Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: A Brief History

In this article, we delve into the captivating pages of “Love Goes to Buildings on Fire,” a gripping literary piece that has enamored readers worldwide. Written by Will Hermes, this book takes us on a journey through the vibrant music scene of New York City in the 1970s. With its mix of genres, vibrant characters, and dynamic narrative, this book has received critical acclaim and has become a favorite among literature enthusiasts.

The Plot

“Love Goes to Buildings on Fire” is a non-fiction book that vividly portrays the cultural landscape of New York City during the 1970s. This era was a time of immense creativity and cultural transformation, where various genres of music, including punk, disco, jazz, and hip-hop, flourished. Hermes masterfully weaves together the stories of multiple artists, bands, and cultural movements that shaped the city during this time.

The book takes its readers through the urban labyrinth, exploring iconic moments, such as the opening of CBGB, the punk-rock mecca, the rise of disco at Studio 54, and the birth of hip-hop in the South Bronx. It offers a comprehensive view of the social, cultural, and political landscape that influenced and was influenced by the music scene of that time.

Awards, Criticism, and Praise

“Love Goes to Buildings on Fire” has garnered critical acclaim and received several awards for its insightful storytelling and meticulous research. The book was praised for its ability to transport readers back in time and capture the essence of the era. Its rich historical context and vivid portrayal of the music scene have made it a must-read for music and history enthusiasts alike.

Although some critics mentioned that the book could be overwhelming due to the extensive amount of information and the broad range of characters, the majority recognized Hermes’ skill in connecting these stories and creating a cohesive narrative.

Important Characters

Throughout the book, readers encounter various notable figures who left a significant impact on the music scene and the cultural landscape of New York City. Some of the important characters discussed in “Love Goes to Buildings on Fire” include:

1. Patti Smith

Patti Smith is a legendary artist known for her punk rock music and poetry. She played a crucial role in shaping the punk scene at CBGB and became a cultural icon.

2. David Byrne

David Byrne is the frontman of the influential band Talking Heads. His innovative music and unique artistic vision helped redefine the boundaries of rock music.

3. Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen, also known as “The Boss,” emerged as a prominent figure in the music scene, captivating audiences with his heartfelt lyrics and powerful performances.

4. Larry Levan

Larry Levan was a legendary DJ and producer who played an instrumental role in shaping the rise of disco music at the iconic nightclub Studio 54.


“Love Goes to Buildings on Fire” takes readers on a thrilling journey through the vibrant music scene of 1970s New York City. With its powerful storytelling, historical accuracy, and compelling characters, this book offers a true immersion into the cultural landscape of the era. Whether you’re a music aficionado, a history buff, or simply someone interested in a gripping narrative, this literary masterpiece will surely captivate your imagination.

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