Steve Almond may have descended from rabbis, but his church is rock ‘n’ roll. His new book, the memoir “Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life” (Random House, 2010) is a tour through “drooling” fanaticism, the kind of music appreciation that borders on the insane. With the fervor of a religious leader, Almond writes about unsung musicians who, through their art, are willing to get naked. Emotionally that is. In his writing and his life, Almond is drawn to the clothes-less kind of naked too. He is part of a long history of sex-obsessed writers — one of the earliest may be the author of the Hebrew bible scroll, “Song of Songs,” which Almond deems a “booty call.”
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I met Almond at a writing conference, and knew then that he had a lot to say, both on the page and in person. We spoke recently about self-publishing (he put out a book of his own hate mail), the state of the nation and why punk rock is Jewish. Oh, and writing about sex, of course.