"Mountains Come Out of the Sky", the new book by author and music journalist Will Romano, chronicles the stories of progressive rock's most influential and obscure artists with a passion and knowledge that comes from years of avidly following the scene.
"I grew up on YES, ELP, TULL, KING CRIMSON, and GENTLE GIANT," Romano said. "Prog rock is part of my DNA. Arguably, I do what I do today because of progressive rock."
Romano's love of the genre shines through in his words and beautiful presentation of the book. Every page of the 250-page tome explodes with color and captures the escapist qualities and look of vintage album cover artwork of the 1970s.
"I hope people read and accept this book in the spirit in which it was written: as a celebration of prog rock," said Romano.
The first two chapters of the book describe why progressive rock came to prominence and highlight some of the pivotal historical moments in time, vis a vis the British prog rock movement of the late 1960s and 1970s. The remainder of the book provides specific facts and detailed information about the artists who've greatly influenced the genre.
"'Mountains Come out of the Sky' generally focuses on most of the major prog bands that made an impression on the mainstream psyche," Romano said. "Heck, even the title references the famous YES song, 'Roundabout'. While there are some obscure bands featured in 'Mountains', my hope was to provide a general introductory history of the genre through band biographies, as well as some light musical analysis."
It took three painstaking years, filled with intense research, hours upon hours of tracking down, conducting and transcribing interviews, and, of course, the actual writing of the text, to complete "Mountains Come out of the Sky".
"Waking up at 3 a.m. in the middle of a work week to do a phone interview with Daevid Allen (GONG) sticks out in my mind," Romano recalled. "He lives in Australia, so the time difference was certainly not in my favor. The interview happened prior to his tour with GONG, so I didn't have very many options. It was either get it done now or risk not doing it all. It took some distance from this process to realize just how much my life had been turned upside because of this book. There was a time when a 3 a.m. phone interview with someone on the other side of the world just seemed normal, you know?
"Mountains Come Out of the Sky" features a foreword by the legendary Bill Bruford (YES, KING CRIMSON, UK, GENESIS). "I was thrilled when he agreed to write it," Romano enthused. "I never thought, as a young prog fan and drummer who tried to learn his odd-time grooves, that he'd put his stamp of approval on my work. It's a true honor."
"Mountains Come Out of the Sky" is published by Backbeat Books and is available at Barnes & Noble (retail stores and BN.com), Amazon.com, Borders.com, HalLeonardBooks.com, and Walmart.com.
The book was nominated for a 2011 ARSC Awards for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound Research in the category of "Best Research in Recorded Rock and Pop Music."
Romano has been in the publishing business since the 1980s and has authored two previous books, "Big Boss Man: The Life and Music of Bluesman Jimmy Reed" and "Incurable Blues: The Troubles and Triumph of Blues Legend Hubert Sumlin".