by Marc Elliot
I grew up listening to “A Small Circle of Friends” and later discovered Bob Dylan. It was the era of protest songs and many of my classmates were drafted to serve in Vietnam. Phil Ochs’ songs are more like mini-sermons. Using irony and parody, he wiittily challenged the status quo.
After reading the book, I was disappointed in him as a person: sloppy, addicted, irresponsible, he neglected his wife and daughter entirely. So I was disappointed more in Phil Ochs himself than in the writer or the book.
If you are interested to find out about the issues of the 60’s, the book gives us some insight. Phil Ochs was a gifted musician from an early age, but he abused himself and finally committed suicide. Kind of a waste.