, Cheap Trick and Aerosmith with that of Starz, a criminally-neglected power-pop band.”—The Hype Magazine
“Brod wanted to find an angle that ‘has never been covered before and would actually surprise people and shed new light on something.’ He does that splendidly in THEY JUST SEEM A LITTLE WEIRD.”—SPIN
"Enthralling"—Hudson Valley 360
“Brod clearly is a fan, but he writes about the bands’ music and career choices with a critical eye.”—The Vindicator